The food industry were delivered a massive boon when they discovered that manufactured Monosodium Glutamate [MSG] and its most potent factor, Glutamic Acid, made customers come back for more.
There are now very clear and strong links between MSG and obesity because of the way it affects the mind and body, and although it is sold as a flavour enhancer, it is in fact one of the best anti-appetite suppressors out there, meaning the more you eat, the more you want to eat.
The body has a vast array of sensors which trigger different chemical reactions in the brain and glutamic acid is a particularly dangerous one where food consumption and weight gain are concerned because it informs the protein receptor in the tongue that it is receiving healthy and nutritious protein and therefore triggers a wave of chemical messages and reactions which cause the body to malfunction.
Obviously a packet of potato chips containing MSG are predominantly carbohydrates and not protein, but the body still tries to deal with them as if it was breaking down proteins.
Among the major problems with ingesting MSG is the increased production of insulin in the body. High levels of this hormone can increase the risk of Type II Diabetes which is a very difficult illness to live with. There are some ways of limiting the effects of Diabetes and indeed some people have cured themselves by living on a high carbohydrate, raw vegan diet, but that’s a discussion for another time.
Another unpleasant side effect of ingesting MSG is that it negates the Hypothalamus which is the ‘full valve’ in the brain. When we’ve eaten enough the Hypothalamus kicks in and makes sure that we feel satisfied after our meal. MSG actually tricks that part of the brain into ignorance which means that we keep eating beyond our comfortable or necessary threshold which not only makes us lethargic and hungry again very quickly, but also puts us into a state of metabolic stress which is where the fourth phase of its evil comes into play.
While in a state of metabolic stress the body produces an enzyme called AMP-Activated Protein Kinase [AMPK] and its job is to reduce energy expenditure so that cells are able to continue functioning and not die as a result of over-exertion.
AMPK also increases our appetite as the body looks for more food to aid repair and increase its energy levels. MSG as an excitotoxin induces the deployment of AMPK by increasing the level of glutamate in the blood stream which makes us hungry and tired. The result is a body which is over-fuelled but limiting its energy use and it means that calories are not burned off and things like starch, carbohydrates and sugar in the food become fat in the body.
MSG is basically creating food dependency and addiction in much the same way as drugs like ecstasy and heroin do, and food companies use that knowledge to keep people coming back for more of their products. Companies like McDonalds and KFC use MSG in certain products which makes them extremely palatable but wholly unsatisfying. When combined with sugar and other preservatives they become powerful agents in causing obesity and related illnesses such as Diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
MSG is hidden in some products under different names including E621, Hydrolyzed Pea Protein, Autolyzed Yeast, Maltodextrin and Sodium Caseinate. Watch out for brands like Cheetos and Doritos and and always check the ingredients of pizzas, baked goods, corn and potato products, and Chinese food as they are likely to contain MSG. If you do find yourself eating products which you know to contain the chemical, try to be aware of how your body and mind responds afterwards, try to gauge whether your mind is less sharp than normal or you become forgetful and tired. Those are good indications that you have consumed MSG.
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images: yellow-menace.com, psychology.wikia.com, bestgestationaldiabetes.info, msgexposed.com, heartandmetabolism.org, trendsupdates.com