Many people think that Bragg’s Liquid Aminos is a healthy version of soy sauce. I did. Especially with a label boasting a wide range of amino acids. Must be a good thing. Right?
Iv'e always thought that there was something not quite right about Bragg's. Something not natural. After many years with Bragg's gracing our dining room table I did some research on this stuff. Hey I'm a nutritionist. It's what I do. I research the heck out of food and then try to put it all back together into something readable for you.
What I discovered is that my hunch of Bragg's being a bit of a weird food was not too far off.
Bragg's Liquid Aminos
Bragg's Liquid Aminos is a certified non-GMO liquid protein concentrate. It's made from soybeans and contains essential and non-essential amino acids. It's made without any added salt. Sounds good right? It's become real popular by those who want an alternative to soy sauce.
A lot of people like that Bragg's is alcohol-free, un-fermented, and wheat-free. 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 maybe you're gluten-free. All reasons why people love this stuff.
Yet, Bragg's has come under some scrutiny. People are starting to ask questions, like “is MSG a byproduct of Bragg's manufacturing process?”. "Why is Bragg's so salty but the label doesn't say it has salt in it?". "Why don't I feel good after I eat Bragg's?".
How Bragg's Liquid Aminos are made
Bragg’s hasn't yet revealed their process of how they make their Liquid Aminos. 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 thinks Bragg's 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)."
Problem with MSG
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is addictive. It's a brain stimulant. It causes a lot of health issues (i.e. rapid heartbeat, tingling, depression, chest pain). Or asthma. If I eat food with MSG in it, my lungs get tight and my jaw feels like it's going to lock up.
MSG is not a good food. Esp. for 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.
Bragg’s used to have a “No-MSG” label on it. They have since removed it as it wasn't true. One day, perhaps Bragg’s will reveal its manufacturing process. Or, explain how Liquid Aminos is so salty without actually containing salt. Until then, we are 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 might 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