I like to call this additive the ‘New’ MSG, or monosodium glutamate, because many food manufacturers want to be able to market their product as having ‘No MSG,’ but of course they have to add flavor somehow…so they are using these other flavor enhancers more than ever before. We are being led from one nasty chemical to another with these additives in our foods.
This additive is salty and savory just like MSG. It is found in many of the same foods as MSG. The chemical name is Ribonucleotide, and often the reaction people get from eating it is an extremely itchy, irritable rash which we call the ‘Ribo Rash.’ Below is my personal story of suffering from the ‘Ribo Rash.’
In 2004 I arrived in Australia and I started to develop a very itchy red rash on my body. It started under my arms, in my inner arms, on my lower back, on my breasts and around my eyes.
The rash quickly got worse. It seemed to spread like fire actually, itching like crazy and making me mental. I had never experienced anything like it before, and there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to what would trigger it. Creams seemed to make it worse – somehow they felt like they were ‘trapping’ the rash inside of me. I could not control my desire to tear my skin off from the itching; I especially enjoyed scalding my skin with hot water – what a sick feeling of relief that provided!! I also started getting heart palpitations…at any time my heart-rate would increase from 60 beats per minute to 140, and I had no history of anxiety whatsoever. I was generally eating quite healthy (at least so I thought); I didn’t smoke, barely drank, exercised (obviously), so how could I be so sick?
Friends told me to meditate. Doctors told me it was a simple case of excema. I had a complete round of testing done and everything came up fine. I was tested for heavy metal poisoning, various viral infections, standard food allergies (milk, wheat, eggs, gluten, etc); I had chest x-rays and EKG’s done – and they found nothing. The only thing that came up suspect during that time is my URIC ACID levels were high. The doctor suggested that I go on medication to bring down the uric acid; he said I was in danger of having gout. (I now know that food additive #635 Ribonucleotide can cause uric acid levels to rise.)
Eventually, out of desperation, I started my own ‘elimination diet’ in an effort to narrow down the possibility of it being a food allergy. I just had this feeling that the rash was being caused by something I was eating. I had tried all the changes of soaps, washing powders, etc etc, and I felt like I had no other option to even try. It was at least 1 year of suffering with the rash at this stage, not always as bad as the photos mind you, but always present and always itching like hell. The elimination diet was worth a try.
I started off by telling people at my new job that I was a celiac (i.e. no wheat or gluten). I also started keeping a food diary, writing down what I ate daily and when I had an outbreak. The wheat and gluten-free diet helped tremendously, and now I know it is because ribonucleotides are often found in products containing wheat. About once a month or so I would still have an outbreak, but it seemed manageable – I kind-of got to the point where I accepted the rash as a part of my life and decided I could tolerate it in the small amounts I was getting.
At the same time though I started to get more of an anaphylaxis reaction in addition to the rash, so when I had an outbreak, my lips and throat would swell. I started to take anti-histamines and I carried them with me where-ever I went. It is crazy to think back now how I just carried on living through all of that!
Finally the day of reckoning came to me. I hadn’t eaten anything the previous day and I made a salad using the cheap salad packets at work. About an hour later I started to feel the itchiness start in my face, eyes and lips. Somehow I just knew it was the salad dressing. I quickly did an internet search on ‘food additives itchy rash’ and instantly found Sue Dengate’s site. Actually I sobbed tears of joy while I read countless stories of others who had suffered with the SAME EXACT symptoms as me, and I KNEW that I was not crazy, I knew at that moment that I had found the cause of my suffering. There was no doubt in my mind that I was suffering from the Ribo Rash. I noted the list of foods on her site that contain 635, and when I checked my food diary, EVERY SINGLE TIME I HAD A REACTION I had eaten #635. Even on the wheat-free gluten-free diet, I realized that I had eaten seaweed-flavored rice crackers, the veggie burger at Hungry Jack’s (with no bread), cheap salad dressings, and other flavored tofu products which were causing my outbreaks. Sometimes when I try to tell people what happened to me, they cut me off and say, well I don’t eat any of that crap…and I say YOU HAVE NO IDEA THE CRAP THAT YOU ARE EATING!!
