Is Bragg’s Liquid Aminos a healthy version of soy sauce? It appears so. With a label that boasts a wide range of amino acids. Must be a good thing. Right?
I always thought there was something not right about Bragg's. After many years with Bragg's gracing our dining room table I did some research. I'm a nutritionist, it's what I do - research the heck out of certain foods. Then I attempt to put all that I've learned back together into something that's hopefully easily readable for you.
Here's what I found...
Bragg's Liquid Aminos
This certified non-GMO liquid protein concentrate is made from soybeans. It contains essential and non-essential amino acids. It's made with no added salt. It's becoming more and more popular by those who want an alternative to soy sauce.
Bragg's is alcohol-free, un-fermented, and wheat-free. A lot of people like this stuff. Esp. those who need to reduce the amount of salt they eat. Or someone on a Candida overgrowth cleanse (i.e. B.E.D.) who needs to avoid fermented food. Or, avoid gluten.
Yet, Bragg's has come under scrutiny recently. People are starting to ask questions. Like, “Is MSG a byproduct of Bragg's manufacturing process?”. "Why is Bragg's salty but the label doesn't say it has salt in it?". "Why don't I feel good after using Bragg's?".
How it's made
Bragg’s hasn't yet revealed the process by which they make Liquid Aminos. Yet, Griselda Blazey has made it her business to find out. Blazey has a B.S. in biology, an M.S. in biochemistry, and a post-doctorate in endocrinology. She teaches cell physiology/nutrition at Life Chiropractic College West. She believes that the Liquid Aminos are made the following way...
"Soybeans are treated with hydrochloric acid to create free amino acids. Any remaining acid is neutralized with sodium bicarbonate This creates sodium chloride. Which produces a salty taste. This modern bio-reactor method produces a product by rapid hydrolysis. Rather than complete fermentation. This process takes just 2 days. It uses an enzyme called glutamase as a reactor. This means that the final product contains large amounts of a kind of un-natural glutamic acid found in monosodium glutamate (MSG)."
Problems with MSG
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is addictive. It's a brain stimulant and causes a lot of health issues (i.e. rapid heartbeat, tingling, depression, chest pain). Or asthma. I know that when I eat food with MSG in it, my lungs get tight and my jaw locks up.
MSG is not good for anyone. Especially not kids under 12 yrs. old. This is because their blood brain barrier hasn't developed all the way. So, the MSG can travel up into their brain. This can cause headaches, fatigue, eye damage, and neurological issues. Btw, adults can have a thin blood brain barrier too. So, watch out for MSG. It's sneaky. It's in a lot of food. Some that might surprise you.
MSG in Bragg's?
Bragg’s used to have a “No-MSG” label on it. They've since had to remove it because the label wasn't true. Maybe one day Bragg’s will reveal its manufacturing process. Or, explain how Liquid Aminos is salty without containing salt. Until then, I'm left to assume that Blazey's chemical explanation above is correct.
That Bragg’s Liquid Aminos contains MSG.
Bottom Line: Bragg's Liquid Aminos doesn't seem to be a REAL food. That maybe, just maybe, you'll want to ditch that bottle from your table. Like I did years ago.
Fallon, S. (2001). Nourishing Traditions. Washington, DC: New Trends Publishing, Inc.
Sue, A. (2011). Soy Sauce/Salt Substitutions. Retrieved online at http://nouveauraw.com/special-raw-ingredients/soy-sauce-salt-substitutions/
Paleo Diet Hacks. What Exactly is Braggs Liquid Aminos Honestly? Retrieved online at http://paleohacks.com/questions/114583/what-exactly-is-braggs-liquid-aminos-honestly#ixzz2KolqL664
Pro Liberty (1998). Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. Retrieved online at http://proliberty.com/observer/20091104.html
May all bellies be happy!