• greetings, a. nonymous


Project Achilles studies the affect of MSG (monosodium glutamate) on the human body starting with the immune system

"In Greek mythology, when Achilles was a baby, it was foretold that he would die young. To prevent his death, his mother Thetis took Achilles to the River Styx, which was supposed to offer powers of invulnerability, and dipped his body into the water. But as Thetis held Achilles by the heel, his heel was not washed over by the water of the magical river. Achilles grew up to be a man of war who survived many great battles. But one day, a poisonous arrow shot at him was lodged in his heel, killing him shortly there after." -- Achilles heel on wikipedia


For medical or nutritional advice, do not rely on this site. Please consult a dietician or health care professional instead.

admitted bias

This site has a bias, and there are few primary sources (like wikipedia and nih.gov). I'm working on it, and will accept constructive criticism regarding this project and this site.

Whitehouse Petition!

I recently started a petition at whitehouse.gov regarding asking the White House to look into project achilles. we petition the obama administration to dramatically increase the FDA budget specifically to study the effects of mono-sodium glutamate on the immune system. please read over the links and notes that have been collected and decide for yourself. if this project is something that has merit for you, please sign the whitehouse petition. I am well aware that it is poorly written; this website is meant to be the primary reference. as of 2016-feb-27 we need 99,995 more signatures.


  • michael b
  • david
  • randy h
  • family

Project Goals

  • gather a statistically significant group with a Chinese Food Syndrome diagnosis.
  • lobby to improve labeling law enforcement for QSRs (Fast Food) and packaged foods (ref. hot dogs, cold cuts, frozen pizza, etc)
  • produce and distribute a field test kit which tests for the quantity of MSG (monosodium glutamate) in a wet or dry sample.
  • build, operate, and maintain an information system that tracks various processed food products regulated by the FDA. their UPC labels if available, and whether or not the item has MSG in it (determined via lab testing) and if MSG is on the label or, in the case of a QSR, in their nutrition guide.
  • conduct scientific tests to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Talcum Powder and Cancer are not linked
  • test to find out how long MSG stays in the body (cumulative)
  • compare the chemistry of 'gluten', 'glutamate', and 'manufactured free glutamic acid'
  • find out the soluability of MSG.

