Is Store Bought Chicken Broth Unhealthy?

Around the holidays I’m frequently asked if there is a brand of store bought chicken broth that I use. Although I rarely purchased it, several years ago I would have said that anything organic would be fine on occasion. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for me anymore.

I now realize that even though it is labeled “organic” store bought chicken broth can contain one insidious ingredient. That would be yeast extract, aka MSG, or mono sodium glutamate. For people such as myself with multiple sclerosis, a neurological disorder, MSG can be a dangerous ingredient. That may also be the case for those with other neurological issues including autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar disorder, sensory integration disorder (SPD), and Tourette syndrome.

Why is MSG dangerous? Dr. Katherine Reid does an excellent job outlining this in the video below. In it she explains why removing potential neurotoxins such as free glutamate (found in MSG which is hidden in our foods under names such as hydrolyzed protein, natural flavors, yeast extract, etc.) helped her daughter Brooke recover from autism, and the overall effect that food has on the brain.

Dr. Reid has created a fabulous organization called Unblind My Mind, that can provide more information on how the foods we eat can impact neurological health. Her mission, like mine is to improve the quality of people’s lives and to remind people that we are what we eat!

For additional information on food additives, please refer to one of my favorite books Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills. Written by Neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, M.D., I purchased this book shortly after it came out in 1997. I think the information in it is fabulous and that the book is still very timely and relevant.

So if you’ve found yourself wondering, “is store bought chicken broth unhealthy? Now you know.

For instructions on how to make your own chicken broth, see my How to Make Chicken Broth post. Homemade chicken soup has long been known as “Jewish penicillin,” it’s incredibly healthy, and when you make your own you avoid MSG and other sources of free glutamate.

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14 responses to “Is Store Bought Chicken Broth Unhealthy?”

  1. 6503086463
    MSG also spikes my arthritis, as does sulfates, nitrates, and wheat. Some meds too, especially Celebrex and Aleve. They help with the pain, but advance the disease.

  2. This is incredible information. I’ve checking labels for hidden MSG…and finding it more than I expected and sensing it has been having an effect on me. I wanted to ask if you are still using and recommending Nu Naturals Vanilla Stevia as it contains “natural flavors” which is a form of MSG/free gluamate (according the the Unblind My Mind site).

    • Jen,

      Thank you, I had forgotten that the Nu Naturals Vanilla Stevia that I have used contains natural flavors. I am going to order some stevia plants and begin to research making my own stevia from scratch.

      Thanks again!!!

  3. Elana,

    I love your blog and have purchased two of your cookbooks. I’ve always made my own broth, but now I’m hearing a lot about bone broth. Would you know how to make bone broth in a pressure cooker? The idea (that most recipes recommend) of cooking the broth for 24 – 48 hours makes me uncomfortable. I never leave cooking food unattended. I’d appreciate any direction you can give.

  4. Elana,
    Thank you so much for posting this video. I had absolutely no idea that msg was disguised in our foods by so many different names. I am cleaning out my pantry this morning and making my own broth as I type this. I always thought that I was so careful about what I was feeding my son. I am grateful to you for your recipes and your dedication to helping others. Thank you to you and Dr. Reid.

  5. I became MSG sensitive with my first pregnancy. It took years to figure out what was making me have palpitations, etc. In Bad Taste, a book by George R. Schwartz, was the one that clued me in as to what was going on. Life without MSG is inconvenient, but eating it puts me in the ER. And I do make my own chicken, beef, and veggie broths.

  6. Oh my goodness, that made me cry with joy! What a powerful video and really, really helpful info, Elana. Thanks so much for sharing this post, your experience, and Dr. Reid’s video with us all. I shared your link on Facebook earlier, but I had not watched the video at the time. Will share it again, now that I know the full power of this post!


    • Thanks for your comment, my dearest Shirley! Yes, this is an astounding piece of information. So many strategies in putting the pieces of the health puzzle together.

      xo Elana

  7. Thank you for sharing this video…… really makes you dig deeper and look a little closer. Rachel

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