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Bragg Liquid Aminos: History Repeats Itself

Every so often the following group of articles enjoys a resurgence of airtime in the raw-food community. Since we've noticed them on a few email groups recetly, we thought it would make a good addition to our daily digest:

Bragg Liquid Aminos: Poison
by David Klein, 1997


Below is information I received from an associate on the saltiness of Bragg Liquid Aminos. Below is the text from her letter. Before I get to it, I'll give some background information on her, so you'll know where she is coming from.

Griselda Blazey has a B.S. in biology, a M.S. is biochemistry, and a Ph.D. (actually a post-doctorate) in endocrinology. She also has a degree from the now defunct College of Dietary Therapy in England. She authored a book, "Food Matters", and a workbook called, "Nutritional Transformation", and used to teach a course by that name. She has been teaching cell physiology, metabolic disorders, and nutrition at Life Chiropractic College West, in San Leandro, California for the past four years. The first time I heard her theory on the saltiness of Bragg Liquid Aminos was during a lecture she gave at a San Francisco Living Foods Support Group meeting a few years ago. Here is the text from her recent letter:

"The other topic you asked about in your letter was about how Bragg Aminos are made. Once again, here's an armchair biologist's answer, meaning that I don't know this for sure, but it's the only thing that makes scientific sense. If I were given some vegetable protein and were asked to make it into amino acids without spending a lot of money on it, I would boil it up with some hydrochloric acid. This would break it down to amino acids, but of course it would be too acidic to be palatable. So I
would then neutralize the acid with baking soda, causing the reaction mixture to look like this:

2HCl + Na2CO3 ===> 2NaCl + CO2 + H2O

So the salt gets made by mistake as it were. Now someone (I forget who) followed up on this and contacted the Bragg company to ask if this was how they did it, and they denied it. However, they didn't disclose how they do actually do it, so in the absence of correct information, and with an extremely salty taste in their product, I still consider the above process to play at least some part in their procedure."

That's it. We don't know for sure. All I know is that Griselda has an impressive mind for original theoretical scientific thought, and I sure felt awful after having a bit of Bragg a several years ago.
Hope you find her theory interesting and worthy of second-thinking the inclusion of the Bragg product in recipes.

* * *

From the http://www.living-foods.com forum
Subject: RE: Bragg liquid aminos IS POISON
Author: Dave Klein, board moderator
Date: 08-06-1999 14:34

It looks like we finally got some proof from the Bragg company that the liquid aminos product is heat processed and made with hydrochloric acid. Salt apparently forms in its processing, plus
glutamic acid which is the same poison which is in MSG. Many many raw fooders have apparently been lied to and duped by the Bragg who have until recently stated that the product is all raw
and not processed with heat or chemicals. And many many folks like myself become ill very soon after ingesting the crap. Sea salt is less deadly than Bragg Liquid Aminos, but then I prefer
tomatoes to get minerals salts in my diet when I want to enjoy salty flavors. Try adding sun
dried tomatoes to salads too.

* * *

From the http://www.living-foods.com Forum
"My point" by Michael
18/06/99 05:59:17

After reading the speculations about Bragg Liquid Aminos posted on this forum and hearing horror stories from others (my sister talked with a man who said he quit using it because it gave him nightmares) I decided to just jump right out and ask the Bragg company themselves.

Decide for yourself if you feel like using it.

1. Is hydrochloric acid used at any time in the production of Bragg Liquid Aminos? I have been told that it is used to separate the aminos from the soybeans (like isolated soy protein) and gives it the salty flavor.

Yes, our product is hydrolized in the process.

2. Are you aware of the dangerous effects of glutamic acid within the human body? Do you plan on taking measures to remove glutamic acid from Bragg Liquid Aminos?

The glutamic acid is naturally occurring and cannot be isolated to remove it as an individual amino acid. In our laboratory results analyses show that the Liquid Aminos contain no monosodium

3. If BLA is neither heat processed nor fermented, could you please explain why it does not turn rancid at room temperature as opposed to requiring refrigeration?

