There is a lot of controversy regarding MSG in the natural health community.
It is said to cause asthma, headaches and even damage to the brain.
On the other hand, most mainstream sources (like FDA) claim that MSG is safe .
This article will explore MSG and its health impacts and examine both aspects of the debate.
So what is MSG?
MSG stands for monosodium glutamate.
It is a common additive used to enhance flavor for food. It has an E621 flavor regulator.
MSG is derived from the amino acid glutamate, or one of the most abundant amino acids in nature.
Glutamate is one of the essential amino acids, meaning that the human body can produce it on its own. It serves many functions in the human body and is found in most foods.
This is the chemical structure of MSG:
It is obvious to the naked eye that MSG is a white crystalline powder that looks similar to table salt or Street .
Like its name, monosodium (sodium = sodium) glutamate (MSG) is a product of sodium (Na) and glutamate, known as sodium salt.
Glutamate in MSG is made by fermenting starch, but there is no chemical difference between glutamate in MSG and glutamate in natural foods.
However, glutamate in MSG may be easier for the body to access because it has no association in the molecules. the protein Big need to be broken.
MSG increases flavor or taste like meat of food . Umami is the fifth basic taste that humans feel with salty, sour, bitter and sweet tastes.
It is very popular in Asian cooking and is used in all industrial processing foods in the West.
Average daily consumption is about 0.55-0.58 grams in the US and UK, and 1.2-1.7 grams in Japan and South Korea .
Crux : Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of glutamate, an amino acid found in the human body and in all foods. It is a very popular additive because it enhances the taste of food.
Why do people think it is harmful?
Glutamate functions as a neurotransmitter in the brain.
It is an "excitatory" neurotransmitter, which means it stimulates its neuron signals.
Some people believe that MSG leads to excessive glutamate in the brain and excessive stimulation of nerve cells.
For this reason, MSG is said to be one .
In 1969, injecting large doses of MSG into mice showed that it had harmful effects on the nerves .
This record has raised the fear of MSG even today.
In 1996, a book called Toxic triggers: Deadly taste published by Dr. Russell Blaylock, a neurosurgeon.
In his book, he argues that nerve cells including cells in the brain, can be destroyed by the stimulating effects of glutamate in MSG.
It is true that increasing the activity of glutamate in the brain can be harmful.
It is also true that large amounts of MSG can increase the amount of glutamate in the blood. In one study, a very large dose of MSG increased blood volume to 556% .
However, glutamate in diet have little or no effect on the human brain because it cannot cross the blood brain barrier in large quantities .
In general, there seems to be no conclusive evidence that MSG acts as a harmful stimulant when consumed in normal amounts.
Crux : Some people claim that glutamate in MSG can act as a toxin stimulant that destroys nerve cells. However, there is no research on anyone as evidence for this argument.
Some people may be sensitive to MSG
Some people may have side effects after taking MSG.
This situation is called (symptoms appear in some people after eating Chinese food), or MSG.
In one study, people who self-reported being sensitive to MSG consumed 5 grams of MSG or placebo (counterfeit drug).
36.1% were reported to be reactive to MSG compared to 24.6% of those who responded to placebo .
Symptoms include headache, muscle spasms, numbness / itching, fatigue and flushing.
What this study indicates is that MSG sensitivity is real. The dose that causes these symptoms may be about 3 grams per meal .
However, remember that 3 grams is a dose very large, about 6 times the average daily consumption in the US .
It is unclear why this happens, but some researchers speculate that this large dose of MSG allows glutamate levels to cross the blood-brain barrier and interact with neurons, causing neurotoxicity and injury .
MSG is also thought to cause asthma in susceptible people.
One study found that 13 out of 32 people had asthma when taking large doses of MSG .
However, other smaller studies have not shown an association between the amount of MSG absorbed and asthma .
Crux: There is evidence that MSG causes side effects in some people. The dose used in the study is much higher than the daily intake.
MSG increases flavor and may affect total calorie intake
Some foods may be more saturated than others.
Eating saturated foods leads to a decrease calories loaded and o body, can help lose weight.
There is some evidence that adding MSG to food may have such an effect.
To investigate this, the researchers fed participants with MSG seasoning soups before meals and then measured the calories they consumed during meals.
These studies have shown that MSG can increase satisfaction, help people eat fewer calories during the next meal .
It is believed that the umami taste created by MSG helps regulate appetite by stimulating the receptor found on the tongue and walls of the digestive tract .
This stimulates the development of appetite hormones such as cholecystokinin and GLP-1 .
However, it is not advisable to believe this result because other studies have shown that MSG increases, not reducing the calorie intake .
Crux : Some studies assess the effect of MSG on calorie intake. Other studies have shown that it reduces caloric intake, but others claim it increases.
Does MSG cause obesity or metabolic disorder?
Loading MSG into the body is associated with weight gain from the beginning.
This is due to the injection of MSG in large amounts into the brains of rats and white mice, causing them to be obese .
However, if it does, it will only be less relevant to the diet containing MSG that humans load into the body.
It is thought that there are some observational studies related to weight gain and obesity when consuming MSG.
In China, increased MSG consumption is associated with weight gain in some cases, with an average consumption of 0.33-2.2 grams per day .
However, for adults in Vietnam, an average consumption of 2.2 grams per day is not related to overweight .
There is also a study that shows an association between increased intake of MSG and consumption weight gain and metabolic syndrome in Thailand, but this study has many loopholes and may not be taken seriously .
A recent controlled trial showed that MSG increased blood pressure and the frequency of headache and nausea .
However, this study used unrealistically high doses.
Crux : Some observational studies show an association between the amount of MSG intake and weight gain, but the results are not high and are not considered important. A controlled trial using too high doses of MSG causes high blood pressure.
MSG is almost harmless
Depending on who you ask, MSG can be 100% safe or a dangerous toxin. In the case of nutrition, the truth is that it is often somewhere between the two extremes.
Based on the evidence, it seems that MSG is safe to use in moderate doses.
However, the dose is too large, 6-30 times the average daily consumption (consumed in one Single dose) may be harmful.
If only you have a negative reaction to MSG, you should avoid eating it. It is simply that.
But if you can consume MSG without any symptoms, there are no compelling reasons to avoid using it.
What is being said here is that MSG is often found in processed food low quality industry, the foods you should not eat much.
If you are already on a balanced diet, the amount of MSG absorbed should be lower than indicated.