A few years ago I was suffering from dizziness, especially going down stairs and an inability to remember numbers and facts. I also felt like I was on the verge of getting the flu because my glands in my right arm were always sore.

Given I am a scientist, the loss of balance and remembering ability was freaking me out big time. I was only 30 at the time (I am 34 now) and was too scared to tell anyone. I was writing notes that I would read and re-read to compensate for the inability to remember large strings of data. Bear in mind remembering a 20 digit number had been no problem for me and all of a sudden remembering 2 digits was difficult.

I had been on a diet to lose weight and kept my calorie intake below 1600 calories a day. I was also working long hours therefore was eating a lot of quick foods like noodles (with those flavour sachets). I would get woozy but it would never occur to me that there was something majorly wrong.

I was in a Chinese restaurant with friends and ordered the Chicken and Corn soup. Within ten minutes of eating the soup I started getting pains in my arms, chest and face. I thought I might be having a heart attack (what did I know?). I felt like my face was swelling and then I crashed. I was soooooo tired. I only ate white rice after the soup. It was almost as if my body was demanding it. It was a friend at the table who had an intolerance to MSG that told me what was happening. I
asked the waitress, she laughed and told me it was the MSG.

The first thing I did when I left that restaurant was buy four bars of candy and a bag of jelly belly candy. I can eat a lot of sweets but never as much as I ate that day. I was lying down on shop stools because I was so tired. It took four days for me to be able to stay awake for more than a few hours.

I would cry whenever I saw soup stock cubes or anything else that contained MSG in my kitchen and would quickly throw it away. The wooziness and dizziness slowly disappeared as did the persistent swollen gland feeling in my arm.

Why am I telling you this? It is the remembering ability. It was not mentioned on any website that I have looked at. About ten months after I stopped eating MSG I was working on an instrument in France and looking for a phone number and I actually remembered it. It was ten digits. I sat there and stared in wonder.

I might not have been able to remember facts a year before but all of a sudden I could remember 10 digits again after having looked at the number only a couple of times. I still cannot remember 20 digit numbers but my mind improves everyday.

If MSG was affecting my ability to remember in my ‘old age’ of 30, and I was not exposed to it on a regular basis as a kid, what is it doing to kids in our schools? What is happening to their little brains? If I had my way I would ban all additives in foodstuffs. There are other ways to preserve foods that do not include additives. Furthermore, fresh is best and is it really that hard to prepare a meal? No. I just wanted you to know exactly how bad MSG can be affecting young minds. – by
email, Germany