Our liquid aminos does go rancid if kept out of the cupboard or out of the refrigerator. We suggest storing in a cupboard or the refrigerator. It is the same reason ketchup or soy sauce, or jam,
or peanut butter do not go bad if kept in the cupboard. Eventually they will all go bad.

* * *

A group e-mail message:
November 2, 1998

Hi all:

A while back we were had chatted here and questioned whether above has msg or not and Patricia Bragg said NO.

We'll here's some info. that says yes, and FDA had her remove her NO MSG label. You can check on the documentation self. A friend sent this is who a researcher. I don't have his permission
to release his name, but this should ans. the question on YES, above has MSG per FDA.

"MSG-sensitive people react to any glutamic acid that has been freed from protein through a manufacturing process providing that they ingest an amount that exceeds their individual tolerance
for the substance. Consequently, consumers refer to all processed free glutamic acid as MSG. This fact was acknowledged by the FDA in the "FDA Backgrounder" dated August 31, 1995.

Under Section 403 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act it is deceptive and misleading to say "No MSG" or "No MSG added" on a processed food label that contains free glutamic acid. It is for this reason that the FDA forced Live Products, manufacturer of Bragg Liquid Aminos, to remove the words "No MSG" from the product's label."

Carol, CO


Some "Salty" Advice by Art Baker

Forget the Bragg Liquid Aminos and try this: Dehydrate celery and lemon. As the celery dries out it hardens and becomes thin like floss. Place both in a coffee grinder and pulverize into powder. The powder is very salty, with a slight celery flavor, making it a great addition to guacamole, salsa, raw soups, crackers, etc.


Subject: bragg's
Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2002 23:07:58 -0800
From: "Ruth Wilner" <rwilner@newspress.com>
To: dave@livingnutrition.com.

Dear Dave, Was there an article in your publication about Bragg's Liquid Aminos being made with hydrocloric acid and therefore a dead-food, not a live food like Patricia Bragg claims? I am asking because I used to work for Patricia and I know the truth about the liquid aminos. I am considering telling it all and need to know if there is anyone in the health food field that would like to know if I spill the beans. Thanks for your help.
Ruth Wilner.

* * *

Subject: bragg's
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 16:16:51 -0800
From: "Ruth Wilner" <rwilner@newspress.com>
To: dave@livingnutrition.com

Dave, I did get your reply and I thank you. I replied to your email and suggested that I will let you know when I am ready to procede. People are telling me that I might be under a law about trade secrets or something and I am looking into that. I did buy a website called notbragg.com however, I haven't done anything with it yet. I will get back to you, I promise. Ruth

* * *

From: konajack@webtv.net (K J)
To: dave@livingnutrition.com

Dave - I've just gotten up to and finished reading Volume 9 of the back issues. I just saw the 'warning' you posted on Bragg's Aminos. I, too, was a victim of this crap. I used it liberally for at
least two years and upon fasting, what I noticed was the smell of this substance coming out of my body whereupon I knew that whatever it was, it wasn't a substance the body was able to use contrary to what the bottle has printed on it. I broke that particular fast at 10 days even
though I knew I needed to go longer as the smell was still coming out. That's the good news. The bad news is that I now have noticeable varicose veins on the back of my left thigh, right back knee cap and in both calves theveins stick out also. I know it was the Braggs as my diet other than that was pretty clean and I observe all the other tenets of NH. That stuff hardened up my veins and arteries. I was playing volleyball 2 1/2 years ago and went up to hit the ball and felt something snap in the back of my left thigh. My tissues was so ossified, I snapped a tendon or some muscle tissue and crawled off the court. It took two weeks in bed and off my legs and another two weeks of walking like a cripple before I regained the ability to walk normally.

I did a 15 day fast last September and could smell the Braggs coming out again but this time I got it all. Unfortunately the varicosed veins are still there. I don't think there's anything short of surgical removal that will disappear them. Have you heard of anyone disappearing them hygienically or otherwise non-surgically? Just thought I'd share my experience with Braggs in case that will help others you may choose to share same with.


