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Latest update 07/16/2014 02:33 PM

The information on MSG Truth is the latest independent research regarding the amino-acid based food additives, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and Aspartame  

MSG Truth was created in February 2002 by former food process engineer and food scientist, Carol Hoernlein.  Carol earned her degrees in Food Science and Bio-Resource (Agricultural) Engineering at Rutgers University in 1988 and went on to work in the Research and Development Departments at the largest global food companies as a food scientist and food process development engineer.  The companies Carol worked at include: Thomas J. Lipton, American Home Products, Reckitt & Colman, and M& M/Mars.  Her years of training at Rutgers Cook College Food Science department as well her R&D experience in the halls of these food industry giants have given Carol unique insight into the modern food industry.   Unfortunately, with all the secrecy agreements she had signed as a corporate food scientist, she could not inform the public and also continue to work in the industry.  And so, Carol no longer works for any food companies, which is why she can tell you the TRUTH about MSG and aspartame now.

The mission of MSG Truth, is to give you unbiased information based on science, not profit.
Our goal is information sharing. 
We do not sell supplements or diet books.

If you see books or Facebook pages named after this website, please note
that any official media associated with MSG Truth, created by me in 2002, will have my name on them -
Carol Hoernlein
Accept no substitutes :)  

Also visit our MSG Truth Facebook page for the most up to date news related to MSG & aspartame.

We do not accept donations.  However, Carol endorses two non-profits with no connection to MSG Truth.
 The Nutrition Science Initiative - founded by Gary Taubes to carry out independent studies on nutrition and obesity. founded by biochemist Dr. Katherine Reid, who educates the public about the glutamate link to autism.

Carol has appeared on DeDe Murcer Moffett's radio show Snap Out Of It as well as on Lynn Hampton's radio show - Cleveland Talk radio WERE 1490 AM.  She has also appeared on Reality Sandwich - with Julie Matthews, who specializes in nutrition related to autism and on the Natural News Talk Hour  October 14, 2010 which is available as a podcast.

A year before Food, Inc.  came out, The Beautiful Truth by  Cinema Libre was released.  Carol appears in The Beautiful Truth film as a food science expert.  We may be biased, but we highly recommend The Beautiful Truth - especially if you found the documentaries, Food Inc., Fast Food Nation, and Sweet Misery compelling.  The Beautiful Truth was filmed as a full length feature film by acclaimed wildlife cinematographer Steve Kroschel.

After many years of complaints to the FDA regarding MSG, The FDA commissioned a study in 1992 by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) to investigate the safety of MSG. The FASEB report came out in 1995.  Here is a link to the Executive Summary - published in the Journal of Nutrition in 1995, and edited by two members of the FASEB.  The FASEB report has been highly cherry-picked and misused by the Glutamate Industry since then, but we provide this so that you can judge for yourselves.  The scientific foundation for MSGTruth can be found in the FASEB study.  Note that asthma was induced and reactions to MSG were to amounts as small as 0.5 gram. Reactions could be as long after ingesting MSG as 6 to 12 hours later. There is much in this useful Summary, which includes data up to 1995, on the actual science of MSG toxicity.  More research can be found on our Related Research page from the last 18 years as well as new breaking studies on our Facebook page.

The latest study on the active ingredient in marijuana that reduces seizures is a glutamate blocker.

The latest drug to treat both Diabetes AND Obesity is Liraglutide, a GLP-1 drug that also decreases the neurotoxicity of glutamate. It not only reduced blood glucose, but also reduced weight in "MSG-treated" obese rats.  

Research Paper from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia describing the metabolism of glutamate, how it may impact disease and why this topic needs more study:
Disorders of Glutamate Metabolism

  Please comment on the FDA Petition to Remove Generally Recognized as Safe status from MSG.

 FlowChart linking MSG, gluten, casein and vaccines to Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

Dr. Oz advising autistic patients to avoid wheat and dairy due to INFLAMMATION.

  Breaking news updates are usually posted to the MSG Truth Facebook or on Twitter @carolhoernlein.

March 19, 2013 - It is now reported that the autism rate is 1 in 50 children in the US and 1 in 38 children in South Korea. The rate has essentially risen 200-fold since the 1940's.  In 2006 which showed glutamate was elevated in the brains of autistic males. In 2007 it was discovered that some autism genes code for glutamate synapses. Currently, nutrition experts teaching parents to cook for autistic children, specifically avoid free glutamate and MSG in the diet as well as gluten and casein, which are also sources of free glutamate.  Unfortunately, the MMR vaccine currently contains free glutamate as a preservative and was added to these vaccines in 1988 after the patent was granted in 1982.

