[back] MSG in vaccines
[back] Aspartame & MSG

MSG In Vaccines by Jack Samuels /Yurko Project

The Use Of Processed Free Glutamic Acid (MSG) In Vaccines.

I am very concerned about the use of processed free glutamic acid (MSG) in vaccines and infant formulas.

Let me begin by defining the term MSG.

The glutamate industry and companies, including pharmaceutical firms, that wish to use processed free glutamic acid (MSG) in their products, improperly claim that the term "MSG" only applies to the food ingredient "monosodium glutamate."  They pretend not to realize that "monosodium glutamate" is nothing more than glutamic acid that has been freed from protein through a manufacturing process (processed free glutamic acid), salt (sodium), and moisture.  It is the processed free glutamic acid that MSG-sensitive people react to, providing that they ingest amounts that exceed their tolerances for the substance.  Consumers may react to processed free glutamic acid that is contained in any food ingredient or product, including AuxiGro, regardless of the name of the ingredient or product.

Because MSG-sensitive people may react to all ingredients and products that contain processed free glutamic acid, they refer to such ingredients and products as containing "MSG."  In August, 1995, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noted in a document entitled the "FDA Backgrounder" that consumers frequently refer to all [free] glutamic acid as "MSG."  The "FDA Backgrounder" is still in use by the FDA and can likely be found on their Web site.

Based on peer reviewed studies, there is no question that glutamic acid is neurotoxic.  This can be easily confirmed by accessing MEDLINE retrieval service for studies dating from 1966 to the present, using the words "glutamic acid" in combination with the words "brain lesions" and then "neurotoxicity."  I would also suggest that you look up the words "learning disabilities," "obesity," "asthma," "tachycardia," and "seizures" in combination with the words "glutamic acid."

I would suggest that MEDLINE be accessed at a medical school library or at a major public library.  It has been my experience that the MEDLINE retrieval systems available on Internet, are not complete.

There is also no question that the young are most at risk from MSG.  To confirm this, you might start by reviewing the work of John W. Olney, MD. and look up the words "glutamic acid" in combination with the words "blood brain barrier" and "placental barrier."  You will learn that the blood brain barrier is not fully developed in the young to protect against toxins that enter the blood, and that glutamic acid can also penetrate the placental barrier.

Disregarding the blood brain barrier and the placental barrier issues, the literature clearly indicates that, based on the amount of MSG used in the 1970s, over 25% of the population react to MSG.  You might check the studies by Reif-Lehrer and a study by Kenney and Tidball.  A later glutamate industry funded study by Kerr, et al. attempts to discredit the above stated studies by narrowly defining what an MSG reaction is.  A careful reading of the Kerr et al. study will disclose that 43% of the respondents in the study reacted to MSG with reactions that we now recognize as possible MSG reactions.

Although we have not reviewed all vaccines used on infants, we have found one or two sources of processed free glutamic acid (MSG) in those that we have information on.  In discussion with a retired executive of a company that produces vaccines, he suggested to me that all viral vaccines would have free glutamic acid, used to feed the live virus.  The glutamic acid in vaccines are often described as "stabilizers," i.e., ingredients to keep the virus alive. We describe them as a hidden source of processed free glutamic acid (MSG).

An example for you would be the Chickenpox Vaccine by VariVax -- Merck & Co., Inc. (Merck).  This vaccine includes "L-monosodium glutamate" and "hydrolyzed gelatin." 

Another example would be Merck's M-M-R vaccine.  The product insert states that the growth medium for measles and mumps includes "amino acids" and "glutamate."  It is also stated that the medium for rubella included "amino acids" and "hydrolyzed gelatin."  Finally, it states that the "reconstituted vaccine" for subcutaneous administration includes hydrolyzed gelatin.

We have no way of knowing which amino acids are used in Merck's vaccines, but we do know that the amino acids "glutamic acid," "aspartic acid," and "L-cysteine" are neurotoxic.  We also know that any hydrolyzed protein, such as the hydrolyzed gelatin will contain some processed free glutamic acid (MSG), some aspartic acid, and some L-cysteine, all considered to be neurotoxic by neuroscientists.  Even without hydrolyzing gelatin, gelatin contains over 11% processed free glutamic acid (MSG) and some aspartic acid and L-cysteine.  It is present as a result of the manufacturing process that results in gelatin.

The product insert for M-M-R vaccine by Merck provides a contraindication that states, in part: "Hypersensitivity to any component of the vaccine, including gelatin."  It is footnoted to the following reference:

             Kelso, J.M.; Jones, R.T.; Yunginger, J.'W.: Anaphylaxis to measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine mediated by IgE to   gelatin, J. Aller. Clin. Immunol.. 91: 867-872, 1993.

I cannot help but wonder if at least some of the subjects in the study of Kelso, et al. reacted to gelatin.  Most reactions to processed free glutamic acid (MSG), as contained in gelatin, are not IgE mediated.  They are best described as a sensitivity to a toxic substance.

If you wish to determine more about Merck vaccines, I would suggest you call their National Service Center at (800) NSC-MERCK.  Do not ask about the presence of "MSG" in vaccines.  Rather, ask about the presence of "free glutamic acid."  You will have a better chance of getting a reliable answer.

Merck does not produce DPT vaccine, and I have not yet received my confirmation that the product includes processed free glutamic acid (MSG).  I am, however, told by others that it does.  If you wish, when I receive confirmation of the ingredients that are in DPT vaccine, I will let you know.

Not long ago, a vaccine for Rotavirus came to market.  The product, which contained some processed free glutamic acid (MSG), carried a warning in the product insert that it not be used for individuals who had a hypersensitivity to MSG.  Shortly after the Rotavirus came to market, it was found that the vaccine resulted in digestive blockages, and the product was withdrawn from the market.

Finally, it is noted that the vaccines that we have reviewed contain one or more "phosphates."  Based on my experiences as an MSG-sensitive individual with little tolerance for MSG, and reports from other MSG-sensitive people with little tolerance for the substance, phosphates can cause an MSG-type reaction.  Although we find no data in the literature to explain such reactions, we believe that the reactions are related to the fact that phosphates use up calcium and magnesium, minerals that are involved in the metabolism of glutamic acid.

One last comment regarding the exposure of infants to processed free glutamic acid (MSG): the presence of processed free glutamic acid (MSG) in infant formulas.  We have found that major brands of infant formula, if not all infant formulas, contain some processed free glutamic acid (MSG).  The hypoallergenic soy formulas contain very high levels of MSG.  See www.truthinlabelingorg/formulacopy.html for further detail.  It might be worthwhile for someone to do a study of people who were raised on hypoallergenic formulas to determine if they have experienced a higher incidence of obesity, learning disabilities, and/or ADHD, in childhood and/or endocrine disorders later in life, as compared with people who were breast fed, and then as compared with people who were raised on milk based infant formulas.

If I can be of any further help to anyone on this important subject, they should not hesitate to write or call.  If anyone receives a list of ingredients from vaccine producers, I would be pleased to go over the ingredients and advise them of the ingredients that contain processed free glutamic acid (MSG). 

Jack Samuels
(858) 481-9333
Francine Yurko (NMW)