Braggs Amino Acid is used in many recipes from The Essential Oil Cookbook. Many raw foodists and others believe that Braggs Amino Acid, a non-fermented soy sauce available in health food stores all over the world, is a neurotoxin and unhealthy to ingest and that soy itself is dangerous for the health. However there is much evidence to suggest that soybeans are a safe substitute for meat, in fact a lot healthier to eat than meat. Personally I have been consuming Braggs on a daily basis in place of salt for over a decade and have never had a problem with it. If it was so toxic, I would be sick by now.

First, let's look at the arguments against Braggs.

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's 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's 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's 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's a several years ago, just like I did when after having some dulse flakes in raw food recipes - I think that they heat the dulse to drive out the moisture so that it is chopable, thus cooking it and making the "deadly" form of sodium chloride.

Hope you find her theory interesting and worthy of second-thinking the inclusion of the Bragg's product in recipes. - Dave Klein, 1997

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 Braggs 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 Braggs 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's 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.

by Lee Hitchcox, D.C.

Lee Hitchcox, D.C., is a chiropractor, nutritional consultant, ultra-marathon runner, and a nationally recognized expert in the field of optimal health maintenance. He is the author of Long Life Now: Strategies for Staying Alive and has been featured on hundreds of TV and radio programs.

Dr Hitchcox is a diplomat of the Natinal Board of Chiropractic Examiners, an editorial board member of the Holistic Health Journal, a member of the Institute of Healing arts and Science and the Health Medicine Forum. He has taught in several colleges, universities and hospitals and is a former faculty member of Logan College of Chiropractic, St. Louis.

He was trained by the U.S. Army in chemical and biological warfare before serving in Vietnam. He made his own transition to a healthier lifestyle after losing several family members to degenerative disease. he devoted 8 years of research to life extension strategies after his wife died of breast cancer and his father of osteoporosis. His articles have appeared in several national publications and his books are sold throughout North america.

Dr Hitchcox has been on the Hunza diet of the Himalayan region for the last 15 years and is well known for his lectures on biological age, longevity and long-lived cultures. His favorite sports include adventure racing, mountain climbing, rock and ice climbing, kayaking, rappelling, skiing, skydiving, hand-gliding and ultra-marathons.

"Not knowing exactly how Braggs is made, I not sure where to to place Braggs in the above two categories. However, I have not seen any research, good or bad, specifically on Braggs ability to induce hypothyroidism or any other condition.

"All the proposed chemicals supposedly used in the making of Braggs Liquid Aminos are benign. Hydrochloric acid, baking soda and sodium chloride all play big roles in biochemistry. The human body cannot live without all three, in fairly large quantities.

"Soy products have been used by Asians for thousands of years, but they only use traditional soy products (tempe, tofu, miso) and not products of American commerce (isolated soy protein, soy powders, soy milk). All the research I've seen on the hazards of soy products concern products of American commerce, not traditional soy products. Women especially who are borderline hypothyroid should not use non-traditional soy products.

"Also you will note that glutamic acid is only a benign non-essential amino acid that occurs naturally in certain protein-rich foods."

Comments from the not-milkman, Robert Cohen

According to and his group of soy-bashers (, Sally Fallon, and the Price Pottinger Institute), broccoli is also a deadly poison and must be avoided. So too, for that matter, should you never again eat seeds, whole grains, berries, fruit, vegetables, nuts, or sprouts. Let's explore why.

Despite the fact that phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) are not steroids like human estrogen, there are those who would have you induce vomiting, if ever you swallowed a soy product containing isoflavones. My advice to you is to not swallow their illogical line of reasoning.

For each milligram of phytoestrogens that she eats in soy products, the average American woman will also consume an additional four milligrams of pytoestrogens from fruits and vegetables. Advice to abstain from phytoestrogens is insanity, and Internet hype and hysteria has infected the good judgement of many so-called health advocates. This includes many ignorant physicians, who read one such article and assimilate just enough information to offer erroneous and dangerous
health advice to their patients.

Phytoestrogens are widely distributed in plants. There are three categories of phytoestrogens--isoflavones (which are found in soy), lignans (seeds, fruits and veggies), and coumestans (broccoli and sprouts). So, if you take the advice of Internet soy-bashing ignoramuses and do not drink soymilk because you fearphytoestrogens, by all means, you must give up fruits, veggies, nuts, and grains too.

The only reason that phytoestrogens are considered to be very dangerous is that the name sounds like estrogen, even though they are not steroid hormones, and even though their mechanisms of action do not mimic estrogen. Beware of phytoestrogens, you are told. Like the "boogeyman," phytoestrogens in fruit and veggies are gonna get you while you sleep.

A publication in the February 2004 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (R. Ziegler, 2004;79:183-4) suggests that women who eat high levels of soy isoflavones have lower rates of breast cancer than those who consume low levels of isoflavones.

Dr. Regina Ziegler is a researcher with the National Cancer Institute. She has taught health and nutrition courses at Yale and Harvard Universities. Ziegler writes:

"The daily intake of phytoestrogens in white U.S women has been estimated to be <1 mg, with 80% from lignans, 20% from isoflavones, and <0.1 from coumestans."

In other words, according to Ziegler, an expert in her field, Americans eat four times the amount of phytoestrogens in fruit and veggies as they do from soy products.

Ziegler continues:

"Historically, breast cancer rates in the United States have been 4-7 times those in Asia, whereas isoflavone intake in the United States is <1% that in Asian populations."

So should you take Mercola's advice and eliminate soy and all fruits and vegetables because of phytoestrogens? Should you also follow his dietary advice by eating raw milk and dairy products and raw meat? If you follow Mercola, you will be led into a cave with other Neanderthals.

You might consider contrary advice. An apple a day does keep the doctor away because of those magical phytoestrogens. So too do brown rice and almonds, broccoli, and fresh sprouts. Go heavy on the soy.

Dead raw flesh and cooked animal parts should not be served with body fluids from diseased animals. Every cell in your miraculous body craves life, not death. Cells and enzymes from carrots and oranges. Green plants containing chlorophyll, and calcium with magnesium in a proportion that is efficiently utilized by the human body. A rose will never become a dead chicken, even if it is so re-named. Neither would a phytoestrogen become a steroid hormone, nor act like one.

For health, eat isoflavones and phytoestrogens. Your body will thank you.

Visit Not Milk .com for more information from Robert Cohen.


Essential Oil Cookbook © 2004