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drpoop's avatar

What is so bad about MSG or Monosodium glutamate?

Asked by drpoop (83 points ) July 28th, 2009

I remember a previous scandal surrounding this additive but i don’t know why it’s so bad.
and even if it is how come i can purchase it at the supermarket?

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9 Answers

kellsworth's avatar

I can’t answer about MSG specifically but i’d like to know. I always thought it had to do with it being a ton of sodium.

however, you gotta watch the movie Food Inc. They pretty much tell you whats wrong with every food ever made.

dpworkin's avatar

Nothing much. It has a bad rep, but there’s not much proof that it’s related to headaches or anything else. It is a natural substance that enhances one of your taste receptors, called “Umami”. Umami is sometimes defined as “meaty”. You eat things all the time to stimulate sweet, sour, bitter and salty receptors. It’s no big deal to enhance your food’s flavor by tasting more Umami.

erniefernandez's avatar

Some people have been known to have some adverse reactions but reviews of the scientific literature have not found any conclusive links between MSG and adversive side effects.

As a result, it’s still legal but, in order to avoid catching crap, food manufacturers now list it under different names on food labels. MSG makes your tastebuds bigger and, thus, your food more delicious.

PS: Names for MSG include “Vegetable Protein Extract”, “Glutamic Acid”, “Glutamate”, and “Monopotassium Glutamate”. It’s in the Kernel’s Chicken!

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I watched an episode of that show “Food Detectives” on the Food Network about it, and it said there’s really no evidence it’s bad for you, for what it’s worth.

drpoop's avatar

thank you, ya i was trying to reproduce the “kernel’s best” and one of the ingredients was msg, now i feel a little reassured.

erniefernandez's avatar

MSG makes food delicious. ^_^ And it’s a relatively unprocessed ingredient, compared to some of the gruesome crap people put in stuff you probably eat every day (I do).

figbash's avatar

I know MSG makes food delicious, but it gives me screaming headaches and I know I’m not having a psychosomatic reaction. Maybe the MSG certain restaurants use is ‘cut’ with something else that I’m having a reaction too, but I get them pretty badly. It’s also one of the few times I get headaches. I’ve had this theory tested tons of times and it’s almost always MSG. Odd . . .

erniefernandez's avatar

It might be an allergic reaction…? Nothing mysterious. I get sores on my tongue whenever I eat ascorbic acid (Vitamin C concentrate), and some types of banana and pineapple high in Vitamin C.

Rare, yes. Odd, certainly. But hey, at least I can eat peanuts. ^_^

janbb's avatar

Both of my brothers’ jaws would ache after eating Chinese food with MSG in it. And this was years ago before people were so sensitive about food issues. I don’t think there is anything dire in it but some people have a reaction to it.

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