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Bragg’s Liquid Aminos: Healthy Soy Sauce Alternative?

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 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 and contains essential/non-essential amino acids. This product is not 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, especially those who need to reduce the amount of salt in their diet or someone on a yeast overgrowth cleanse, like The Body Ecology Diet (B.E.D)*, who must avoid anything fermented for the first 3 months of this special diet.

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, a post-doctorate in endocrinology, and teaches cell physiology/nutrition at Life Chiropractic College West. Here is how she believes that Liquid Aminos are made…

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 and a brain stimulant that can cause 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, but especially kids under 12 yrs. old. This is because their blood brain barrier hasn’t developed all the way and the MSG can travel up into their brain. This can cause headaches, fatigue, eye damage, and neurological issues. Especially for those with an autism spectrum disorder. By the way, adults can have a thin blood brain barrier too so watch out for MSG. It’s sneaky and is in a lot of food. Some that might surprise you.

See here for how to spot hidden MSG.

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 and I will continue to recommend wheat-free tamari for those who don’t eat gluten or Nama Shoyu a traditional soy sauce.

*Note: Bragg’s is not recommended during the initial stage of The Body Ecology Diet (B.E.D). I am a Holistic Nutritionist and work with individuals who are ready to use B.E.D to heal a yeast, bacterial, or viral related health issue. I personally ate this way for many years and now lead others step-by-step through this diet with individualized support. All sessions are via phone/Skype. You can learn more about what’s on the body ecology diet HERE. 

The Difference between Unami & MSG

Top 10 Foods to Prevent Inflammation

Food Intuitive Readings with Tara by phone or Skype

References

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

Please note: This article may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click the link and buy certain items, I receive a small commission. The price is the same for you, though. I am only an affiliate for products that I believe in and use myself. Thank you for your support.

May all bellies be happy!

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23 comments to Bragg’s Liquid Aminos: Healthy Soy Sauce Alternative?

  • a filipino nutritionist makes liquid amino out of coconut

  • PM

    @erit83 I’m glad the Braggs liquid aminos don’t affect you negatively at all. I’ll have to find out what blood type I am; thanks for bringing that aspect (often overlooked) into the conversation.

  • Ronald Conley

    I would caution anyone displaying symptoms of allergic reaction to soy products to exercise common sense toward the ingestion of any condiment or food additive containing soy–including Braggs. Otherwise, there are so many positive qualities associated with the amino acid profile used in Braggs “Liquid Aminos” to disregard using it, altogether. If it causes bad side-effects, then don’t use it. Sometimes people dive into untested waters only to discover the temperature shock all-too-late. Try easing into any new product slowly, and cautiously. Even, otherwise, healthy probiotics can cause adverse side-effects when not approached cautiously using good common sense and gradual introduction–allowing the body time to adapt to it and create a harmonious balance. It is the “cold water ‘shock’ effect”; toxins built-up over long periods of time will manifest itself in the form of hives (rashes), or even mild flu-like symptoms when they are being “swept” from the body. Please don’t discredit a time-tested product based on hypothetical conjecture, or negative reactions due to personal sensitivity reactions.

  • I recently tried Bragg’s Liquid Aminos as I haved developed an intolerance to gluten products. I have tried the grocery non gluten soy sauces and was terribly dissappointed. I found I prefer the liquid aminos in my asian food I love so much! I have had adverse affects of MSG before, but had none with this product. I am so happy to have found a substitute for soy sauce that I love!!!

  • I am wondering what the actual AMINO ACID content is! I’m trying to track that in my diet, but can no where find that Braggs “contains” any particular amount/percentage. So my question is, is it even worth it?

  • Tara

    I just googled for a list of top MSG foods and looked at some charts. But none are large enough to read very well or post an image of here. But have a look and see, none that I saw listed Bragg’s because there is no added MSG in this product, rather it’s a by-product. Let us know if you find anything 🙂

  • Cindy

    I too have tried Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. I have a significant intolerance to MSG and develope horribly painful headaches from it. I have the same reaction to Bragg’s. Is there a sight that lists the amount of MSG in different products for comparison?

  • erlt83

    I have been using Bragg’s Aminos since 1986. I am enormously reactive to MSG. I can say, unequivocally, that I have no negative reaction to Bragg’s Aminos. This product had been available for 5 decades. I can find many reasons why some say they do. People with Blood Type B, and the Non Secretor sector of Blood Type O should avoid Soy, in any form. Then there are the manufacturing trolls and the ,’ right,’ thinkers who want to preach their truth as the only truth. I read people who identify themselves as ,’ nutritionists,’ ‘ health care providers,’ and I winch as their dialogue quickly identifies them as graduates of their own min d, or the,’ School of Crackerjack.’ As a real practitioner I fine it easy to out the trolls. The isolate resulting from reaction of hydrochloric a similar to stomach acid to soybeans is not MSG. Sodium and salt are not synonymous. Police are usually present at holdups, but they are not the robbers. For Blood Types A and AB soy is a nutritional medicine. Anyone truly having severe reaction to a serving of BRAGG’S AMINOS, is confusing reacting to something else in the meal or their gut flora with this healthy product. Paul and Patricia Bragg are among the greatest health icons. Decent people like them don’t produce public scourges. That’s big commerce’s platform. And it stoop to the lowest to condemn the real health products.

