Has anyone tried of heard of Low Glutamate diet?

hapl808

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I've tried this ad nauseam since a lot of my problems seem to trigger PEM after any stimulating activities. I also don't like that she's coy about exactly what this amazing low glutamate diet incorporates. I assume many of us are already eating low-histamine diets with zero additives. I don't eat tomatoes in any form, soy sauce, aged cheeses, etc. I tried more research and cutting out any potentially higher glutamate rich foods - anything braised for long periods, etc.

I get a small improvement from cutting out glutamate rich foods like tomato sauce - mostly digestive rather than any neurological improvement. Beyond that, I'm not sure.

"Free forms of glutamate can be found as flavor enhancing food additives, as well as in some naturally occurring sources such as soy sauce, aged cheeses, seaweed, mushrooms, and tomato sauce."

So does the main thrust of her diet amount to: don't eat things with any form of MSG plus a few other things. I think somewhere she mentions also cutting out capsules made of gelatin, which I tried as well with absolutely no change that I could observe.
 

Nuno

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I've tried this ad nauseam since a lot of my problems seem to trigger PEM after any stimulating activities. I also don't like that she's coy about exactly what this amazing low glutamate diet incorporates. I assume many of us are already eating low-histamine diets with zero additives. I don't eat tomatoes in any form, soy sauce, aged cheeses, etc. I tried more research and cutting out any potentially higher glutamate rich foods - anything braised for long periods, etc.

I get a small improvement from cutting out glutamate rich foods like tomato sauce - mostly digestive rather than any neurological improvement. Beyond that, I'm not sure.

"Free forms of glutamate can be found as flavor enhancing food additives, as well as in some naturally occurring sources such as soy sauce, aged cheeses, seaweed, mushrooms, and tomato sauce."

So does the main thrust of her diet amount to: don't eat things with any form of MSG plus a few other things. I think somewhere she mentions also cutting out capsules made of gelatin, which I tried as well with absolutely no change that I could observe.
Summing it up, so basically we just avoid tomatoes, aged cheese, MSG, soy, shrooms, seaweed and essentially that makes a low glutamate diet?

All that paper was a bit weird you are right, thank you for sharing the experience
 

hapl808

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Summing it up, so basically we just avoid tomatoes, aged cheese, MSG, soy, shrooms, seaweed and essentially that makes a low glutamate diet?
I don't know if she has more as they had a nutrition 'counselor' or something work with people. But in her 'published' paper, she doesn't have a clear breakdown of the diet that I could find.

I looked into it closely and tried different things based on her research and interviews, the REID diet, epilepsy diets, low amine or histamine or salicylate diets, the Failsafe diet, etc. I tried avoiding tomatoes, cabbage, spinach, soy sauce, cheese, corn and peas, anything slow cooked, etc.

I'm still convinced that some kind of neurotransmitter imbalance is involved, but I don't seem to be able to control it through diet. If I work on the computer for a couple hours, I will have migraines and nausea and digestive problems for the next few days. The less concentration I need to use, the less symptoms. No idea why.
 

xebex

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I am careful to avoid high glutamate foods like bone broth, soy sauce, meat that’s been cooked for a long time like stews or pulled pork and any kind of restaurant food, god knows what they do to it but it affects me so badly.

Tomatoes don’t seem to be an issue for me for some reason. If I don’t avoid these foods I get terrible all over body migraines, sound and light sensitivity, irritability and low blood pressure with a horrible feeling that my limbs are floppy (am guessing vasodilation). The diet doesn’t seem to make a difference to my activity tolerance or PEM.
 

vision blue

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Glutamates give me migraines (including vertigo) and glutimate relatives like maltodextrin so try to avoid, and many non-fresh foods, not just the very aged ones, gives me all minor of neuro symptoms (depending on which amines) and tyramines increase my bp, sometime sgreatly. I'm sure i'm hist-amine senstive too, but again which amine it is determines symptoms. I don't know the relation between glutimate snesitivy and amine sensitivity bot i do have a mast cell problem and i'm sure in teh pass a big leaky gut and now probalby also a blood-brain barrier breach.

