The MSG Myth: The Truth About Side Effects

The MSG Myth: The Truth About Side Effects

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the most dangerous flavor enhancer out there. You might have heard that it contains a high amount of sodium and glutamic acid which, in extreme doses, can be detrimental to your health.
Guess what? Salt has over three times as much sodium as MSG! As for glutamic acid or glutamate, it’s MSG has earned a bad reputation over the years. News items and articles have made it out to be one of naturally occurring in nature. You ingest it every day when you consume tomatoes, soybeans, and mushrooms. It’s the reason why the fifth taste, umami, exists in the first place! You can consume over 13 grams of glutamate in a day even without MSG.
Despite other food items having more sodium and glutamate than MSG, it still gets all the hate. There have been people who claim that MSG caused health problems from headaches to heart palpitations. Some even claimed that they experienced chest pain after ingestion and even worsened their asthma. Even mood changes were attributed to MSG! It was so bad that there was even a term for it: Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.
In truth, consuming MSG even in high doses doesn’t cause Chinese Restaurant Syndrome at all. Even if you consume up to 147 grams of it a day, you will not feel any of the symptoms described. The caveat, however, is that if you consume MSG outside of meals and on an empty stomach, it could lead to symptoms of the Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.
The bottom line is that MSG is safe to consume as part of your meals. Use it the way it’s meant to be used—as a flavor enhancer you sprinkle with your savory dishes. As with any food item, moderation and discretion will give you all the benefits of MSG without those feared side effects.

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