  • Anonymous

    I belive this. I just started using Braggs and I do not feel well. Thank-you so much for this research

  • Johnathan

    A dietition is backed by law and degrees, a nutritionist isn’t. This blog = opinion, period. She even says it in the beginning. Do your own research folks!

  • Tanya

    I have been using Bragg’s liquid aminos for years, never had any adverse reactions to it, don’t feel bad after eating it and am really healthy. I eat very very well most of the time occasionally treating myself to a cheat meal. Once I went to a Chinese for one of those cheat meals and woke up the morning after with hives all over that were very itchy. I did some research and found that often happens after eating Chinese, there is even term Chinese food syndrome and the cause of it is MSG that is abundant in Chinese food. Few days later the hives were finally gone and I was back to normal. Needless to say I never went back to that Chinese and never had hives like that since. Bottom line is because that never happens with Braggs amines, I don’t believe they are as bad as this article is making them to be. I mean the author is just speculating and has no prove. Personally I will keep using them…

  • Gavin

    The explanation of this so-called soy sauce substitute in the article probably is right. Trichloropropanol (MCPD) will be made during the this modern bio-reactor method. This chemical is generally considered as a contaminant in food by WHO. Hopefully, the truth will be revealed to public soon. There are some naturally brewed No-MSG, less-sodium and gluten free soy sauce available on the market. Those will be better options.

  • Mongo

    You All Realize The Msg Debacle Has Been Disproven Right? And most symptoms from msg sickness are just conformation bias. Msg is just sodium and glutamine, both these things you get in a regular diet, sodium being just table salt, and glutamine being an amino acid in pretty much every form of protein you eat. Don’t be afraid of msg. And for the record msg does not spike creatine levels that’s just ridiculous.

  • I emailed Bragg’s about the MSG and this was their reply: Bragg does not add any MSG to its liquid amino products. However, MSG is found naturally occurring in many foods, such as mushrooms, tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and soybeans. Since Bragg Liquid Aminos is made from soybeans, there can be some very small amounts of naturally occurring MSG. Patricia Bragg is personally very opposed to adding MSG as a food ingredient to foods, and she is very sensitive to MSG. Many of our customers who are very sensitive to MSG have never had any adverse reactions to Bragg Liquid Aminos.

    Bragg Liquid Aminos is made by a proprietary method. As a result, we cannot answer specific questions as to how it is made. We have several companies who are trying to copy our product and make Bragg Liquid Aminos “knock-offs”. Some companies have contacted us to get an idea of how we make it. In order to protect the “recipe” or formula for Bragg Liquid Aminos, we do not answer any specific questions in regards to the war it is made.

    Blessings of health!
    Bragg Customer Service
    Tel: 1-(800)-446-1990
    cid:image001.png@01CE7D4D.4DE414B0

  • Tyler Haske

    That old adage, “If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.”

  • Heather

    I bought Braggs too and felt AWFUL after using it, even more so than when I use regular soy sauce! I never knew why until I read this blog. Thank you for looking in to this. I would get a headache, achy, fatigue and a bounding pulse (throbbing in my feet and hands).

  • Kimberly Cannon

    I recently came across Bragg’s liquid aminos while trying to find a healthy chicken fried rice recipe. After reading your post, i will definitely be looking further into this product before i add it into my food. Thank you for sharing this information!

  • Karen

    A neighbor recently recommended this product in place of regular soy sauce. So I decided to see what I could find online. And here we are. So glad I found this site before spending my money on this product.

  • Karla

    I just started a diet that uses Bragg’s as a seasoning and I didn’t know what it was. I am so grateful for finding this site. I cannot tolerate MSG and I will definitely use an alternative or not at all. I think it’s horrible that the public is put in danger by companies that provide false advertising. Thank you to all who responded to the articles on this site.

  • gia

    This product is being tauted as a soy substitute, but it is made from soybeans. For those of us in this world that have a severe soy allergy this can be deadly since the product is not labeled correctly. JUST BE HONEST IN YOUR LABELING. The FDA should require the absolute truth on product labeling.

  • Connie

    I recently read an article including Bragg Liquid Aminos on the list of foods containing MSG or other names for it. They just say it’s ingredients as “vegetable protein from soybeans & purified water.”

    You are correct that the bottle used to say “No MSG” – but no more. I was appalled to find this out, as I have reactions to MSG & have to be careful what I eat. I believed them & thought this was safe!

    Last year I ended up in the emergency room & had many tests. They couldn’t figure out what was wrong. When my nutritionist read my labs, she identified the source of the problem right away from my elevated creatine levels – MSG.

    I need to contact my nutritionist to inform her that the Braggs Liquid Aminos that they recommended to use in their nutrition handouts contains MSG!

    We should be able to do more with deceptive & misleading labeling!

  • Shirley

    Watch out for Bragg’s Ginger & Sesame Salad Dressing. Their Liquid Aminos are the 3rd ingredient listed. Too bad because this is a great tasting dressing.

  • Shirley

    Thank you for this! I found an almost empty bottle of the liquid aminos in my cupboard. It’s now in recycling. Will share your blog with the owners of my store.

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