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've always thought there was something not right about Bragg's. After many years of the bottle gracing our dining table I did some research. As a nutritionist, it's what I do...then I attempt to put all that I discovered into something that you can hopefully understand.
Here's what I found...
Bragg's Liquid Aminos
This certified non-GMO liquid protein concentrate is made from soybeans. It contains essential/non-essential amino acids and isn't made with added salt. Bragg's is becoming 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, like The Body Ecology Diet (B.E.D), who must avoid fermented food and gluten.
Yet, Bragg's has come under scrutiny recently. People are asking questions. Like, “is MSG a byproduct of Bragg's manufacturing process?” or "why is Bragg's salty but the label doesn't say it has salt in it?" or "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. Especially for those with autism. 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, but they've since removed it. We'll have to wait for Bragg’s to reveal its manufacturing process or explain how Liquid Aminos is salty without containing salt. Until then, Blazey's chemical explanation appears to be correct in that Bragg’s Liquid Aminos does appear to contain MSG.
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!