Monosodium Glutamate – A Hidden Poison In Our Food

Monosodium Glutamate - A Hidden Poison In Our Food

Monosodium glutamate - A hidden poison in our food

Monosodium glutamate or MSG is a flavor enhancer that is commonly used in Chinese food. It comes from the combination of an amino acid called glutamic acid and sodium. Monosodium glutamate can be found in traditional dishes like Japanese broth by isolating glutamic acid in seaweed. MSG naturally occurs in food like tomatoes and cheeses but the MSG we use is quite harmful. Just like natural sugar found in fruit isn’t harmful- only when it is messed with in a lab is it a threat to our health. 

Some common symptoms that are seen due to MSG toxicity include headaches, flushing, sweating, facial pressure or tightness, numbness, tingling or burning, heart palpitations, intense thirst, chest pain, nausea, and weakness. 

Today fast food restaurants load their food with MSG. It looks like salt so makes sure you don’t accidentally add it in everything.

Results from studies conducted on both animals and humans have shown that even the lowest amount of MSG has toxic effects. It has the potential to disrupt neurons and might have adverse effects on behavior. Studies on animals have further revealed that neonatal MSG consumption sets a precedent for the development of obesity later on. The adverse effect of MSG caused insulin resistance and reduced glucose tolerance in rodents which raises concern about the obesity in humans too.

The same study has further revealed that MSG causes disrupted energy balance by increasing the palatability of food and disturbing the leptin-mediated hypothalamus signaling cascade, potentially leading to obesity. It also decreases the liver transaminases indicating hepatic damage.

Both studies on animals and humans show that MSG affects the reproductive system too. Administration of MSG at a dose of 2 mg/g during various perinatal periods leads to an increased number of pachytene stage cells among the primary spermatocytes compared to controls in spermatogenesis.