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An MSG Allergy: What Is It?



MSG Allergy

An MSG Allergy: What Is It?

Monosodium glutamate (MSG), a food additive, mistakenly acquired a poor reputation in the 1960s due to worries that it would result in side effects and symptoms resembling MSG Allergy.


Although it’s fiction, there are still occasional claims about an MSG allergy online. Clinical studies have also examined potential adverse effects from this component, although they are not typical of the little quantities that people generally eat.



Describe MSG

L-glutamic acid, a naturally occurring amino acid found in many foods, is used to make MSG, a taste enhancer. It imparts what is referred to as an “umami taste,” which generally translates to a savory or salty flavor.


MSG Allergy

It may be found naturally in a variety of foods, and Asian cuisine often uses it as a flavor-enhancing food ingredient. Additionally, it may be included in different kinds of meals.


Is it salt-like in nature?

The chemical formula for table salt is NaCl because it is an ionic compound made up of sodium (Na) and chloride (Cl) ions in a 1:1 ratio (sodium chloride). Electrical attraction holds the negatively charged chloride ions and positively charged sodium ions together in a solid form.

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Another ionic molecule that combines both positively and negatively charged sodium and glutamate ions, but not in a 1:1 ratio, is MSG.


The chemical formula is comprised of 12 percent sodium ions, 78 percent glutamate ions, and 10 percent water. These percentages were derived from the ratios (C5H8NO4–).


The presence of sodium in MSG enables it to impart a taste that is analogous to that of a savory or salty substance to a wide variety of meals.


The fallacy of MSG allergies

In spite of worries, decades of study have almost always failed to reveal a connection between monosodium glutamate (MSG) and significant allergic responses. Anecdotal reports of responses after consumption of foods containing MSG have been received, however scientific research on humans has failed to corroborate these reports.


Is it safe to consume MSG?

MSG falls into the same category as salt and pepper in terms of being classified as “generally recognized as safe,” or GRAS, according to the FDATrusted Source.


A 2007 review

After looking over the clinical literature from the preceding 40 years, a Reliable Source discovered that there is no plausible association between MSG and any particular symptoms or allergies. Instead, academics that have discredited claims of this kind recommend medical providers assist patients in looking for alternative underlying reasons for symptoms connected to food.


MSG Allergy

In 2016, scientists discovered that any quantity of monosodium glutamate (MSG) is genotoxic, which means that it is harmful to both cells and genetic material. Furthermore, it is harmful to human lymphocytes, which are a kind of white blood cell. On the other hand, the research came to the conclusion that these effects were in vitro. This means that the experiments were carried out in a test tube. The findings do not lend credence to the hypothesis that consuming MSG is hazardous in the same manner.

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Read Also: Why MSG is bad

In 2015, researchers discovered probable correlations between chronic intake of MSG and renal (kidney) impairment in rats. The study was published in the journal Trusted Source. On the other hand, and similar to the research that was just described, there is no evidence to suggest that the modest levels of MSG that people ingest might cause harm to the kidneys.



However, in order to definitively rule out sensitivity to meals containing MSG, it may be necessary to do more studies on people.


Early signs

Individuals who eat MSG in the absence of meals have been known to report experiencing transient, moderate symptoms, and the FDATrusted Source is aware of these complaints. These symptoms might include the following:


Drowsiness \headache
flushing of the skin, numbness, tingling, palpitations of the heart
Even if the idea that people might be allergic to monosodium glutamate (MSG) has been discredited to a considerable extent, it is still conceivable that you could have a sensitivity or allergy to real food that contains MSG.


Differences between dietary deficiency and food allergy

It is essential to have a solid understanding of the variations that exist between food sensitivities and food allergies. Food sensitivity is a condition that may also be referred to as food intolerance. It is caused by adverse responses that occur in the digestive system.


If you consume a modest quantity of the item that makes you sensitive, there is a low probability that the meal will create any difficulties for you. However, you may still have some unpleasant sensations. It’s possible that the symptoms may show up only a few hours after consuming the dish, but they’ll go gone on their own eventually.


Possible warning signs of an allergic reaction to food include:

hives and rashes on the skin
abdominal pain
bloating \sgas
On the other hand, the consequences of having a food allergy are quite severe. The overreaction of your immune system to specific meals, which results in the production of antibodies to combat certain foods, might cause these symptoms.


In contrast to persons who only have a sensitivity to certain foods, those who suffer from severe food allergies may have responses that are capable of taking their lives. Rapid onset of symptoms may occur, sometimes even after brief contact with the offending food.

Read Also: MSG in Chinese food: Is it harmful?

The following are examples of clinical manifestations of food intolerance:

rosacea, hives, or eczema rashes on the skin
swelling of the skin diarrhea vomiting respiratory symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath swelling in the throat anaphylaxis, a life-threatening response that might lead to unconsciousness
It is vital to see a medical professional in order to determine the next steps, which may include testing for food intolerance or allergies. If you have any bad effects after ingesting a meal that contains MSG, you should do so.

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Optimal MSG levels

Larger dosages of MSG 3 grams without meals, according to the FDA — have been associated with symptoms in people.

MSG Allergy

However, it’s rare that anybody would take MSG from sources other than food. Those quantities are not just unlikely to be found in restaurants or retail food. According to the FDA, a normal food serving of MSG has 0.5 grams or less.



If you have a dairy allergy or an allergy, limiting the food that is responsible for your symptoms is the most effective treatment option. Before you make any big adjustments to your diet, however, you should have blood or skin testing to check whether or not you have any food allergies or sensitivities. Your physician could also suggest keeping a food diary or going on an elimination diet.


The administration of an epinephrine injection is the necessary emergency therapy for more severe symptoms such as anaphylaxis (adrenaline). Additionally, hospitalization could be necessary.

Read Also: Why msg is bad for your health

Which foods have MSG in them?

It could be difficult to stay away from foods that contain MSG. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) states that MSG may be found in its natural form in a wide variety of foods. It may be found in especially high concentrations in foods that are rich in protein, including the following:


meat \poultry \cheese \fish
There is also evidence that it may be found in some plants, such as:


tomatoes \smushrooms
Labeling is needed when the chemical is included as an ingredient in goods that contain MSG as an addition because of the regulations governing the compound. When this occurs, the ingredient is referred to as “monosodium glutamate.”


Avoid these substances because they may contain added monosodium glutamate (MSG):

foods that are frozen
Mixtures of spices in canned or dry soups or stocks, which may be referred to as “dried beef,” “chicken stock,” “pork extract,” or “hydrolyzed wheat protein” on food labels sauces, and salad dressings may also include these ingredients.
meat-based meals like sausage


The Conclusion

Although it used to be thought that certain persons may have allergic symptoms when exposed to MSG, the idea of an MSG allergy has now generally been debunked.


MSG is a flavor enhancer that is naturally present in certain meals, such as meats and is also added to other processed food varieties. There is no scientific proof that food additive causes allergies in people, however, it is conceivable to have a food sensitivity to MSG or any meal that contains MSG.

Read: The Great Salt Debate: MSG vs Sodium

After consuming a certain meal, if you suffer strange symptoms, consult your doctor for further testing. By completely avoiding these things, any alleged sensitivity to MSG or foods containing it may be treated.