Monosodium Glutamate: How Is It Harmful?


The problems associated with processed food continue to grow. We have all heard this, and we’re aware of it.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor-enhancer generally added to Chinese food, canned vegetables, soups and processed meats; it’s also found in sausages and potato chips. MSG does not occur naturally in whole and natural foods, so you do not have to fret about it in apples or bananas. Many believe that MSG should be avoided at all costs, however, clever labeling practices and deceptions serve to camouflage its presence.

MSG has been used as a food additive for decades.  It is claimed to cause asthma, headaches, and even brain damage. While MSG’s benefits to the food industry are rather apparent, this food additive could be gradually and silently doing major damage to your health.

Although it’s said to be generally safe by FDA, it cause unfavorable reactions — known as MSG symptom complex — this include:

  • Headache
  • Flushing
  • Sweating
  • Facial pressure or tightness
  • Numbness, tingling or burning in the face, neck and other areas
  • Rapid, fluttering heartbeats (heart palpitations)
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Weakness

The glutamate industry is fully aware of the harmful effects of MSG, that it is a toxic substance. They know that ingesting their toxin can cause diabetes, adrenal gland malfunction, seizures, high blood pressure, excessive weight gain, stroke and other health problems. If you eat MSG and experience any of these conditions, then you need stop adding MSG to your diet right away.

MSG does more than improve flavor. It noticeably stimulates appetite and causes binging. If you’ve ever experienced eating a potato chip and just couldn’t get yourself to stop, MSG is most likely the reason.  MSG is activating the part of your brain telling you to eat some more. Food manufacturers use MSG to make their foods addicting – of course, so they can earn more money. MSG contributes a lot to obesity all over the world.


Everyone will not be affected the same by MSG, and possibly some will experience no problems at all. The vague and somewhat terrifying feature of this compound is that it can cause a variety of symptoms over time that can lead to much larger, more permanent problems. It could also be argued that small amounts in any one food will not be a problem, but if small amounts are in several common foods that are consumed every day, the problem moves to a much graver scale.

The problem is packaged and processed foods have it, especially the food you buy at fast food restaurants. The only way to avoid MSG in rather large amounts is to not eat those foods.

In general, if a food is processed you can suppose it contains MSG.

Making a decision to keep away from MSG in your diet as much as possible is an intelligent option for nearly everyone. Admittedly, it does take a bit more planning and time in the kitchen to prepare food at home, using fresh, locally grown ingredients. But knowing that your food is pure and free of toxic additives like MSG, you know it’s worth it.

MSG is bad news in the food industry and is to be avoided at all costs, if you want to take care of your body.

If you think you are responsive to monosodium glutamate or any other food ingredient, the best advice is to check with your doctor or with a dietitian.



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