Is MSG Dangerous?


MSG is a potent flavor enhancer in most bottled or packaged foods today. There’s quite a bit of controversy over whether or not MSG is perfectly safe or incredibly dangerous.

If you research MSGs, you’ll find two camps. One that says MSG is perfectly safe for you and healthier than table salt, while the second camp will say that MSG is the devil incarnate and causes tons of diseases, including neurological and cardiovascular diseases.

Why is MSG Dangerous?

Glutamate stimulates nerves to fire. Consuming MSG causes dangerous, out-of-control nerve firing in peripheral nerves and brain neurons because it’s an excitotoxin. An excitotoxin is a chemical that overexcites nerve cells, causing them to fire uncontrollably. This can lead to nerve cell death. 

MSG has the potential to inflict long-term damage to brain neurons and peripheral nerves. Furthermore, MSG can cross the placental barrier, harming the nervous systems of unborn children. Studies have found that excitotoxins can shorten the life span of healthy nerve cells by overstimulating them to death or interrupting their communication process.

Independent researchers found that MSG plays a significant role in neurological and neurodegenerative brain diseases, including:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (or ALS) 
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Parkinson’s
  • Huntington’s disease 
  • Anxiety
  • OCD
  • Schizophrenia.

It has also been shown to create extensive damage to peripheral nerves. Furthermore, Numerous research studies have shown that MSG will elevate chronic pain due to the damage caused to nerve cells.

Chronic MSG consumption can also cause severe reactions, including migraines, insomnia, asthma, depression, chronic fatigue, and mood swings like depression, anxiety, or aggression. 

Budding research shows a correlation between children with ADHD and MSG consumption. Further research reveals that MSG drastically increases insulin response, leading to insulin resistance.

How Can I Avoid MSGs?

To avoid MSGs, you must check food package ingredient labels. Commercial food companies conceal the MSG in their foods by labeling them with deceptive names. You must be familiar with these terms to identify whether your product contains MSG.

The following listed ingredients on labels ALWAYS contain MSG:

  • Modified Food starch 
  • Corn starch
  • Rice Starch 

If you see the word hydrolyzed, it doesn’t matter what comes after; it contains MSGs.

  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • Hydrolyzed plant protein
  • Hydrolyzed protein / hydrolyzed whey protein
  • Hydrolyzed corn protein
  • Hydrolyzed yeast
  • Hydrolyzed Soy

Furthermore, anything with the word glutamate or glutamic acid, such as:

  • Glutamic acid
  • Glutamate
  • Monosodium glutamate
  • Monopotassium glutamate
  • Calcium glutamate
  • Magnesium glutamate
  • Natrium glutamate

MSG can be found in other ingredients, such as:

  • Plant protein extract
  • Calcium caseinate / sodium caseinate
  • Yeast extract
  • Yeast Food / Yeast nutrient
  • Autolyzed yeast
  • Textured protein
  • Soy protein isolate
  • Soy protein concentrate
  • Whey protein isolate
  • Xantham gum
  • Gelatin

While not every time, these ingredients quite often contain MSG or glutamic acid:

  • Bouillon, broth, stock
  • Carrageenan (you’ll see this a lot in pet foods)
  • Natural flavors 
  • Beef flavoring/chicken flavoring
  • Seasoning/spices
  • Malt extract/malt flavoring/barley malt/malted barley flour
  • Maltodextrin
  • Soy sauce/soy sauce extract

Government regulations do not restrict the variety of non-organic ingredients that typically go into “natural flavorings,” such as hundreds of toxic ingredients, preservatives, and solvents, leaving very little difference between natural and artificial flavors.

The commercial food industry has used this loophole to hide MSG, among numerous other chemicals. 

How Can I Detox from MSG?

When glutamate from dangerous MSGs accumulates, it remains in the space between nerve cells known as the synapse. This accumulation can lead to too continuous activation of glutamate receptors, resulting in nerve cells in the brain and peripheral nervous system being constantly excited or burnt out. 

With time, the nerve cell receptors become oversensitive to glutamate. Far fewer glutamate molecules are necessary to over-excite the nerves, which can have dangerous results. There are a few methods to detox from MSG:

Drinking Water

The first, most cost-effective, and easiest way to detox from MSG is to hydrate with water. Water flushes the excess glutamate out of your body. You should consume about 3 liters (about 100 ounces) of water daily.  

Do not drink tap water. You need to drink filtered water. Dr. Coppola explains this in our YouTube video: Drink this to calm your nerves

Taurine Supplements

Taurine blocks excitability in neurons and can calm your nervous system to prevent further damage. Depending on the MSG toxicity, we recommend taking between 500 mg and 2 grams of taurine daily. Studies have determined that taurine is safe at doses up to six grams daily.


Ginger has also been shown in research to mitigate the damage caused to neurons from MSG by decreasing nerve inflammation. Taking between 1000 and 1500 mg daily significantly nullifies the effects of MSG. 


Calendula, a flowering plant, has proven to have a protective effect against MSG-induced oxidative stress in neurons. Research has shown it to reduce oxidative stress caused by MSG. It can reverse the depletion of antioxidant levels by up to 122%. 750 mg of Calendula flower, taken daily, can significantly protect and eliminate MSG-induced oxidative stress.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba has been shown to prevent significant MSG-induced toxicity and damage to neurons of the brain and the peripheral nervous system. It’s also been shown to have a protective effect on spinal cord neurons, preventing excitotoxicity and oxidative stress to the nerve cells.  

Recommended doses range from 120 mg to 240 mg, taken daily. Ginkgo can potentially have unfavorable reactions with certain medications, including blood thinners, aspirin, Antidepressants, and NSAIDs like ibuprofen or naproxen. Consult your doctor before taking ginkgo biloba if you’re on any of these medications.

Why is Avoiding MSG Important for Neuropathy?

When battling any neurological disorder or neurodegenerative disease, you must make a conscientious choice to avoid MSG. It can be the single most potent limiting reagent in your ability to recover. Your nerve health is your most valuable asset. So, make the conscious choice to eliminate MSG from your diet while healing your nerves. 

Struggling with Neuropathy?

Book a consultation with one of America’s leading experts in peripheral neuropathy. Dr. Coppola and Dr. Monteiro have worked with neuropathy patients for almost 20 years and conduct seminars to help patients and doctors improve and reverse neuropathy.

To schedule an appointment, visit or call our customer service representatives at (844)400-0101. They are available Mondays through Fridays from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

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