MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)

  • is an amino acid used as a flavor enhancer in soups, salad dressings, chips, frozen entrees, and many restaurant foods, especially Asian cuisine.  MSG  has been shown to cause neurological symptoms such as nervousness, headaches, depression, and fatigue, in sensitive individuals.
  • How can I know if there is MSG in my food?
    FDA requires that foods containing added MSG list it in the ingredient panel on the packaging as monosodium glutamate. However, MSG occurs naturally in ingredients such as hydrolyzed vegetable protein, autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed yeast, yeast extract, soy extracts, and protein isolate, as well as in tomatoes and cheeses. While FDA requires that these products be listed on the ingredient panel, the agency does not require the label to also specify that they naturally contain MSG. However, foods with any ingredient that naturally contains MSG cannot claim “No MSG” or “No added MSG” on their packaging. MSG also cannot be listed as “spices and flavoring.”

Aspartame (Brand Name NutraSweet and Equal)

Common Food Dyes associated with hyperactivity, especially in children with ADHD and Autism, include

Blue No. 2

  • is also called “indigo blue” or “indigotine,” a synthetic petroleum product, that is made from the natural indigo, a dye that comes from plants. It is used in baked goods, cereals, ice cream, snacks, candies and cherries.
  • In September 2007, a study reported by D. McCann and colleagues in the journal “The Lancet” linked artificial colorings, including Blue No. 2, to hyperactivity. Nearly 300 children in the study were given a beverage with artificial colors and a preservative. Drinking the beverage resulted in increased hyperactivity in the children, which the researchers attributed to the artificial coloring or the preservative or both. As a result, one candy company, Nestlé-Rowntree, stopped selling one of its candies with a blue shell until it replaced the artificial color with a new blue color made from spirulina, a blue-green algae.

Yellow No. 5

Red Dye No. 3

Red No. 40

For a complete list of potentially harmful food dyes, see the following link:


  • (Butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene) are preservatives found in cereals, chewing gum, potato chips, and vegetable oils. BHA/BHT are artificial preservatives used to increase the shelf life of foods on grocery shelf.

Sodium Nitrites/Nitrates

  • Used as a preservative, coloring, and flavoring in bacon, ham, hot dogs, lunch meats, corned beef, smoked fish and other processed meats. This is what gives ham its reddish color, for example.


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