Tuesday, 17 February 2009


I don’t like Monosodium glutamate. I have known for years that if I eat a dish (usually a take-away) that has too much MSG in it I get a migraine. I also get an upset stomach (not related to the migraine stomach). The potential ill-effects caused by MSG were first described in a medical journal as ‘Chinese Restaurant Syndrome'. Symptoms including numbness and palpitations were reported shortly after visiting a Chinese restaurant. Such claims have never been specifically linked to MSG however, and could be due to common allergies to ingredients like peanuts and shellfish. MSG has been linked to many conditions including migraines, asthma, depression and Alzheimer's, but has never been isolated as a cause. Huge amounts of MSG have been fed to humans without causing ill-effects, and MSG is considered a safe additive by every government which tests these things. For all its testing I’m pretty sure it has an adverse effect on me and interestingly I have a neurodegenerative disease and MSG has now been implicated in a number of neurodegenerative diseases, including ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and Huntington's disease.

I have now heard rumours that MSG lacerates your taste buds – that’s how it enhances flavours. The problem is that the taste buds then scar over and that reduces their effectiveness in the future. I don’t know if there is any truth in the rumours but it’s one more thing to put me of it.

All in all I think I shall continue to avoid it – after all, my cooking must be pretty poor if it needs a chemical additive to make it eatable.

1 comment:

  1. Here here. The chain Noodle Hut and similar fast food outlets here (in New Zealand) which provide excellent (and inexpensive) food all eschew MSG and have notices up saying how bad it is for you (which could, of course, be self interest).


Comments are always welcome.