Monosodium Glutamate


Monosodium Glutamate or MSG is found in many of the foods we eat. Glutamate, an amino acid, is naturally found in foods and is needed by our bodies. Monosodium glutamate, as the name suggests, is the salt of glutamate. When it is added to food it provides a more enhanced flavor of glutamate. of It became more well known when the media published a lot of information about the large amounts of MSG found in Asian foods. MSG is generally consider “safe” but there is still some controversy surrounding its use. The body treats MSG the same as it does the naturally occurring glutamate. The FDA has continually labeled MSG as safe as hundreds of research studies have supported this conclusion but did acknowledge that some people suffer from short-term effects of MSG including:

  • Headache, sometimes called MSG headache
  • Flushing
  • Sweating
  • Sense of facial pressure or tightness
  • Numbness, tingling or burning in or around the mouth
  • Rapid, fluttering heartbeats (heart palpitations)
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Weakness

(symptom information obtained from

The FDA and current research has not be able to find evidence linking MSG to any long-term conditions or diseases. However, if you have noticed some of these symptoms after eating you may want to limit MSG intake and see if the symptoms improve. It is important to remember that other additives also contain MSG so it can be found under other names like hydrolyzed vegetable proteins, autolyzed vegetable proteins, autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed yeast, yeast extract, soy extracts, and protein isolate.


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