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Bragg’s Liquid Aminos: Healthy Soy Sauce Alternative?

Is Bragg’s Liquid Aminos a healthy version of soy sauce? The label boasts a wide range of amino acids, that must be a good thing …. right??

Personally, I am not a fan of Bragg’s. After countless clients asked why that is exactly, I finally put my nose to the grindstone to focus and research the topic properly.

Below is what I have found thus far …..

Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

This certified, non-GMO liquid protein concentrate is made from soybeans and contains both essential and non-essential amino acids. This product is not made with any added salt. Bragg’s is becoming more popular by those who want an alternative to soy sauce.

Bragg’s is alcohol-free, un-fermented, and wheat-free. A lot of people like this stuff, especially those who need to reduce salt in their diet or someone on a Candida Cleanse like The Body Ecology Diet (B.E.D)*, where the recommendation is to avoid anything fermented for the initial three months on this cleansing diet.

Recently, Bragg’s has come under scrutiny with people asking questions like “is MSG a byproduct of Bragg’s manufacturing process?”, “why is Bragg’s salty but the label says it doesn’t have salt?”, or “why don’t I feel good after using Bragg’s?”.

How it’s made

Bragg’s hasn’t revealed the process which they make Liquid Aminos, yet Griselda Blazey made it her business to find out. Blazey has a B.S. in biology, an M.S. in biochemistry, a post-doctorate in endocrinology, and teaches cell physiology/nutrition at Life Chiropractic College West. She believes that Liquid Aminos are made with the following process:

Soybeans are treated with hydrochloric acid to create free amino acids; remaining acid is neutralized with sodium bicarbonate to create sodium chloride that produces a salty taste. This modern bio-reactor method produces a product by rapid hydrolysis rather than complete fermentation and takes just 2 days using an enzyme (glutamase) as a reactor. This means the final product contains large amounts of a kind of un-natural glutamic acid found in monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Problems with MSG

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is addictive and a brain stimulant that can cause a variety of issues (i.e. rapid heartbeat, tingling, depression, chest pain). Asthma too. As a life-long asthmatic, I learned this one the hard way. When I eat food with MSG, my lungs get tight and my jaw locks up.

MSG is not good for anyone; especially kids under 12 yrs. old because their blood brain barrier isn’t fully developed and MSG can travel up into their brain. This can cause headaches, fatigue, eye damage, and neurological issues. If that child (or adult) has an autism spectrum disorder then the symptoms can be even more intense. Adults can have a thin blood brain barrier too, so watch out for MSG …. it’s sneaky and in a lot of foods that might surprise you (i.e. protein isolate, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, soy extract).

MSG in Bragg’s

Bragg’s used to have a “No-MSG” label on it, but has been removed. Hopefully one day, Braggs will reveal its manufacturing process and explain how Liquid Aminos is salty without containing salt. Until then, Blazey’s chemical explanation appears to be correct in that Bragg’s Liquid Aminos contains MSG.

Healthy Alternatives

I continue to recommend wheat-free tamari for those who are gluten-free and Nama Shoyu/traditional soy sauce for those who can eat gluten. Other helpful alternatives might be mock soy sauce or substitute soy sauce.

*Note: Bragg’s isn’t recommended during the initial stage of The Body Ecology Diet (B.E.D. when healing a health condition that stems from yeast, bacterial, or viral related overgrowth.

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Fallon, S. (2001).  Nourishing Traditions.  Washington, DC: New Trends Publishing, Inc.

Sue, A. (2011). Soy Sauce/Salt Substitutions. Retrieved at

Pro Liberty (1998). Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. Retrieved online at

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May all bellies be happy!

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32 replies on “Bragg’s Liquid Aminos: Healthy Soy Sauce Alternative?”

Manufacturers claim that soy-based liquid aminos contain 16 essential and non-essential amino acids, while coconut-based ones offer 17. However, no independent research supports these claims. Bragg Liquid Aminos contains both essential and non-essential amino acids, including alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, lysine, leucine, methionine, phenyllalanine, proline, serine, threonine, tyrosine, and valine.

I recently went Vegan. what is the best source for Amino acids that normally are found in meat. I thought that Bragg Liquid Aminos would be it, but now wonder. Thanks.

Braggs is not fermented so in that sense it is better option than tamari. Does it contain tyramine? I can’t tell from the research I have done. You will want to call Bragg’s and ask them that question. Please let us know if you do find out. That said, I am not a fan of using Braggs so would suggest you stick to sea salt for salty taste. I myself quit all tamari/soy sauce like condiments back when I was healing chronic yeast overgrowth and find salt and other seasonings to hit the spot just fine. I like to use dried shiitake mushrooms in cooking to give an umami flavor. I will add a recipe below for that is non-fermented and gives a soy sauce like liquid which is quite tasty.