I was not eating junk food. If you think seaweed crackers are healthy you are wrong!! If you think flavored tofu is healthy you are wrong!! We are being poisoned slowly by these additives. It was 9 months into the elimination diet when I finally made this life-altering discovery.
This additive, can be ANY of the following 3 names or numbers on a food label and they are universal, i.e. the same in every country in the world:
Ribonucleotide – #635 – E635
Disodium Guanylate – #627 – E627
Disodium Inosinate – #631 – E631
It is often used in combination with MSG, monosodium glutamate or #621 (E621).
It took about 3 months from the time I eliminated #635 from my diet for the rash to go away entirely. It did not itch whatsoever during that time, it just slowly but surely started to clear up.
After 3 months I finally contacted Sue Dengate personally to thank her and tell her my battle with the Ribo Rash so she could include my story on her site. She told me I had one of the worst cases she had ever seen. Since then I have worked with her to help educate people to the dangers of this chemical. My photo is on her site and is also in her DVD entitled ‘Fed Up with Children’s Behavior – How Food Additives Affect Behavior.’
When the DVD was released in Australia in 2006, I was featured on Today Tonight, a 30-minute news program, to discuss my story.
NO ONE should go through what I went through. It it so obvious to me now that I was suffering from an extreme allergic reaction, and it angers me that doctors are so completely ignorant! How could any medical professional shrug off such an extreme reaction and say it was stress?? I went to many different doctors during that time. It is unfortunate that they are not being educated about the dangers of food additives.
It’s been 5 years now since I eliminated #635 from my diet. I have no rash whatsoever, not even the tiniest spot anywhere on my body. People often compliment me now telling me I have ‘amazing skin.’ Sometimes I tell them, ‘You have NO IDEA how much that compliment means to me.’ I think they think I’m crazy, but they just have no idea what I’ve been through. For 2 years I was embarrassed to go out in public; I felt unattractive and uncomfortable all the time. Now I have beautiful skin which radiates from the inside out.
I still have to watch labels and always be aware of what I am eating.
You can now imagine why the thought of an all-raw food diet started to appeal to me. Perhaps this allergy was a blessing in disguise for me because it was really after this whole experience that I decided to try eating all raw. In fact, I started to see the raw food diet in a completely different way - to me it now represents safe and healthy eating in a way that I could have never comprehended before. I now understand first-hand the poison that is in our processed foods and I am so happy to be able to make the choice to not continue to poison myself anymore.
On occasion I have been accidentally exposed to some ribonucleotide, especially when eating out at restaurants. It happens less and less to me now as I learn from experience what foods it is in and what foods are ’safe.’ But if I do have a reaction, I go home and immediately take about 10-12 charcoal tablets. That seems to absorb the toxins and chemical and usually after about 30 minutes I started to feel better. If after 45 minutes I still feel itchy or hot, I take another 3-4 tablets. It is much more natural on the body to do this rather than even think about taking any anti-histamines.
If you think you are having a reaction to ribonucleotides or you want to ask me specific questions about my rash, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Also please be sure to read Sue Dengate’s site and educate yourself on the dangers of all of the nasty additives.
If you know anyone who has a child suffering from ADHD or Autism, please refer them to this site as well; we are only now just discovering the links between food additives and behavioral problems in children.
If you have been affected by the ribo rash, please leave a comment and include your story below so that we can continue to educate others and hopefully prevent more suffering!
More information on what foods to avoid: List of foods that contain 635, 627 and 631.
To learn about food labeling, go to: The Truth in Food Labeling – Food Additives to Avoid & Hidden Sources of MSG
More on Food Allergies:
- Detox Reaction vs. Allergic Reaction or Intolerance – Which one is it?
- The ‘New’ MSG – Is it even more deadly than MSG itself? Ribonucleotides & The Ribo Rash
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