February 5, 2013 - Autism research recently uncovered a genetic deletion that affects the trimethyllysine hydroxylase epsilon (TMLHE) gene. This gene is found on the X chromosome and was discovered by looking at genes of families where at least two boys have autism.  This may explain why autism affects boys more - it would be a sex-linked gene deletion.  Boys only get one copy of this gene to begin with.  The reason we mention it on a site about MSG is because the gene is needed to make the carnitine - which is considered a small amino acid made from two other amino acids - sulfur-containing methionine and lysine.  Carnitine keeps plasma levels of glutamate in check - which is why we are mentioning it on  a site about MSG.  For many years we have been interested in the metabolism of the sulfur containing amino acids because the symptoms involved in these errors of metabolism are similar to those found in both autism spectrum disorders AND MSG sensitivity. 

Methionine is a sulfur containing amino acid that is the metabolic prescursor to cysteine and consequently, taurine and glutathione.  We have had this connection on our autism chart since 2008.  Fortunately, carnitine is easily added to the diet by eating red meat such as lamb, bison, and beef.  This gene deletion may explain why children with mitochondrial disorder like Hannah Poling were damaged by vaccines.  Carnitine protects against glutamate neurotoxicity.  Babies are very susceptible to carnitine deficiency and they usually get MSG containing vaccines before carnitine deficiency is even diagnosed.  Carnitine deficiency diseases are 20 TIMES more prevalent than the disease PKU - which we test for at birth and treat with diet. Carnitine deficiency also explains why children with autism may respond to diet lower in high glutamate foods like wheat, dairy, soy, and corn but why at the same time, they crave carbohydrates. Carnitine enables cells to use fat as an energy source. Carnitine deficient children are very susceptible to hypoglycemia because of their unique energy requirements.  A constant source of carbohydrate is critical.  This makes our recommendations to the NIH and the IACC in 2008 prescient.  Note that the involvement of problems with sulfur containing amino acids metabolism ALSO explains why children with autism present with MERCURY poisoning.  Glutathione - the body's natural chelator - is made from the sulfur containing amino acids.

This story is about to get much more interesting. Trust us.

June 28, 2011 - Aspartame has now officially been linked to both weight gain and diabetes.  Aspartame, (half of which - aspartic acid  - targets the same receptors as glutamate, and can actually convert into glutamate in the body) has been shown to increase blood sugar in experiments.  Studies in humans showed that those who drank diet sodas with aspartame as opposed to those who avoided diet sodas  had 500% larger waistlines. It appears that diet sodas are aptly named - after you drink them you WILL need to be on a diet.

May 29, 2011 - The mainstream media is finally reporting that MSG is now linked to obesity. We find this a big story because it has been known for 40 years but it only now being reported. Scientists routinely use MSG or glutamate to induce obesity in lab animals.  It was discovered in the 1960's by researcher Dr. John Olney that MSG damaged cells of the hypothalamus in the brain and made mice morbidly obese.  Later we learned that the hypothalamus regulates leptin and MSG induced obese female mice become leptin resistant (male mice became insulin resistant).  We now also know that Leptin inhibits AMPK.  AMPK is the stress signal that energy is being used too quickly and the body needs to slow down metabolism before it runs out of energy and it also decreases activity.  In mice when AMPK was activated, the mice became "lazy" and they also gained weight because of slower metabolism.  To make matters worse, MSG activates AMPK.  To recap - the recipe for obesity: 

1.  MSG is eaten.
2.  Cells in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus that produce dopamine and regulate appetite are destroyed.
3.  Hypothalamus becomes leptin-resistant
4.  Glutamate activates AMPK, which slows metabolism AND desire for physical activity ("lazy mice").
5.  The fat cells release leptin to stop AMPK, but the hypothalamus ignores the signal.
6.  Appetite stays high, activity is depressed.  Calorie intake goes up, calories expended by metabolism go down, calories expended in activity go down.
7.  MSG although it is an amino acid, signals the pancreas to release insulin
8.  Insulin drops our blood sugar - causing increased hunger at the same time it packs away excess calories as fat
9.  Obesity

October 27, 2010 - Despite the longstanding scientific tradition of creating "MSG-Induced" obese rats, reports that a GLUTAMATE BLOCKER (liraglutide) resulted in weight loss, and the research in Spain that showed MSG increased appetite in animals by 40% , the USDA is now working with the company that makes MSG, to put it into DIET foods anyway, regardless of the FACT that MSG CONTRIBUTES DIRECTLY to obesity.  Why you ask?  To help folks lose weight.  Really.  We couldn't believe it either.  Please contact your Congressman or Senator and let Michelle Obama know what you think about this too.

September 27, 2010 - The gene mutation for causing Migraine has been discovered.  Story from BBC.  Story from Science Daily.  The TRESK gene involves the potassium channels which affect neuron excitability.  According to researchers in South Korea , GLUTAMATE ACTIVATES the TRESK gene.  It should be noted that ibuprofen, used to treat headaches, blocks glutamate that would otherwise activate this gene.  This may explain exactly HOW MSG is a migraine trigger for so many.