I've read that tea can counteract glutamines, so may be a try if that's an option for you. other things in tea bother me so i can't really gry that,and haven't gotten around to the threonine that's supposed to be the ingredient in the tea, especially green tee, that anatagonizes glutamate. if you try it, let us know what happens.

for amines though, having avoided them for years, i think i'm better off trying not to do that and that may end up being counterproductive
 
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@hapl808 , @Nuno , @xebex , @vision blue
"Free forms of glutamate can be found as flavor enhancing food additives, as well as in some naturally occurring sources such as soy sauce, aged cheeses, seaweed, mushrooms, and tomato sauce."
Glutamic acid/glutamate hides in so many different forms and under so many different names that its hard to keep track of everything you have to avoid.


Google The Truth About MSG.org for a full listing of the many many forms of MSG/glutamate that sneaks into our diets and systems. There's another good site, but I cant recall it right now.

EDIT I just tried to find The Truth About MSG site, and it's disappeared, replaced by useless articles along the lines of " .... it's probably not as bad as it's cracked up to be ...". I had to look really hard to find even marginal info about MSG's many, many names and forms.

Here are a few
  • monosodium glutamate
  • potassium glutamate
  • autolyzed yeast
  • yeast extract
  • yeast food
  • yeast nutrient
  • hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • hydrolyzed protein
  • hydrolyzed plant protein
  • hydrolyzed oat flour
  • plant protein extract
  • sodium caseinate
  • calcium caseinate
  • textured protein
  • maltodextrin
  • malt extract
  • bouillon/broth/stock
  • any flavors or flavoring, except those noted as 'organic', which is a legal definition that's not to be fooled with, or about. "Natural' can mean absolutely anything, including but not limited to 'natural vanilla flavor-, produced from beaver's anal glands.
  • natural flavoring
  • artificial flavoring
  • natural beef flavoring
  • natural chicken flavoring
  • seasoning
  • many spices
  • some soy sauces not fermented in the old-fashioned way
  • soy protein isolate
  • soy protein concentrate
  • whey protein isolate
  • gelatin
  • carrageenan
  • enzyme modified
  • protein fortified
  • fermented
  • ultra pasteurized
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Good luck finding real info. Google has become the most controlled information source on the planet, and if an industry wants negative information gone, it disappears.

I think somewhere she mentions also cutting out capsules made of gelatin
My first introduction was when I finally, slowly, realized that all soft-gels made me worse, so I cut out all soft gel supps. Then I realized that animal gelatin caps did the same thing. I now only use 'vegetarian capsules' supps.


It seems incredible that something as small as a gelatin cap could raise havoc, but for me it did.
Summing it up, so basically we just avoid tomatoes, aged cheese, MSG, soy, shrooms, seaweed and essentially that makes a low glutamate diet?
I wish. It's a lot more complex than that. I havent read the linked article, cause I'm having a stellarly bad brain day, but if the author doesnt go into more detail and more clarity I would regard it as either useless, or shilling for some magic product that will fix everything.


MSG (1 molecule of glutamate bound to one molecule of salt, hence 'mono-sodium-glutamate') is present in just about everything we eat, even if we eat 'naturally'. Peas are extremely high in glutamate. So is barley. Mushrooms are very high in glutamic acid/glutamate. Even rice cakes are. Seaweed is HUGE in glutamate/glutamic acid, and the original source of Ajinomoto's MSG empire. The legend is that somewhere before WW II, a man realized that his wife was adding something to what she cooked that made everything really, really tasty, and when he asked her, she said she was using a local (Japan) seaweed that her mother and her mother's mother had used forever. He quickly isolated the primary substance, opened a factory, and Ajinomoto MSG was born. Shortly after WWII, the US added it to C-Rations and later, MRE's. After that, it didnt take long for large food corporations, especially producers of the 1950's frozen TV dinners, to discover its magic. It's really disheartening.
I'm still convinced that some kind of neurotransmitter imbalance is involved, but I don't seem to be able to control it through diet.
You have to eliminate an awful lot of stuff. I had to eliminate everything I was eating, until finally, I was subsisting on water, mozzarella, swiss, and gouda cheeses, a little yogurt (which has carrageenan, another source of glutamate) and that's about it.


There's another problem that may be connected to this. Sometime around the 60's, bread companies stopped using iodine as a dough conditioner and substituted the much cheaper bromine, which attaches to iodine receptors in your thyroid gland, blocking the absorption of iodine and creating thyroid dysfunctions of varying types and severities, and by extnsion, potential disruption of neurotransmitters.