Nutrition Guides


  • 2017-JAN-23: "Instant noodles also contain high levels of monosodium glutamate, an excitotoxin that can cause damage or death to nerve cells by over-stimulating them. Damaged nerve cells are a factor in the development of debilitating neurological conditions like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and ALS." -- opposingviews.com
  • 2016-DEC-25:
    • is msg a neurotoxin?
    • if MSG is determined to be Evil, what is stopping food manufacturers from being sneaky and making a chechmically very similar product and thus dodge the FDA?
  • 2016-DEC-21:
    • how does MSG suppress the immune system (assuming it does)? (ty KG)
    • does eliminating gluten from the diet universally eliminate MSG? (david)
    • MSG in "KFC Green Beans" (see KFC nutrition guide, filter for MSG)
    • restaurants are not required to disclose recipe info because it is a Trade Secret. this is different than grocery items which are regulated by the FDA
    • does MSG accumulate? if so, for how long before flushed?
    • is MSG soluable?
    • not many people are diagnosed w CRS. most times (imo), they are diagnosed with things like diabetes, MS, etc which are much more serious
    • glutamate occurs naturally in a few different places. MSG is manufactured. there is a difference.
    • MSG has been shown to be a neurotoxin (google msg neurotoxin)
    • maybe "MSG does not quickly break down" is the real problem here
  • 2016-DEC-19: in-depth discussion via phone regarding this project w dad
  • 2016-DEC-18: dad contributed "first job is to find a statistically significant sample of people diagnored with CFS" and, when I gave him a link to this page, a firm "I will get back to you... don't get your hopes up" when I proposed that MSG supresses the immune system.
  • 2016-DEC-07: "Glutamate" naturally occurs in the body which might explain why the immune system has a hard time dealing with the chemically similar "MSG"
  • 2016-SEP-12: added "randy h" to list of contributors
  • 2016-AUG-01: updated project goals
  • 2016-JUL-06: updated goals to include testing for quantity of MSG, since gov't has guidelines about how much is "safe"
  • 2016-MAR-14: updated keywords and title for this site; updated project goals; added note about 'subway' to the list of nutrition guides
  • 2016-FEB-12: started petition on whitehouse.gov and shared to fb
  • 2016-JAN-21: sent 2nd email to emich.edu chemistry dept contact. fixed "health links" page section.
  • 2016-JAN-13: sent feedback using webform to POTUS asking him to have a look at this site.
  • 2015-DEC-??: email problems fixed without reason-for-outage from the provider. mentioning IPv6 seemed to help them resolve my issues, but not until several emails related to this project had bounced.
  • 2015-DEC-11: sent email to chemistry !at! furman dot edu asking about use of MS
  • 2015-DEC-12: sent email to dsnyder *at* emich. edu (chemistry dept co-op contact)
  • 2015-NOV-25: within the last 7 days I emailed the address in charge of booking use of the "mass spectrometer" at umich. the mail bounced, but I made progress in the effort.
  • University Mass Spectrometer Facilities (most links dead)
  • MSG has a CAS Registration Number of 142-47-2, a ChemSpider number of 76943, an ECN of 205-538-1. These codes can be used by lab equipment to detect monosodium glutamate (MSG). Hidden ingredients have their own codes.
  • because MSG contains sodium, it can be used as a preservative
  • Mono-sodium Glutamate (which is Manufactured Free Glutamic Acid) is a man-made ingredient used to alter our perception of taste in thousands of grocery store products. It tricks our brains into perceiving a more enhanced taste than actually exists in processed foods. More and more consumers are onto this deception and are looking to steer clear of Monosodium Glutamate and the other products that contain Manufactured Glutamic Acid. -- from food identity theft
  • Phil: "as far as I know, MSG puts the immune system on guard". Me: "ya, just like pearl harbor"
  • flavour enhancers page on wikipedia
  • some of the supposedly hidden names for monosodium glutamate (MSG) used to get a "clean label (German)" (English version by Google Translate). this list needs independent verification. list copy-pasted without explicit permission from Hidden Monosodium Glutamate
  • Don't make the mistake of thinking that it is okay to eat this stuff occasionally, because these ingredients can stick around in your body for a long time, leach nutrients from your system, and can make you really sick. As put by my pal Kristen Michaelis at FoodRenegade.com, “Not only is MSG not a traditional food, not only are many people immediately sensitive to it, but it can also interrupt the hormonal and biological development of children! Lest you think this is all fanciful, it’s important to remember that a number of studies have found that the effects of MSG can occur cumulatively over time with subsequent exposure. -- food babe
  • MSG does not make you sick directly; it lowers your body's ability to fight infection and disease.
  • Monosodium Glutamate exacerbates symptoms
  • Some people are on a restricted diet where they need to count every miligram of sodium. Sodium is one of the two components (the other being glutamate) in monosodium glutamate (thanks pmc).
  • "In 1908, Japanese chemist Kikunae Ikeda isolated and patented a manufacturing process for monosodium glutamate, more commonly known to English-speakers of the 21st century as the often-maligned MSG." -- from “Umami” Was Coined by the Inventor of MSG to Describe Its Taste
  • In You Only Live Twice James Bond "claims he's trying to steal the secret to making MSG" -- James Bond Declassified: File #5 - 'You Only Live Twice' rewrites Fleming completely
  • "MSG plays a role often in secret in products on almost every shelf of the supermarket." -- If MSG is so bad for you, why doesn't everyone in Asia have a headache? (the guardian)
  • If MSG is "safe", why does it have so many hidden names (like Disodium guanylate and Disodium-Inosinate amongst many others, see MSG Lurks As A Slow Poison In Common Food Items Without Your Knowledge for more) or is left off of the ingredient list entirely in clear violation of FDA regulations?
  • Why is it so difficult to find out which QSRs use MSG? The crews don't seem to know what MSG is much less if their employer uses it. most often they open a can of pizza sauce or a package of cold cuts and are not paid enough to care what is in it. also the packages rarely list ingredients so even if they do care, they do not know for sure.
  • in very small doses, the affect MSG has on the immune system is nothing much to worry about. the problem starts when just about everything in the typical American diet contains the stuff and the effects are cumulative. it adds up quick.
  • this project is worthy of a healthy grant. there is too much anecdotal evidence.
  • morally speaking I will no longer spend money on food items that I know contain MSG. I do not want to allow anyone to be poisoned on my dime.

5 Links from "Achilles" Folder on Teos