Filled Under: health care
What is MSG? Side effects explained
Tags: MSG, side effects, excitotoxins
(NaturalNews) Did you know that a substance added to the foods you may be eating every day has been connected to a multitude of physical ailments, including everything from obesity to Alzheimer’s? And here’s the worst part: The food industry has been aware of this issue for decades yet uses this substance anyway. The troubling ingredient is monosodium glutamate. Read on to learn more about the hidden poison, commonly known as MSG, which may be lurking in your next meal.
What is MSG?
MSG, a salt form of a non-essential amino acid, is a flavor enhancer and common food additive. While many people exclusively associate MSG with Chinese takeout and salty processed meats, the truth is that MSG is contained in processed foods we eat every day, including salad dressing, barbecue sauce, bouillon cubes and canned soups and vegetables. It’s also an additive in many infant formulas and baby and children’s foods.
In short, MSG tricks the taste buds and brain into thinking that food tastes delicious. An excitotoxin, MSG works by triggering the brain to produce excess quantities of the feel-good drug dopamine. This allows food manufacturers to cut back on quality in order to increase their profits.
Unfortunately, the rush of good feelings caused by MSG doesn’t last, but the consequences do. MSG doesn’t just hook us by making food taste better. It is actually physically addictive, which keeps consumers coming back again and again. This not only leads to overeating but also wreaks havoc on the body’s comprehensive wellness.
Side Effects Explained
We’ve all heard of MSG headaches and nausea; this is often attributed to “MSG sensitivity.” Unfortunately, the problem goes far beyond that.
MSG has been linked to weight gain and even obesity by researchers. And it’s not just because MSG makes people want to consume more. In fact, groups of participants in one research study were restricted to the same caloric intake and physical activity, yet those who ate foods containing MSG were nearly three times more likely to be overweight than their non-MSG ingesting peers. (1)
Researchers have also connected MSG to liver and kidney damage as well as increased blood pressure. (2) (3) Furthermore, excitotoxins have been linked to brain damage, leading to a host of neurological diseases including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, lupus and many others. (4)
How to Avoid MSG
If you regularly rely on the “No MSG” labels on your food, it’s still likely that you are eating foods containing MSG. How? Because the FDA’s and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s regulations only require that MSG be disclosed when it’s added as a single ingredient. In other words, if MSG is added on its own, it must be listed on food labels. Otherwise, it may be lurking in your food under one of many seemingly innocuous names. The following items are likely to contain MSG (5):
- yeast food, autolyzed or hydrolyzed yeast, yeast extract, textured protein (including TVP [textured vegetable protein])
- hydrolyzed protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, plant protein extract, hydrolyzed plant protein
- soy protein (concentrate and isolate)
- dough conditioners
- malt (flavoring and extract)
- malted barley
- sodium caseinate
- calcium caseinate
- seasoning, spices
- flavoring of any kind (may be listed as “natural flavors” or “natural flavoring”)
- whey protein concentrate
- hydrolyzed oat flour
- bouillon, stock, broth
And don’t assume that it’s safe just because it came from the local health food store. Many “natural” and “organic” products also contain MSG.
One simple way to avoid consuming MSG is to buy whole foods and prepare them yourself. However, this isn’t always possible. The best defense against MSG is information. By being vigilant about checking food labels, knowing what to look for and asking the right questions, you can avoid ingesting this known toxin and enjoy a healthier life.
Why Americans Don’t Want to Start New Businesses
May 7, 2014
What’s worse than a country that doesn’t support job growth?
One that discourages the creation of new businesses.
For the first time in recent memory, the number of businesses failing is outpacing the number of businesses being created, according to data from the Brookings Institution. The trend started in the first year of the Obama Administration and has continued ever since.
A deeper dive into the data shows even more frightening news for the American entrepreneurial economy. It isn’t that businesses are failing at a higher rate. After all, companies come and go all the time, so a higher number of failures could be seen as a good sign: Optimism to give entrepreneurship a try no doubt leads to some companies that simply don’t take off.
