Potatoes, eggs, and coffee beans

Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed. Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot. He then let … Click here to continue…..

A dish of ice cream

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. “How much is an ice cream sundae?”“50 cents,” replied the waitress. The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it. “How much is a dish of plain ice cream?” he inquired. Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient. “35 cents,” she said brusquely. The little boy … Click here to continue…..

Why do food companies add MSG to foods?

There are several reasons: MSG tricks your tongue into making you think a certain food is high in protein and thus nutritious. It is not a “meat tenderizer”. It is not a “preservative”. The food industry is trying to confuse the issue by focusing on the “fifth” taste sense they call umami. Free glutamic acid is detected by the taste buds as a simple way to signal the presence of protein in a food, just as there are fat receptors to detect fats and receptors that sense carbohydrate or sweet flavors. The purpose is to help us discern real food … Click here to continue…..

Is manufactured MSG a problem?

According to some MSG opponents the glutamate added to foods is “bad” and the natural glutamate in our bodies is “good”.  MSG sellers argue that MSG is exactly like the glutamate in the human body, therefore it must always be “good”.  It is not so simple.  There are contaminants in processed MSG.  An anology that can be used is that there are right-handed amino acids and left handed ones.  They are like mirror images of each other.   Processed MSG contains not only the kind of amino acids the body is used to handling, but mirror image ones too.  This … Click here to continue…..

How does the body usually deal with excess amino acids?

Most amino acids if not used right away, are not stored as amino acids.   The body has elaborate means of changing extra amino acids into other amino acids, and removing nitrogen and changing amino acids into fuel to be stored.  There are processes such as  “transamination” and “deamination” which occur mostly in the liver.   In patients with compromised livers, however, they may have trouble transaminating cysteine, for example, into taurine, the amino acid that acts counter to glutamate.  Also, an excess of the amino acid aspartate (found in Nutrasweet) may result in excess glutamate, since the body can convert … Click here to continue…..

Glutamate – Protein Building Block and Excitatory Neurotransmitter….

Glutamate is just one of many amino acids used by the body and linked into the chains of protein in the body.  However some amino acids are free to float around by themselves as well as being found linked into proteins because they serve vital functions – some are neurotransmitters which carry nerve cell impulses throughout the body.  Amino acid neurotransmitters are like chemical messengers carrying news from nerve cell to nerve cell.   Some amino acid neurotransmitters like glutamate trigger nerve cells to fire, others like taurine and gamma amino butyric acid tell those firing nerve cells to cease … Click here to continue…..

What is a hormone?

Hormones are extremely potent protein based messengers that travel around the body connecting the lines of communication between glands of the endocrine system.  These glands direct important functions like metabolism, growth, and sexual development.  It has been found lately that smaller amounts of hormones are more effective than larger amounts because the body has feedback mechanisms that don’t take kindly to overdoses of hormone.  Things shut down because it is considered a trouble signal if there is too much hormone present.  By affecting the part of the brain – the hypothalamus,  that controls the master gland of the body – … Click here to continue…..

What is an enzyme?

Enzymes are simply proteins with interesting day jobs. Enzymes help make things happen by helping to create other proteins and by helping break them down too.   Enzymes are not straight chains, they are globular and clumpy, because they are folded into intricate shapes like other proteins.  It is these shapes that help them create and break down other proteins and compounds.