Monosodium glutamate is also known as MSG. It gives food
SO, WHY IS MSG SO BAD?
Let’s take a look, shall we?
- Glutamic acid can be classified as a non-essential acid that is produced in the body and acts as a neurotransmitter that stimulates nerve cells in the brain. Many claims have proposed that the consumption of MSG will lead to the excessive production of glutamate in the brain, which will lead to the overstimulation of nerve cells that can be toxic to the body. However, moderate consumption of MSG should have very little effect on the brain
- MSG sensitivity: the condition of people developing adverse reactions to MSG is called MSG syndrome complex. They may experience symptoms like numbness, tingling, muscle tightness, headache, sweating, nausea, chest pain, and weakness. There has, so far, been no clear cut explanation, but researchers speculate that MSG, when taken in a large dose, allows small amounts of glutamic acid to pass the blood-brain barrier and mix with neurons, causing brain injury and swelling. Also, cases have been reported of people having asthma attacks after consuming MSG, though there has been no link medically.
- Strong effect on flavor and calories: When people eat filling foods, they tend to have a low-calorie intake. Research has shown that MSG gives people that filling effect and stimulate the receptors in the digestive tract that regulate appetite, thereby making people eat less. However, some studies have shown that the intake of MSG increases appetite, which in any case, isn’t good.
SO, HOW DOES IT END UP IN PRODUCTS?
MSG has been used as a flavor in various foods such as fried chicken, flavored Pringles, chicken noodle soup, Chinese cheese, potato wedges, gravy, green beans, etc.
HOW TO IDENTIFY IT ON PRODUCT LABELS
Most times it is written on the ingredient section of the product, either as MSG or glutamic acid.
Despite research showing that there is MSG is safe, many nutritionists have proposed moderate or low consumption of it in meals. Everything lies within moderate consumption. If you are highly sensitive, it is advisable to avoid it. Also, MSG is found in low-quality and processed foods, which you should avoid as well.