I've read that tea can counteract glutamines, so may be a try if that's an option for you. other things in tea bother me so i can't really gry that,and haven't gotten around to the threonine that's supposed to be the ingredient in the tea, especially green tee, that anatagonizes glutamate. if you try it, let us know what happens.
I tried green tea, for exactly that reason, and thought I was going to tear thru my skin. It aggravated all my sensitivities and problems, and it was the theanine that was at fault. We're all different, so it may work for you, but if you sense that you're getting worse, it could be the tea/theanine.


I hope this helps y'all. Dealing with glutamate problems is tough, but it's doable. You just need to be really, really motivated .....
 
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Wishful

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Some of my diet experiments would have been zero glutamate for fairly long periods, but made no difference. MSG doesn't bother me, so don't try to apply that to someone who is sensitive.
 

hapl808

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Yeah, the problem is that I've tried eliminating all sources and had 'maybe' a slight improvement. I know it can hide in lots of foods, but here's an example of a diet I tried that should have been low glutamate:

Fresh Ground Beef (bought from a butcher using relatively fresh beef and frozen immediately after grinding)
Salt

That's it. I did that for a month or two. Salt and beef. Then I tried adding low histamine cheeses like mozzarella. It was fine - my digestion eventually stabilized, but the mental stimulation PEM didn't go away. The more boring my day, the better I felt physically.

Another diet I tried:

Chicken (frozen immediately after purchase, roasted with no spices)
Butter
Rice
Green Tea

That should've been low free glutamate, yet again it didn't fix the issue.

There's also a big difference between talking about added sources like hydrolized protein or flavorings, and eating a completely whole food diet prepared at home with fresh ingredients and minimal or no seasoning. Even now my diet is more varied than the above, but the highest glutamate thing I eat might be roasted cabbage.

I don't know, it seems like there's something there but it's beyond my ability or energy to find it. I'm exhausted from trying diets, tracking things in Cronometer or Excel, etc. Sometimes I can manage to slightly improve the HRV numbers in my Garmin, but I still can't stand up unassisted, so there's that.
 
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Some of my diet experiments would have been zero glutamate for fairly long periods,
Given the number of 'healthy' raw foods that contain relatively large amounts of glutamic acid, that's unlikely ...
MSG doesn't bother me, so don't try to apply that to someone who is sensitive.
MSG is just glutamate bound to a molecule of sodium. If it doesnt bother you and you're really sure of that, then moderate amounts of dietary glutamate/glutamic acid shuldnt be a problem for you.

For some of the rest of us tho, it really is.
Even now my diet is more varied than the above, but the highest glutamate thing I eat might be roasted cabbage.
Cabbage is not the worst offender, glutamate-wise. Chinese cabbage is the highest in the cabbage family, the rest are medium to moderate.

It looks like no one read my post above, which includes a listing of about half of the varied names/substances that are extraordinarily high in glutamate/glutamic acid.
I don't know, it seems like there's something there but it's beyond my ability or energy to find it.
You don't have to look too far. I posted a trainload of information in my post, just above this .... I did it on a day when I didnt have a lot of energy and was fighting against severe cognitive hoo-ha, and now I'm wondering why I bothered ....
 

hapl808

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It looks like no one read my post above, which includes a listing of about half of the varied names/substances that are extraordinarily high in glutamate/glutamic acid.
I tried to read it. I've gone through long periods of having nothing on that list (as I said - fresh beef with salt). Sometimes I've had a couple things on the list - for instance ultra-pasteurized dairy or cumin (which I guess is a seasoning).

Otherwise I've gone through periods where I've taken my supplements out of their gelatin capsules, ate chicken or rice with no seasonings for every single meal, etc.

So yes, sometimes cabbage is the worst offender in my diet (as it seems worse than carrots or rice or chicken). I don't eat broths, I don't eat prepared foods or leftovers. So I'm not sure what you're saying on not reading the list of substances? But I'm exhausted and in a fowl mood (from all the chicken) so I might be missing what you're saying.

I'm willing to try many things (hence my Carnivore diet experiments, my multi-day fasts, etc). Doesn't seem to matter. My digestion eventually settles, but any mental activity triggers brutal multi-day PEM even if I'm fasting.
 

hapl808

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And when I say cabbage is the worst offender - I mean on the list of glutamate foods. I notice no difference between cabbage or carrot or zucchini or whatever.