Rather, the trend is driven by a slowdown in the number of businesses created in the country since 2008. In short, people don’t want to take the chance and start a company.
Related: What Will Get Americans Working Again?
That is scary because we already know that there are signs that American worker is too discouraged to get a job, with the labor force participation rate at the lowest level since the Carter Administration. But there was always a feeling that the business owner had a bit more optimism than the average worker.
Not so, according to the data. Brookings doesn’t cite reasons for the decline in business creation — in fact, the group notes such reasons are “unknown.” But it shouldn’t be hard to figure out.
Regulation. The unprecedented rise in regulation over the past six years has made it more burdensome to start a business. Many have focused on Obamacare and Dodd-Frank as some of the most onerous, but it is actually the nickel-and-diming of small-scale regulations that have had the most onerous effect on companies. Every day, we see a struggle between innovation and the regulatory framework in this country. Car-sharing services like Uber and Lyft have had to fight against laws protecting cab drivers. Google Glass has run afoul of motor-vehicle laws. Autonomous cars have been held back by state insurance requirements. The list goes on.
A new regulation is promulgated in America roughly every two-and-a-half hours. In fact, the cost of regulation in the U.S. is bigger than the economies of all but nine countries in the world. As a result, businesses of all sizes have had to face higher compliance costs.
Taxation. Death and taxes have always been inevitable, but the tax policies of recent years have taken a direct aim at American entrepreneurs. Take the “tax the rich” approach. Since so many small businesses are set up in a way where company profits are taxed as individual income, many hard-working people fell into tax hikes meant to target the country’s wealthy “elite.”
Even now, there is so much chatter about how the wealthy are not paying their fair share, even when just a cursory look at the data shows that small-business owners are hurt worse than anyone when tax hikes only target the richest.
Related: Why Are Business Owners Blamed for the Gender Pay Gap?
Large companies aren’t immune. A failure to address the double taxation that comes from repatriating income earned overseas means that $206 billion in profits can’t be brought back into the U.S. Think what kind of stimulus the country would enjoy — and what kind of business creation could occur — if companies were allowed to bring that money back to our borders.
The Blame Game. Time was, part of the American dream was trying to create a business. Entrepreneurs were heroes in our American story. Now they are villains. We hear socialist economists attacking the entrepreneurial economy. Business owners are blamed for keeping down workers by putting profits over people.
Worst of all, the sentiment against business owners comes from the top. Immediately after his State of the Union speech, President Obama embarked on a shame tour, giving speeches about how American workers are paid too little. Put aside that these companies employ people at a time of disturbingly high joblessness. Rather, the president and his union allies targeted businesses by promoting policies like higher minimum wages, even though there is no correlation that higher wages lead to job growth. One can make an easy argument that the opposite is true.
But business owners have become the easy target. They must be wealthy, and therefore must be hurting our fellow citizens.
Hogwash. Look at the misguided protests over higher wages for fast-food restaurant workers. Many of the owners of these franchises struggle themselves to make ends meet. In some cases, they could make more as a general manager at a restaurant somewhere than as a franchisee on their own. But union-backed protests have targeted them. Why would anyone take the risk of opening a business in that kind of hostile environment?
Here is why all of this is important: If you truly believe in more jobs, in better wages and broader prosperity, you need Americans to innovate, to take risks, and put their capital at work to create new businesses. You should be rooting for their success, since the more money they make, the more profits they have to reinvest in their businesses. That reinvestment invariably creates jobs, which creates wealth for others.
It shouldn’t be a hard concept to understand. Yet, our policy response continues to go in the wrong direction. Rather than allowing for reinvestment, the government continues to increase the take it demands from taxes and regulations. It is fashionable to punish success and badmouth the business owner, to boot. That attitude doesn’t create jobs. That doesn’t create wealth. That only creates resentment, and it erodes the very entrepreneurial spirit on which this nation was founded. Unless it is reversed, our economic problems will persist, and, worse, what it means to be an American entrepreneur will no longer resonate.