I need to avoid soy sauce due to Tyramine and my taking an MAOI medication. A friend suggested this product (Braggs Liquid Aminos) could be a substitute for me. Is Tyramine an amino acid? Does that mean that this product is unsafe for me as well as soy sauce? I would appreciate a reply very much, and if possible a safe substitute if one exists. Thank you very much!

I want to know how everyone says MSG is bad and you mention that children under 12 can’t process it too well, yet it has been used in Asia for hundreds of years and the kids in Asia seem to grow up fine.

See how you feel…or use Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar in some water 🙂

This past week I started drinking a 6-8 oz glass of water with Bragg’s Aminos in it. Good idea or bad?

So my girlfriend made a soup for the second time the other night. The first time I had this soup, I loved it! The second time she made it, I broke out in hives, REALLY REALLY BAD hives, all over my body. I do get hives when I eat something I’m allergic to, and have hives since I was a kid (mainly from artificial cherry (capri suns).

The second time she made the soup, the only difference was we used Liquid Aminos we bought the other day from Mom’s Organic market (grocery store).

I ate it again the second night (this was before I knew it was the soup), and I broke out in hives again.

I googled Liquid Aminos and found this site and others, and also found an article that states people who get chronic hives, can experience hives when they are exposed to MSG.

“In 2014, Clinical Nutrition Research presented a link between MSG and allergy reactions in a small subset of people who experience chronic hives. The majority of these reports involve mild symptoms though, such as: tingling skin. headache. “(

I’m a 31 year old Vietnamese American who grew up eating a lot of food which probably had some MSG in there, but NEVER broke out in hives like this before.

Now I’m wondering if there is something else in the Liquid Aminos that could be causing me to break out in hives.

@erit83 I’m glad the Braggs liquid aminos don’t affect you negatively at all. I’ll have to find out what blood type I am; thanks for bringing that aspect (often overlooked) into the conversation.

I would caution anyone displaying symptoms of allergic reaction to soy products to exercise common sense toward the ingestion of any condiment or food additive containing soy–including Braggs. Otherwise, there are so many positive qualities associated with the amino acid profile used in Braggs “Liquid Aminos” to disregard using it, altogether. If it causes bad side-effects, then don’t use it. Sometimes people dive into untested waters only to discover the temperature shock all-too-late. Try easing into any new product slowly, and cautiously. Even, otherwise, healthy probiotics can cause adverse side-effects when not approached cautiously using good common sense and gradual introduction–allowing the body time to adapt to it and create a harmonious balance. It is the “cold water ‘shock’ effect”; toxins built-up over long periods of time will manifest itself in the form of hives (rashes), or even mild flu-like symptoms when they are being “swept” from the body. Please don’t discredit a time-tested product based on hypothetical conjecture, or negative reactions due to personal sensitivity reactions.

I recently tried Bragg’s Liquid Aminos as I haved developed an intolerance to gluten products. I have tried the grocery non gluten soy sauces and was terribly dissappointed. I found I prefer the liquid aminos in my asian food I love so much! I have had adverse affects of MSG before, but had none with this product. I am so happy to have found a substitute for soy sauce that I love!!!

I am wondering what the actual AMINO ACID content is! I’m trying to track that in my diet, but can no where find that Braggs “contains” any particular amount/percentage. So my question is, is it even worth it?

I just googled for a list of top MSG foods and looked at some charts. But none are large enough to read very well or post an image of here. But have a look and see, none that I saw listed Bragg’s because there is no added MSG in this product, rather it’s a by-product. Let us know if you find anything 🙂

I too have tried Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. I have a significant intolerance to MSG and develope horribly painful headaches from it. I have the same reaction to Bragg’s. Is there a sight that lists the amount of MSG in different products for comparison?

I have been using Bragg’s Aminos since 1986. I am enormously reactive to MSG. I can say, unequivocally, that I have no negative reaction to Bragg’s Aminos. This product had been available for 5 decades. I can find many reasons why some say they do. People with Blood Type B, and the Non Secretor sector of Blood Type O should avoid Soy, in any form. Then there are the manufacturing trolls and the ,’ right,’ thinkers who want to preach their truth as the only truth. I read people who identify themselves as ,’ nutritionists,’ ‘ health care providers,’ and I winch as their dialogue quickly identifies them as graduates of their own min d, or the,’ School of Crackerjack.’ As a real practitioner I fine it easy to out the trolls. The isolate resulting from reaction of hydrochloric a similar to stomach acid to soybeans is not MSG. Sodium and salt are not synonymous. Police are usually present at holdups, but they are not the robbers. For Blood Types A and AB soy is a nutritional medicine. Anyone truly having severe reaction to a serving of BRAGG’S AMINOS, is confusing reacting to something else in the meal or their gut flora with this healthy product. Paul and Patricia Bragg are among the greatest health icons. Decent people like them don’t produce public scourges. That’s big commerce’s platform. And it stoop to the lowest to condemn the real health products.

