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The Dangers of Microbial Transglutaminase (mTG) in Processed Meats

Wayne Blackshear

2 min read

Dec 16, 2023

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You are following a meat-based diet to improve your health. Congratulations, you are on the right track to achieving optimum health. However, depending on the type of meat you consume, there may be a hidden compound that could unknowingly contribute to the deterioration of gut health.


If you’re trying to improve your health by following a meat-based diet, or even a diet that includes plant based proteins, it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers of a common food additive called microbial transglutaminase (mTG), also known as “meat glue”. This enzyme is used in various processed meats to enhance their texture and appearance, but it may have negative effects on your health, particularly in relation to leaky gut and autoimmune conditions.


How Does mTG Affect Your Gut?

One of the main concerns with consuming mTG is its potential to damage the lining of your gut and contribute to a condition known as leaky gut. The proteins in mTG can compromise the integrity of the gut lining, allowing compounds to pass through and enter the body. This can trigger an immune response, where the immune system attacks these foreign substances.


Autoimmune Reactions and Allergies

When mTG binds with proteins in your gut, such as gluten, it can lead to the production of antibodies by your immune system. These antibodies are meant to fight off the invasion of foreign substances. However, it’s important to note that the biochemical endogenously produced tissue transglutaminase in our gut is different from the manufactured chemical mTG. Our immune system can distinguish between the two.


Sources of mTG in Your Diet

In the Western world, it is estimated that an adult consumes about 15mg of mTG per day through processed foods. It is commonly found in processed meats, supplements, and even products like turkey breast roast, which may use mTG to hold different parts of the muscle together. It is also used in the production of edible films, binders, and formed meats.


Why Should You Avoid mTG?

Consuming mTG can have detrimental effects on your gut health and contribute to autoimmune conditions. While major food safety organizations generally regard mTG as safe, it’s important to be cautious, especially if you’re following a meat-based diet. By avoiding processed meats that may contain mTG, you can reduce the risk of autoimmune symptoms and promote a healthier gut.


Tips for Avoiding mTG

To minimize your exposure to mTG, here are some tips:

  1. Shop local and buy whole chunks of meat or ground beef that isn’t preformed.

  2. Choose grass-fed, grass-finished beef and pasture-raised chicken, pork, and turkey.

  3. Read labels carefully, as the USDA requires manufacturers to list mTG as an ingredient. Look for terms like “TG enzyme”, “enzyme”, or “TGP enzyme”.

  4. Avoid processed meats that are formed, such as ready-to-roast turkey breast, chicken nuggets, and other products that are not in their natural shape.

  5. Be cautious with sausages, hotdogs, and bacon crumbles, unless you can verify that they do not contain mTG and are from trusted producers.


By being mindful of the presence of mTG in processed meats and making informed choices, you can support your journey towards a healthier meat-based diet.


References:

“Gut and Psychology Syndrome” — Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD.

“Potential Inducer of Autoimmune/Neurodegenerative Diseases” — https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8537092/

Healthline — Should You Avoid Transglutaminase?https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/transglutaminase#should-you-avoid-it

https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/How-would-a-consumer-know-if-they-purchased-a-product-that-has-been-processed-with-Transglutaminase-Enzyme-TG-enzyme

Wayne Blackshear

2 min read

Dec 16, 2023

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0

0

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