Jack M. Ebner, Ph.D.
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

* * *

Subject: Re: bragg's
Date: Sat, 27 Apr 2002 21:35:57 -0700
From: Ruth Wilner <rwilner@newspress.com>
To: <dave@livingnutrition.com>


The factory that makes the liquid aminos is named Walker Foods and it is in LA somewhere. I think that the recipe is a trade secret and they will not divulge how it is made...but I don't think
they can deny the hydrocloric acid.

I did NOT work at Walker Foods. I worked for Patricia Bragg at her headquarters in Goleta, California. I was aware of the process by which liquid aminos was made, but never witnessed
it being made.

I heard it through reliable sources that the soybean slurry (collected from soybean left-overs) is covered with hydrocloric acid in vats and left to "digest" .

The beans and acid mixture produces it's own heat, Patricia denies that it is heated beyond 98° and I tend to believe that.

I think Patricia tells people it is simply made with beans in barrels of water for obvious reasons. She is a self-proclaimed health crusader and I think she really wants to believe that it is made with pure distilled water only. She also doesn't want to loose her customers, or credibility with her health followers. She will not even listen to others who tell her that mislabeling a product is not honest, nor legal.

If you think about it, hydrocloric acid is a natural product, produced by our bodies every second of everyday we live. It is what digests our food and supplies nutrition to our bodies. There is nothing unhealthy about hydrocloric acid. What is unhealthy is the addition of the base to nutralize the acid...this is what gives the beans the salty flavor...I believe it to be something on the
order of baking soda, another product that is not inherently bad for us in small quantities.

Bragg does not isolate any of the proteins released by the hydrocloric bath. The liquid that rises to the surface in the procedure is skimmed off, nutralized and bottled, making it concentrated protien.

So, is this bad? I believe that the product is not unhealthy. It is salty tasting but tests at only 10% of table salt. It tests with no msg detected at all except for a trace of glutamic acid (an amino
acid.) Why then does Bragg deny the addition of hydrocloric acid and the base to nutralize it? I am at a loss to explain that.

I hope this helps you with your questions. Please get back to me with your thoughts. Ruth

* * *

From: Madelyn Hill

MSG is the sodium salt of the AMINO ACID glutamic acid and a form of glutamate. Read on and you will see how the labeling laws permit it to be hidden in everything from soap to vitamins to condiments to food. Hydrolyzed proteins or protein hydrolysates are acid treated or enzymatically treated which contain salts of free AMINO ACIDS.

MSG can aggravate existing conditions or cause burning sensations, rapid heartbeat, asthma and neurological damage. That's just within 3 hours of use. Becomes less safe depending on quantities ingested or applied and condition of one's health.

Overextended periods of time, studies show it can cause cancer, MS, MSG symptom complex, brain lesions, nerve cell damage, gastrointestinal problems and so on. The body uses glutamate as a nerve impulse transmitter with glutamate response tissues inothers parts of the body as well. Abnormal function of glutamate receptors have been linked to most every type of neurological disease including Alzheimers, Huntington's chorea.

The level of other vitamins in your system (including B6) can also determine the impact it can have.

MSG goes under many names including monosodium glutamate. Do you know what glutamate is? AN AMINO ACID.

MSG is only one type of free glutamate, so foods stating no MSG or no added MSG can be misleading, as hydrolyzed protein is a form of free glutamate.

Monosodium glutamate goes under the name of glutamate, AMINO ACID, monosodium glutamate, glutamic acid, calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate, gelatin, textured protein, hydrolyzed protein, yeast extract. Most of the time, containing MSG are malt, barley malt, boullion, stock, carrageenan,
maltodextrin, whey protein, pectin (anything enzyme modified). NATURAL FLAVORS, protein fortified, soy protein.

The following can be used to create MSG: protease enzymes, fungal protease.

MSG can be used in soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners. The most common hiding places are in ingredients called 'hydrolyzed proteins and, amino acids.

Aspartic acid found in aspartame and nutra sweet causes MSG reactions.

Binders and fillers for medications, nutrients and supplements may contain MSG.
* * *

Dave Klein

Living Nutrition

Raw Passion Productions

Healthful Living International


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