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.
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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.
I’ve read that slow cooking meat and bones for broth also increases the amount of glutamate in the food. She actually advocates for a shorter cooking time when making bone broth, and to not use vinegar. However, Weston Price recommends the exact opposite – 24 hours with a couple of tablespoons of vinegar to draw out minerals, collagen, etc. It’s very confusing! Do you have any insights on this?