I spent hours trying to devise a diet that was minimal free glutamates, minimal salicylates, minimal amines, minimal histamine, etc. The intersection is, as you know, quite restrictive and one place says rice is okay, one says it's bad. One says a ripe pear is okay, the other says it's bad. No one can agree on any of it, so who knows.
 

hapl808

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And for anyone interested in trying, my research showed the following could be could for protecting against glutamate in various ways: holy basil, moringa, nigella sativa, etc.

A restrictive low free glutamate diet (with other restrictions) could include skinless chicken, peeled white potato, short grain white rice, pears, ghee or butter, etc. Other possible foods (depending on the restrictions) include eggs, mozzarella, lentils (haven't tried but one of the sites suggested).

A very short list from a ridiculous amount of probably useless research.
 
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I know. It's really frustrating.

Lentils are very high in glutamate, as are almost all beans from pintos to kidneys. Ditto pears, grapes and other fruits I can't remember, cause.... brain. Beef is very low in glutamate, about 10 mgs per 100 gms ...Peas are very high, corn is high, chicken is higher than beef with about 22 mg per 100 gms ... potatoes are high, broccoli is high, as you noted cabbage (esp Napa) is high.

Protein powder is extremely high, as is pea protein powder. Also powdered milk. Any aged cheese is really really high in glutamate, which rules out all the totally delicious ones ....
But I'm exhausted and in a fowl mood (from all the chicken)
:D:D :rofl::rofl::rofl: :lol::lol: ... extra points for truly fowl punning ....
I've gone through periods where I've taken my supplements out of their gelatin capsules,
I still do. For some reason, in spite of a rigorous low-to-no glutamate reset diet which worked pretty well after almost 3 years on practically air and water with some mozzarella, Swiss and gouda cheeses , I can actually feel the effects of taking any supp in an animal protein gelatin capsule. Really weird. But I've learned not to argue with my body. If it doesn't like it, it's out.
So I'm not sure what you're saying on not reading the list of substances
Which is why you should read the list I included in my post above. Like I said, it only includes about half of the many names food producers use to sidestep the requirement to list any MSG in their products. MSG-type glutamate flies under so many different names and is in sooooo many different things that you'd never suspect that it's dizzying.
 

hapl808

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Which is why you should read the list I included in my post above. Like I said, it only includes about half of the many names food producers use to sidestep the requirement to list any MSG in their products. MSG-type glutamate flies under so many different names and is in sooooo many different things that you'd never suspect that it's dizzying.
I did read the list. As I said, my diet often includes foods with no ingredients whatsoever. None. Period. It's not about the names food producers use to hide MSG for me. I was eating chicken or beef. Maybe rice. Maybe some low glutamate vegetables or fruit (but every site disagrees on which is which). That's it.

There are certain natural foods that people agree are higher in free glutamate - tomato, corn, peas, seaweed, mushrooms, grapes, etc. I eat none of those. I'm not sure why you have pear or potato as very high, but cheddar and gouda as low. Cheddar and gouda are low…considering they are cheeses. Still likely over 100mg per 100g.

My point is just that I really have tried this. Multiple day water fasts, eating beef and salt ONLY for months, etc. It made no difference for my mental PEM crashes, so I have loosened up on those things. If eating beef and salt didn't help, I don't understand what am I looking at the list for? I even tried to deal with butchers so I was getting fresher beef that wouldn't have histamine build up. Not sure it made any difference.

Now I eat chocolate, a wider range of vegetables, etc. Still pretty restrictive (low histamine, no gluten etc), but I kind of gave up on the low free glutamate diet after beef and salt didn't help my symptoms.
 

hapl808

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It frustrates me because it does seem connected, but it doesn't help when people say MSG IS HIDING IN EVERYTHING. I'm aware of that and I know it affects most people. But if you're eating beef from the neighborhood butcher and nothing else (even tried cutting out salt), shouldn't my symptoms improve greatly? But they didn't. The Carnivore people say I didn't do it long enough (only two months pretty strictly), but that's the advice for everyone who has a pet theory. Try it for a month. Oh it didn't work, well try two months. Try six months. Try five years.

