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Cravings are things that have fascinated me for years.  Satisfying cravings is probably one of the most neglected causes of obesity and poor health.  Very little is understood about the Bio-chemistry or process of cravings.

We know that people often crave the very foods and products that they react to.  It draws the conclusion the need to satisfy a craving is very powerful and can dominate other memories and emotions.  One can have a horrendous reaction to some particular food but satisfying the craving for the same food dominates in their sense of priority.

What makes us crave?

Underlying these cravings is a compromised Nervous system.  The nervous system is one of the major energy distribution systems in the body.

In the course of my studies and research I read an article on under dosing and over dosing of medications.  The research was done using 5 different drugs, vitamins and minerals.    They measured the effects on the immune and nervous systems with various dosages that were higher and lower than recommended dosages. Where these altered dosages caused negative responses the impact was the same.  This not only tells that dosages must be set to fit the patient’s needs.  A lot of people self prescribe and set dosages for nutritional supplements.  If these supplements are not really required or if the dosage is incorrect there can be a detrimental effect on the immune and nervous systems.  An example of this is that some people take Vitamin C when they have a “Cold”.  If the dosage is not correct that person could actually be suppressing or over stimulating their immune systems and making things worse.

Naturopaths are trained to evaluate correct dosages of supplements.

In this aggravated state the person can start to crave foods which are high in Vitamin C.  This process flows through to most supplements and most foods. Some additives are known to have negative impacts on the nervous system. Two food additives that people consume a lot of is 623 (Monosodium Glutamate) and Aspartame.

Excessive intake of Glutamates and Aspartames can cause people to crave in general.  Their effect on the nervous system is well documented.

MSG is also called

Mono Sodium Glutamate

Natural Flavour

Hydrolysed Vegetable protein

Food Additives that ALWAYS contain MSG :

Monosodium Glutamate, Autolyzed Yeast, Hydrolysed Vegetable Protein, Hydrolysed Protein, Hydrolysed Plant Protein, Plant Protein Extract, Sodium Caseinate, Calcium Caseinate, Yeast Extract, Textured Protein (Including TVP), Hydrolysed Oat Flour, Corn Oil

Food Additives That FREQUENTLY Contain MSG:

Malt Extract, Malt Flavouring, Bouillon, Broth, Stock Flavouring, Natural Flavours/Flavouring, Natural Beef Or Chicken Flavouring, Seasoning, Spices, Maltodextrin and Whey Protein

Food Additives That MAY Contain MSG:

Carrageenan, Enzymes, Soy Protein Isolate, Soy Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Concentrate

You need to ask yourself, if MSG is so safe why is it listed/hidden under so many names?

Can MSG make me fat?

“One of the MSG symptom missing from this list above is obesity. Studies on animals showed that glutamate (MSG) constricts blood vessels because it acts as a calcium channel OPENER, and it also increased appetite in healthy animals by 40% by acting on the hypothalamus.

Consequently, if you think you are immune from the effects of MSG, 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.”

So to put it in simpler terms……

“You have a pancreas. When you eat sugar, your pancreas produces insulin to counteract the sugar. The insulin tells the cells in your body to absorb the excess sugar. The problem is, is that MSG causes an insulin response. And MSG isn’t a sugar. So guess what happens. The (MSG induced) insulin produced by your pancreas tells the cells in your body to absorb sugar.

Within an hour or two. You are low in sugar. Your body says “I need to eat”

So you eat.

But the food you eat has more MSG in it. So you produce more insulin than you need again. So you eat again, and again”

Hmmmm….sounds a bit suspicious!

Is MSG bad for me?

Only you can make this decision but with the increase in neurological disorders, cancer and various other diseases, something has to have changed in our society. And, truth be known, the one common factor is the increase of chemicals in our food and personal products. Studies by the hundreds are showing that MSG is linked to a plethora of symptoms and life altering diseases. It is time that we take some responsibility in what we consume and focus our efforts on putting healthy foods into our bodies.

Where do we go from here? This article is mostly about MSG.  There are hundreds of other food additives used today which we can write about.

Glutamate is found naturally in foods such as tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, peas, cheese, meats, fish, even human milk.  This brings us to what we call “Synergism”

Often the body can tolerate these sensitive components when eaten in whole foods.  There seems to be some safeguard interaction involved in eating whole foods.  When these substances are added in abnormal amounts to foods the safeguard mechanism breaks down and the body receives side effects/ bad reactions.

Bio-Compatibility testing is all about fitting the foods to the individual. First stage is to send a hair sample and find out which foods you CAN eat.

Part of the 6 month programme is to report back to your practitioner after 4 weeks.  At this stage your practitioner can determine if your body is coping well enough with the levels of nutrition etc within the foods you are eating.  If your cravings, weight control etc requires a little more assistance.  MSG intake could be one thing you may need to adjust.

This article reproduced with the permission of Dennis Hodges N.D.
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