MSG in infant vaccines and baby formula

Everybody knows that MSG is a flavor-enhancing additive and we have all heard of “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome,” a reaction to MSG that causes sensitive people to get headaches, dizziness or other symptoms. Few of us realize, however, that MSG has been finding its way into most – if not all – packaged foods in steadily increasing amounts.

The reason is simple: start with bland, highly processed food, add some MSG and you end up with something that is sure to sell.

But MSG in infant vaccines? This sounds outrageous but somehow it’s true. The reason it’s added is not taste but some other stabilizing effect it is reported to have. If you are having trouble believing this, read about it on the government’s own website at You might also like to know that MSG is in flu shots as well (along with mercury).

But here’s more: as it turns out, MSG is also being added to many types of infant formula (see for a list) as well as baby foods.

So what? you may ask, if your child is not sensitive to MSG. But the reality is that MSG has a long list of adverse effects that are unrelated to whether someone is sensitive to it, but are dose-dependent and worse when exposure occurs during gestation, infancy or early childhood. This is also not one person’s opinion but has been shown in widely published animal and human research. So then, one could ask, why we are not restricting its use? Frankly I am wondering that too.

Russell Blaylock, MD is the undisputed expert on MSG toxicity. He has been monitoring the worldwide research on MSG and summarized it in his book “Excitotoxins, The Taste That Kills.” For all the details and references you should read Dr. Blaylock’s book but, in summary, research has shown that MSG:

• Is most toxic when exposure occurs early in life
• Exposure close to the time of birth causes destruction of brain cells with excessive exposure leading to severe neurological problems later in life
• Aggravates the toxic effects of mercury or lead
• Has been linked with memory impairment and learning disorders in children and adults
• Has been linked with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and virtually every other neuro-degenerative disorder
• Has been linked with diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol.

In addition, the toxic effects of MSG are amplified with concurrent magnesium deficiency (one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in our country). Aspartame (Nutrasweet) and other additives, often listed on labels as “hydrolyzed” or “textured” proteins, while not strictly related to MSG, all have the same adverse effects.

The problem with MSG is not the occasional trip to a Chinese restaurant, but constant intake of this additive – especially early in life. According to Dr. Blaylock, the first line of defense is avoidance. However, certain dietary supplements also can help limit its damaging effects. These include antioxidants, taurine, fish oil, milk thistle, green tea, ginkgo and, of course, magnesium.

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