Just tired of crashing every time I spend an hour trying to Google free glutamate content of foods to try to avoid crashing.
 
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but cheddar and gouda as low. Cheddar and gouda are low…considering they are cheeses. Still likely over 100mg per 100g.
I never even mentioned cheddar, altho it's not a bad choice. I just dont like it very much so it wasnt on my survival list. Gouda is one of the lower glutamate cheeses that are readily available. Ditto mozzarella. Also un-aged Swiss.

Gouda has approx 6 gms of glutamic acid (not to be confused with glutamate but an indicator of how much potential glutamate a product may contain) in 100 gms of cheese. So 6% total, before conversion to free glutamic acid/ glutamate during processing.

All cow cheeses are going to have glutamic acid/glutamate, just as all beans and lentils will. It's a naturally occurring amino acid, and as well as I recall, an essential one. The trick, and it's not an easy one, is to avoid hitting and then surpassing your tolerance level, which seems to become lower and lower the more glutamate you ingest, and depending on what meds you're taking and what health issue you may be dealing with.
The Carnivore people say I didn't do it long enough (only two months pretty strictly), but that's the advice for everyone who has a pet theory.
Yeah, I agree.

But this isnt a pet theory for me. This is something that made a real diff in my health and ability to function, and while I'm happy to share, doing so becomes less attractive when I start being feeling like a dart board.

One of the things I discovered in my research a few years ago is that people with neuro issues are infinitely more likely to have very real sensitivities to free glutamic acid/MSG/Glutamate

I assume you cooked your meat. If you're highly sensitive to glutamate, the high heat, even briefly, would have caused some of the protein bonds to loosen and some to come apart completely, thereby creating weak free-glutamic acid. It's impossible to avoid completely. It can only be managed and reduced.
 

hapl808

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I assume you cooked your meat. If you're highly sensitive to glutamate, the high heat, even briefly, would have caused some of the protein bonds to loosen and some to come apart completely, thereby creating weak free-glutamic acid. It's impossible to avoid completely. It can only be managed and reduced.
I do cook it. I tried switching to faster methods of cooking to see if that would help (super hot oven, super pre heated cast iron pan, etc).

Again - it's a theory because we can't prove what it is. If it works for you, it's a solution for you. That's amazing. I wish it worked for me. Cumin works for Wishful. That's a solution for him. Now any suggestion as to WHY it works for him is still just theory in my opinion.

I'm not trying to throw darts, I'm saying like everything on PR, just because it works for one person does not mean it's a universal solution. I get frustrated when people say, "This isn't a theory, it's fact." Because then it feels like I'm doing something wrong if it's not working, despite years of tweaking my diet all the way down to where I was just eating fresh beef from the local butcher cooked as quickly as possible in cast iron.

So I guess my ask is just that people say, "Hey, this worked for me and I think this is why it worked, but I can't be absolutely sure." Otherwise I tend to internalize it like when I go to the doctor and they tell me what to do and it doesn't work and they get frustrated with me for their suggestion not working.

Same with anything. If the Medical Medium healed someone, that's fantastic. I tried many of the things and they didn't seem to help me. I have no judgment on it, just didn't work for me.

Gouda has approx 6 gms of glutamic acid (not to be confused with glutamate but an indicator of how much potential glutamate a product may contain) in 100 gms of cheese. So 6% total, before conversion to free glutamic acid/ glutamate during processing.
The problem is that every source I consulted says different things. Some list a vegetable as very low in free glutamates, and another source will list it as very high. Some say you can't always differentiate free glutamate from bound glutamate. Then there's cooking, etc. I can't eat raw foods in general, so that's another issue.

"Many fermented or ripe foods are rich in natural MSG, such as ripe tomatoes (250-300 mg/100g), parmesan cheese (1600 mg/100g), Roquefort cheese (1600 mg/100g) and Gouda cheese (580 mg/100g). Manchego cheese and Iberian cured ham have a similar taste."

From here - but no idea if that's a reliable source.
 

hapl808

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And I realize your 6g is the same thing that I wrote above, but that's still twice as much as tomatoes which already seem to trigger my sensitivities, yet mozzarella or cabbage or potato does not. No idea why.

Obviously it's also all down to portion size, which I tend to track in Cronometer. Not sure if I've learned anything all that useful, other than some nutrient profiles.