MSG and Migraine

 

Breaking news:  September 27, 2010 - The gene for causing Migraine has been discovered. 

The TRESK gene is ACTIVATED by Glutamate which may explain quite directly how MSG causes migraines in persons with a particular version of this gene. 

The story from BBC.

The gene description. 

According to THIS article, GLUTAMATE ACTIVATES TRESK. 

This would explain why ibuprofen is used to treat headaches.  It blocks glutamate that would otherwise activate this gene.  This may finally be the smoking gun that proves HOW MSG causes the terrible migraines suffered by so many.

MSG has always been knows as a migraine trigger according to the Journal of the American Medical Association:

http://www.hmc.psu.edu/childrens/healthinfo/articles/migraines.pdf

The fact that MSG is a migraine trigger is not surprising when you consider that glutamate - the business end of MSG is a calcium channel opener.  (Most blood pressure lowering medications are calcium channel blockers).  It was previously known that MSG affects blood vessel vasoconstriction. but this may better explain why.

Also, there is a theory that migraines are caused by inflammation in the mouth area pressing against nerves in the head.  It must be mentioned here that glutamate increases histamine response although it does not initiate an immune antigen response.  Histamine induces inflammation.

Histamine also activates the TRESK gene.

Below is a story about a physician who treats his migraine patients with an MSG-free diet:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5364970

Maybe now we have a better idea of why this treatment works for so many.

Unfortunately, glutamate is now allowed under the Codex Alimentarius as a subsitute for salt. We will be seeing more folks with migraines as the food industry continues to roll out more "low sodium" products.

 

 

 

  

 

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