MSG: Good Or Bad For You?


What Is MSG?

MSG is a condiment made of sodium and glutamate, an amino acid that occurs naturally in foods like tomatoes, soy sauce, and old cheeses as well as in the human body. In 1908, a Japanese scholar identified glutamate as the flavor enhancer responsible for the rich, savory flavor of his preferred seaweed broth. Glutamate is special because it satisfies the rumored "fifth taste" known as umami, which is a savory and meaty flavor. MSG was created by the professor and patented, and it is now frequently used to season food.[4]

Where Does Msg Originate?

Although MSG is a naturally occurring substance, it can also be created artificially in factories and research facilities. The fermentation technique is used to create synthetic MSG from cane or corn starch. Soy sauce and vinegar are all made using the same method.

Between MSG that occurs naturally and MSG that is manufactured in factories, there are no chemical distinctions. The human body is unable to tell whether the glutamate in your diet is naturally occurring or was created in a lab. Meat, fish, fruit, and vegetables, including mushrooms, all contain naturally occurring glutamate.[3]

Is MSG Bad For You?

MSG has been labeled "generally recognized as safe" by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since there is no evidence to support the assertions that it has harmful effects on health (GRAS).

Food Standards Australia New Zealand must judge food additives as acceptable before they can be used in Australian cuisine. There is no convincing evidence that MSG is a substantial contributor in triggering systemic reactions that result in serious disease or mortality as stated in its 2003 report.

Despite this, there is anecdotal proof that a small percentage of people have an adverse reaction to the flavor enhancer. The MSG symptom complex refers to several reactions, which include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Sweating
  • Chest pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Facial tightness

These are all mild symptoms and don't often require a doctor’s attention.

How To Use MSG Safely? 

If you don't think you're sensitive to MSG, there are benefits to utilizing it. MSG provides depth and enhances flavor, although it has two-thirds less sodium than conventional table salt. And adding taste doesn't require much. You only need a half-teaspoon of the MSG seasoning made by Ajinomoto to improve the flavor of a pound of meat or up to six servings of vegetables or soup.[2]


MSG is typically used as a seasoning in modest amounts much like normal salt , therefore it is unlikely that you would consume large quantities of it let alone by itself. It may be the most despised food additive, but the facts do not back up its bad ingredient.[1]



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