Side Effects Of Monosodium Glutamate

Side Effects Of Monosodium Glutamate

The potential side effects of monosodium glutamate (MSG) are a complex and often controversial topic. It’s important to consider both sides of the story before concluding.

Potential negative effects

MSG symptom complex: Some people experience temporary, unpleasant symptoms after consuming MSG, especially in large amounts. These can include:

  • Headache
  • Flushing
  • Sweating
  • Facial pressure or tightness
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Weakness

It’s key to note that research on MSG is inconclusive. While some studies suggest a link between MSG and these symptoms, others find no such connection. Individual sensitivity likely plays a role, and most people don’t experience any adverse effects from moderate MSG consumption.

Other potential concerns

Some research suggests a possible link between MSG and:

  • Obesity
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Brain damage
  • Reproductive issues

However, these studies often have limitations, and more research is needed to confirm any definitive link.

Points to consider

  • MSG is widely used and generally considered safe by major health organizations like the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
  • The amount of MSG in most food is relatively small, making it unlikely to cause significant harm to most people.
  • Individual sensitivity is likely a factor, and some people may be more susceptible to experiencing MSG symptoms than others.


  • If you experience symptoms after consuming MSG, avoid or limit your intake to see if there’s an improvement.
  • Focus on overall dietary patterns rather than individual ingredients like MSG. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is important for overall health.
  • If you have concerns, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian for personalized advice.

Remember, the science of MSG is still evolving, and it’s crucial to approach information with a critical eye. Weigh the potential risks and benefits, and listen to your body to determine what’s best for you.

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