Related: How the New Obama Overtime Rules Will Squelch Opportunity
The Other McCain
“One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up.” — Arthur Koestler
The damage caused by the ObamaCare catastrophe — arguably the worst federal public policy initiative of the past 40 years — are usually discussed in terms of politics and macroeconomic statistics: X-number of jobs lost, an X-percent decline in President Obama’s poll numbers. True enough, the harms of the paradoxically named “Affordable Care Act” have impacted our entire society, hindering economic growth, incentivizing job losses, and resulting in policy cancellations and higher premiums for millions of Americans.
The very worst has been suffered by small businesses (both owners and employees) and by self-employed independent contractors. Statistics cannot adequately express what at an unprecedented nightmare many people have gone through. One of these ObamaCare victms, blogger Rich Vail, describes his frightening ordeal:
Last fall we received a letter saying that because of the myriad of changes that HHS had ordered health insurance companies to make to individual policies that were purchased on the open insurance market, that our health insurance would be cancelled…and it was despite they lies presented by President Obama and Sen’s Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski. “If you like your insurance, you can keep it, period.”
Because last year was a pretty good year for me, we don’t qualify for subsidies…so my insurance which had costs us $132 per month rose to $137 per week. We had the choice of paying that or the rent…
The problem now is that I have four fractured ribs…
Scientists at Johns Hopkins Come Closer to Eliminating Heart Disease
A world without heart disease seems impossible. But researchers at Johns Hopkins just got one step closer.
Scientists at Johns Hopkins University may be one step closer to eradicating debilitating heart diseases in humans, particularly those caused by excessive buildup of cholesterol.
A new study published in the journal Circulation shows that a synthesized drug reduces, and may even eradicate, the effects of high-fat and high-cholesterol diets. And though the drug is prosperous for the heart and brain most specifically, the entire body may benefit from this development.
“It’s the entire cardiovascular system that’s affected,” Ekaterina Pesheva, a representative for Johns Hopkins, told The Daily Beast. “The reason we’re worried about the heart and the brain is because those are the centers that end up being the most debilitating to human life when affected by fatty buildups.”
The study shows that the new drug under examination, known now as D-PDMP, changes the way fat metabolism works, and eliminates the risk of heart attack and heart disease. The drug halts the development of atherosclerosis, a word referring to the hardening of the arteries. Atherosclerosis is based on a buildup of fat and cholesterol in blood vessels, and happens to be the main cause of heart attacks in humans. Most notably, atherosclerosis is the No. 1 cause of death in humans (perhaps a little-known fact in a world rampant with famine, war, and crime).
Atherosclerotic heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, which develops when fat builds inside the blood vessels over time, rendering them stiff, narrowed, and hardened. This, in turn, reduces blood flow to the heart and brain.
Other kinds of heart disease include structural heart disease—people born with malformations of their heart, which is rare, and heart failure (mostly a result of poorly functioning heart muscle, which can be due to a number of causes, including atherosclerosis. It can also be caused by other conditions such as viral infections of the heart) will also benefit from this development.
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of these new developments is that the compound used to control the atherosclerosis is a widely available, man-made compound.
Dr. Subroto Chatterjee, Ph.D, a cardio-metabolic expert at Johns Hopkins Medicine, spearheaded the research and development of this project. “Atherosclerotic, in most colloquial terms, means clogged vessels, or vessels thickened by buildup of fat inside the vessel,” Chatterjee told The Daily Beast. “And this research was quite challenging,” he said, “but we feel like we got quite lucky with the development here.”
Chatterjee and his team found that D-PDMP almost totally eliminated the buildup of cholesterol in vital regions of the body. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of these new developments is that the compound used to control the atherosclerosis is a widely available, man-made compound.
The researchers tested the drug in mice and rabbits, Chatterjee told The Daily Beast. The mice were known to already have heart problems and the rabbits were known to have healthy hearts. That complicates the study, if only because the control group of the species isn’t specific to one cardiovascular system. Researchers fed both species a high-fat and high-cholesterol diet.
