Confused about broth, glutamine and MSG? Lots of people are, so let’s clear up the confusion once and for all.
First of all, glutamine is not MSG. Rather, glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid that is critical for gut, brain and immune health. That said, some people sensitive to MSG react poorly to broth. Autistic children and others with sensitive and damaged guts often react to it even though they desperately need the gut healing that glutamine could assist. Some of these people are so sensitive they react not only to broth but to any good dietary source of glutamine, including beef, chicken, fish, eggs and dairy products.
What to do? The GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) diet developed by Natasha Campbell-McBride MD to help autistic children and others in need of gut healing relies heavily on broth for healing benefits. Yet Dr. McBride starts many patients out on a lightly cooked bone broth — which she calls a “meat stock.” As these people heal, they progress over time to regular long-cooked bone broth. The reason this helps many sensitive individuals is because the glutamine content of broth increases with cooking time. Indeed, the levels of all the amino acids are about three times higher compared to the short-cooked broth as this applies to chicken, beef and other bone broths as well as gelatin products. The results suggest that those sensitive to glutamine should consume only short-cooked broth until the condition clears. For a chart showing the amino acid levels of long-term and short-cooked broth as tested by CoVance Laboratories, go to page 38 of Nourishing Broth.
To learn more, including what happens when glutamine crosses the blood brain barrier, and other important broth issues, read my full article at The Healthy Home Economist blog here. Or read all about it in our book Nourishing Broth.
For the broth testing at Covance Laboratories, we wish to thank Kim Schuette of Biodynamic Wellness, Solana Beach, California. The long-cooked broth was prepared by Chef Lance Roll, The Flavor Chef, of San Diego, California, and the short-term broth by Kim Schuette. Certificate of Analyses came from Covance Laboratories