July 29, 2010 -
The Glutamate blocking drug Memantine, used to treat Alzheimer's disease is now being used to treat Autism. According to this article, "Both Alzheimerís disease and autism share a brain malfunction involving a chemical called glutamate, which impacts the patientís speech and interaction. "  Their words. Our italics.  However, nobody is even going near the fact that MSG contributes to the problem in both Alzheimer's patients and autistic children, and that processed gluten and casein are very highly concentrated sources of glutamate.  It is our firm belief that DIET may very well be a part of the future successful treatment - something many parents have already known for a while, even as most doctors summarily dismissed it.

The good news is, while the pharmaceutical makers are giddily calculating how much money can be made by the sale of prescription drugs to block glutamate, an inexpensive glutamate blocker is already widely available over the counter and has been for years.  It is called Advil.  This may explain why children given glutamate-blocking Advil instead of Tylenol at vaccination were LESS LIKELY to develop autism in the first place.

May 31, 2010 - Acupuncture found to increase glutamate-blocking adenosineThe latest news is that a reason has been found for why acupuncture decreases pain.  Acupuncture was found to increase the release of adenosine in animal studies.  Adenosine actually REDUCES the release of glutamate.  This may be a very good explanation of why the Chinese - who use copious amounts of MSG which raises free glutamate levels in the body, use acupuncture. This ancient treatment actually blocks pain by blocking glutamate. 

May 9, 2010 - Tylenol given with vaccines has been linked to autism:

Children given Tylenol with their vaccines were SIX TIMES more likely to develop autism than children given ibuprofen (which is a glutamate BLOCKER).  This is key - because Tylenol, like excess MSG, lowers glutathione levels.  One of the genes for autism is for making glutathione.  Our theory is that Tylenol, by depleting an already low supply of glutathione, makes it more difficult for an autistic child to get rid of mercury FROM ANY SOURCE.  We have suspected this link for a while now, but the latest study just confirmed our fears. 

March 5,2010, The FDA has just issued recalls of foods with Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP) in them due to salmonella contamination. HVP is the ingredient added to processed foods so that they can get what is called a "clean label"  and the manufacturer does not have to label them as containing MSG. If you would like to avoid MSG, you should avoid all foods that are listed by the FDA as containing HVP, because HVP contains roughly 20% free glutamic acid (the "clean label" version of MSG) by weight. 

November 21, 2009 - the FDA has just approved Abilify to treat autism symptoms.  This GLUTAMATE BLOCKER is now being used to treat autism.  At the VERY SAME TIME, behavioral therapists are feeding MSG laden junk food to children with autism as REWARDS for behavior.

January 5, 2009 - Researchers have just discovered the gene involved in breast cancer metastasis.  The gene MTDH (short for metadherin) but also known as 3D3, AEG-1, AEG1, LYRIC affects cells susceptibility to glutamate excitotoxicity.  This gene is involved in the mestastasis of breast cancer, malignant gliomas, and melanomas.  Currently, excessive glutamate neurotoxicity due to MTDH, is believed to cause HIV dementia.  More..

November 6, 2008, The New York Times reports that in the Journal, Nature, researchers from Washington University in St. Louis report that they have found 10 genes for cancer - one of which is for a glutamate receptor (GRINL1B).

Think you're not eating MSG? 
See where glutamate is hidden

FLOW CHART of how MSG affects health.

Diseases which may be exacerbated by MSG, are autism and any disease treated with the following commonly prescribed glutamate BLOCKERS - Abilify, Amantadine, Baclofen, Gabapentin, Haloperidal, Ibuprofen, Ketamine, Lamotragine, Lithium, Liraglutide, Namenda (Memantine), NBQX, Riluzole, Tizanodine, Topiramate, Tramadol, as well as Vitamin B12, Vitamin E and Vitamin C.

Diseases which may be caused by MSG are obesity, Type II diabetes, and high blood pressure.    In studies, HEALTHY mice were made obese and leptin resistant, and AMPK was activated.  A recent Study in rural China on humans, shows MSG contributes to obesity, regardless of caloric intake or activity. Animal studies also showed that glutamate constricts blood vessels.  It acts as a calcium channel OPENER, and increased appetite in healthy animals by 40% by acting on the hypothalamus.  Those taking calcium channel blockers may be interested in knowing that MSG COUNTERACTS the most often prescribed medications for high blood pressure - calcium channel blockers.

Consequently, if you think you are immune from the effects of MSG because you don't have the autism genes, or the Alzheimer's genes, or high blood pressure, note that free glutamic acid acts on the pancreas to secrete insulin and acts to stimulate hunger by targeting the amygdala and hypothalamus and creates valium-like GABA in otherwise HEALTHY folks.  

Bon Appetit`,



Carol Hoernlein, P.E.
Founder -

Carol Hoernlein's book - "Virtual Food" about the processed-food industry is still in the works. 

We would like to thank, Debby Anglesey, and the bloggers at the discussion board there since 2000, who have contributed greatly to the expanded knowledge about MSG and aspartame for the past 11 years and who served as the initial inspiration for MSGTruth.  Thank you!

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