I belive this. I just started using Braggs and I do not feel well. Thank-you so much for this research

A dietition is backed by law and degrees, a nutritionist isn’t. This blog = opinion, period. She even says it in the beginning. Do your own research folks!

I have been using Bragg’s liquid aminos for years, never had any adverse reactions to it, don’t feel bad after eating it and am really healthy. I eat very very well most of the time occasionally treating myself to a cheat meal. Once I went to a Chinese for one of those cheat meals and woke up the morning after with hives all over that were very itchy. I did some research and found that often happens after eating Chinese, there is even term Chinese food syndrome and the cause of it is MSG that is abundant in Chinese food. Few days later the hives were finally gone and I was back to normal. Needless to say I never went back to that Chinese and never had hives like that since. Bottom line is because that never happens with Braggs amines, I don’t believe they are as bad as this article is making them to be. I mean the author is just speculating and has no prove. Personally I will keep using them…

The explanation of this so-called soy sauce substitute in the article probably is right. Trichloropropanol (MCPD) will be made during the this modern bio-reactor method. This chemical is generally considered as a contaminant in food by WHO. Hopefully, the truth will be revealed to public soon. There are some naturally brewed No-MSG, less-sodium and gluten free soy sauce available on the market. Those will be better options.

You All Realize The Msg Debacle Has Been Disproven Right? And most symptoms from msg sickness are just conformation bias. Msg is just sodium and glutamine, both these things you get in a regular diet, sodium being just table salt, and glutamine being an amino acid in pretty much every form of protein you eat. Don’t be afraid of msg. And for the record msg does not spike creatine levels that’s just ridiculous.

I emailed Bragg’s about the MSG and this was their reply: Bragg does not add any MSG to its liquid amino products. However, MSG is found naturally occurring in many foods, such as mushrooms, tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and soybeans. Since Bragg Liquid Aminos is made from soybeans, there can be some very small amounts of naturally occurring MSG. Patricia Bragg is personally very opposed to adding MSG as a food ingredient to foods, and she is very sensitive to MSG. Many of our customers who are very sensitive to MSG have never had any adverse reactions to Bragg Liquid Aminos.

Bragg Liquid Aminos is made by a proprietary method. As a result, we cannot answer specific questions as to how it is made. We have several companies who are trying to copy our product and make Bragg Liquid Aminos “knock-offs”. Some companies have contacted us to get an idea of how we make it. In order to protect the “recipe” or formula for Bragg Liquid Aminos, we do not answer any specific questions in regards to the war it is made.

Blessings of health!
Bragg Customer Service
Tel: 1-(800)-446-1990

I bought Braggs too and felt AWFUL after using it, even more so than when I use regular soy sauce! I never knew why until I read this blog. Thank you for looking in to this. I would get a headache, achy, fatigue and a bounding pulse (throbbing in my feet and hands).

I recently came across Bragg’s liquid aminos while trying to find a healthy chicken fried rice recipe. After reading your post, i will definitely be looking further into this product before i add it into my food. Thank you for sharing this information!

A neighbor recently recommended this product in place of regular soy sauce. So I decided to see what I could find online. And here we are. So glad I found this site before spending my money on this product.

I just started a diet that uses Bragg’s as a seasoning and I didn’t know what it was. I am so grateful for finding this site. I cannot tolerate MSG and I will definitely use an alternative or not at all. I think it’s horrible that the public is put in danger by companies that provide false advertising. Thank you to all who responded to the articles on this site.

This product is being tauted as a soy substitute, but it is made from soybeans. For those of us in this world that have a severe soy allergy this can be deadly since the product is not labeled correctly. JUST BE HONEST IN YOUR LABELING. The FDA should require the absolute truth on product labeling.

I recently read an article including Bragg Liquid Aminos on the list of foods containing MSG or other names for it. They just say it’s ingredients as “vegetable protein from soybeans & purified water.”

You are correct that the bottle used to say “No MSG” – but no more. I was appalled to find this out, as I have reactions to MSG & have to be careful what I eat. I believed them & thought this was safe!

Last year I ended up in the emergency room & had many tests. They couldn’t figure out what was wrong. When my nutritionist read my labs, she identified the source of the problem right away from my elevated creatine levels – MSG.

I need to contact my nutritionist to inform her that the Braggs Liquid Aminos that they recommended to use in their nutrition handouts contains MSG!

We should be able to do more with deceptive & misleading labeling!

Watch out for Bragg’s Ginger & Sesame Salad Dressing. Their Liquid Aminos are the 3rd ingredient listed. Too bad because this is a great tasting dressing.

Thank you for this! I found an almost empty bottle of the liquid aminos in my cupboard. It’s now in recycling. Will share your blog with the owners of my store.

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