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Monosodium Glutamate

Published on Tuesday, 08 October 2013 18:18

Monosodium Glutamate is a flavor enhancer that intensifies the savory taste of a wide variety of different processed foods.  The additive was first used in Asian cuisine.  Today, however you can find it in everything from breakfast foods to canned soups to snacks.  While foods containing MSG need to be labeled as such, the ingredient is not banned.  And, when you look for information regarding the side effects of MSG, odds are you’ll read information that states that there is no scientific proof that MSG is the cause of any physical reactions or responses. 

There are millions of people, however, that would disagree with those sources.  Free glutamic acids are the primary component of Monosodium Glutamate.  Glutamate is a naturally occurring amino acid in the body that we actually need.  However the processing of that amino acid produces a form that isn’t found in nature.  That’s the additive in our foods.  Those who are sensitive to the ingredient have suffered from gastrointestinal disturbances, migraines, headaches, vision disturbances, behavioral problems, depression, breathing difficulties, rashes, anxiety attacks and disturbances in heart rhythms. Symptom severity can range from very minor to extremely severe.

Some research does link Monosodium Glutamate with physical side effects, while others do not. An animal study associated the ingredient with obesity, inertia and hormonal problems.  Another study connected it to muscle tightness, exhaustion and numbness.  Other studies find no association between MSG and any of the symptoms typically reported.  Some of the more disturbing information regarding the ingredient have associated prolonged exposure with significant health difficulties. 

There are those who can consume MSG without experiencing any side effects whatsoever.  However, when  looks at the accumulation of several disturbing possible side effects for the ingredient, we would most definitely recommend that the additive be avoided completely.

Visit The Rak Foundation for Nutritional Awareness for more information on how we can change the way America eats!