There are endless amount of things we classify as good or bad based on very little information. We are victims are poor news reporting. MSG falls under this category.
My friend and I were discussing cooking and health. Then MSG came up in the conversation. Prior to writing this post, MSG and the devil were synonymous to me. But my friend taught me that MSG naturally occurs in our bodies and is known for the umami flavor. Since this was all new information for me, I thought you guys might want to know more about MSG.
What is MSG?
MSG- Monosodium Glutamate is simply sodium (salt) and glutamate. MSG can be made and used as an additive to food, but it also occurs naturally in foods like tomatoes and cheese. Glutamate is a non-essential amino acid (what creates proteins in our bodies).
Therefore, at its core MSG is au naturale. MSG in an additive format is produced through fermentation like alcohol and vinegar. It is sold in stores and looks similar to salt.
Why does it get bad wrap
MSG in the United States is linked to Chinese food. It had been added to Chinese food for years to enhance the flavor. There is no doubt that it adds flavor, but does it add to neurological deficits?
Research is inconclusive at this point. MSG is mostly absorbed into our gut and turned into energy. Research is conflicting because it says it cannot cross the blood brain barrier, but is also reported to be an excitotoxin in the brain causing increased levels of dopamine. This can make food addictive and also damage the brain’s ability to tell you when you’re full leading to overeating.
If it is consumed in high volumes people have reported headaches, dizziness, and other symptoms. However in moderation, even added MSG, appears to be okay. According to Mayo Clinic, “Researchers have found no definitive evidence of a link between MSG and these symptoms.” It appears there is missing link in actuality and in research.
The jury is still out. As for naturally occurring MSG I am not concerned. But added MSG, why? My philosophy is why put anything unnatural in your body. I personally avoid it. I mean we all known A Cup of Noodles and Cheetos aren’t something you should be putting into your body…Right? Here is a link to common brands/foods that contain MSG.
What’s your personal experience with MSG?