How Bad is MSG?
MSG is synonymous with bad food. It has been for years. Chinese food restaurants have stamped ‘NO MSG” on their menus and buffets for years to avoid the fallout from MSG laden foods. But is it that bad?
What is MSG?
MSG is an abbreviation for monosodium glutamate. It is a flavor enhancer and food preservative.
Glutamate is an amino acid that is naturally present in foods. Sodium is salt. Neither are harmful separated, so what’s the deal when they get together?
A study was conducted on baby mice where MSG was injected into their stomachs at extremely high doses and from this study, it was concluded that MSG could lead to obesity and brain development issues. This was all it took to villainize MSG.
MSG’s alleged effects became known as Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.
If you’re a study follower, you know for every study that proves something, there are 3 to disprove it. But this in particular is a bit concerning because no human studies were conducted to support the claims.
In fact, there was nothing like the issues described in the study in China where MSG was prevalent.
As such, slowly and as technology progressed, new studies were conducted on humans showing no adverse reactions or effects when consuming MSG.
So why do packages still state “NO MSG”? Because it’s become a stigma and no one wants to lose sales.
MSG actually reduces salt intake when used as a flavor enhancer, so it can be a good thing if consumed in recommended amounts.
So, are there any studies that support adverse effects with MSG?
MSG and Migraines
Iyou’re prone to migraines, MSG or any other food containing glutamate, like soy products, you might want to monitor your intake.
Glutamate is a main and excitatory amino acide neurotransmitter in the brain.
Neurotransmitters release substances to help cells communicate. Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter which ‘excites’ other cells and makes them more active. People sensitive to this increased brain activity can experience headaches or migraines.
As such, you may consider reading the ingredients of your food to ensure you limit your intake of any glutamate containing substance to see if it helps your migraines subside.