“Indeed, this diet nearly guarantees arteriosclerosis in these transgenic/mutant mice as they fail to handle LDL [low-density liver] cholesterol,” Chatterjee said. “In these animals on this diet, the risk of this disease is nearly 100%. There is one chance in four that your child may have blood cholesterol that is too high. Healthy individuals have a one in two chance of abnormally elevated blood cholesterol,” he said. “More than 70 million Americans have high cholesterol, according to the CDC.”
Cholesterol control is a contentious field in medical research, because the side effects of drugs used to treat the issue can be dangerous. The Daily Beast spoke with John McEvoy, a cardiology fellow in preventive cardiology physician, at Johns Hopkins, who was not involved with this particular study.
“It’s always very important when a new mechanism for treating high cholesterol and heart disease comes about,” McEvoy said. “This pathway and new treatment are very exciting in that regard. However, the next step for these researchers will be making sure there are no side effects of the drug that are harmful to humans.”
Chatterjee said that the actual development of the drug is about five years away. He put its science in simple terms
“Imagine you have clogged up plumbing due to debris,” Chatterjee said. “Similar clogging in our blood vessels occurs due to fat and cholesterol building up over time. Our drug, we hope, will prevent [or] delay the rise in cholesterol and fat and thus prevent thickening/hardening of the blood vessel. This is like the use of Drano to clean up our plumbing at home.”
Fuzzy math from administration over ObamaCare?
By Jim Angle
Published April 04, 2014
Although the president and his aides trumpeted the ObamaCare enrollment figures as a success, the administration did not always see those numbers as something to brag about.
In his Rose Garden appearance this week, Obama seemed elated to proclaim “7.1 million Americans have now signed up for private insurance plans through these marketplaces.”
But it remains unclear how many of those sign ups have paid premiums in order to be officially enrolled, or how many were previously uninsured.
In addition, even though officials are celebrating the 7 million mark,the White House once minimized numbers twice that large– the 14 million people in the individual insurance market who were facing cancellations because their policies did not have all the required benefits of ObamaCare.
That created a huge political backlash, in part because the president had promised everyone could keep their plans and doctors “no matter what” — so the president and his aides played the numbers down as just a small group.
In a news conference last November, Obama portrayed the individual market as a small portion of the insurance market, saying “Keep in mind that the individual market accounts for five percent of the population.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney made the same statement repeatedly, including the next day, saying “Five percent of the country (is) in the individual insurance market, a portion of that five percent is affected by the cancellation notices.”
Because of the public uproar, Obama asked state officials to allow those policies to be extended.
Twenty-one states, however, including California and New York, flatly refused. California alone had 900,000 individual policies cancelled, adding to a national total of several million.
Doug Holtz-Eakin, former head of the Congressional Budget Office, says “if you look at the 7 million and you shave off the 20 percent who probably haven’t paid, you’ve got about 5 and a half million people and that’s roughly the number of people that were in the individual market and started having their policies cancelled.”
That 20 percent number who don’t pay has often been cited by insurance sources. Blue Cross/Blue Shield this week confirmed that up to 20 percent of those enrolled by February 1 still have not paid a premium.
As far as the potential cancellations, Carney referred to the 14 million as a “sliver” of the population, even though it’s double the number of current signups.
“You need to look at the 7 million in the context of the U.S. population, and that’s about 330 million people,” says Dan Mendelson of Avalere Health, a non-partisan consulting and analysis firm. “So, this, this program is going to insure about two percent of the total folks who live in the United States.”
So while the administration portrayed that two percent as victory, the five percent facing cancellations was minimized, leading Holtz-Eakin to observe that ” it can’t be the case that, you know, five percent is no big deal and signing up two percent is a triumph, those two can’t stand simultaneously.”
Some of those who were cancelled were forced into ObamCare, which added to the enrollment numbers, even though they only needed insurance because their policies had been cancelled, not because they were uninsured.
Jim Angle currently serves as chief national correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). He joined FNC in 1996 as a senior White House correspondent.