MSG - Adverse reactions

MSG - Adverse reations

Monosodium Glutamate - Glutamic Acid   E621 - E635

MSG is a flavour enhancer and well-known excitotoxin (glutamate, aspartate, cysteine), that can cause neurological damage. It is used by food companies because it stimulates the nerve cells in your mouth, as well as the brain. It is a neurotransmitter - causing nerve cells to fire - targeting the centers of hunger, taste and smell. If it only worked in 2% of the population, there wouldn't be any money in it. It is basically a drug like alcohol or caffeine. However, MSG also occurs naturally in tomatoes, parmesan cheese, walnuts. 
The sensitivity response of any individual is simply a matter of degree. Ingestion of glutamic acid (MSG) is known to produce a variety of adverse reactions in some people. These reactions, although seemingly dissimilar, are no more diverse than reactions found as side effects of certain neurological drugs.


MSG is commonly found in: 

Many processed foods and seasonings, often added to ready meals. Low sodium salt substitutes, natural chicken, beef, pork flavouring, stock, bouillon and broth, yeast extract, malt extract or flavouring, soy sauce. Some mixed spices, spice blends. Crisps and other potato snacks, seasoned nuts, etc. Some Asian takeaway, dressings and many frozen foods. Also occurs naturally in tomatoes, parmesan cheese, walnuts. Always ask when eating out!

There are ‘New’ forms of MSG around, which cause the so called 'Ribo Rash'. These are Ribonucleotide E635 / Disodium Guanylate E627 / Disodium Inosinate  E631.


Possible reactions may include:

Behavioural problems in children, Attention deficit disorders, Lethargy, Sleepiness, Insomnia, Numbness or paralysis, Seizures, Sciatica, Slurred speech, Chills and shakes, Shuddering.

Cardiac: Arrhythmia, Atrial fibrillation, Tachycardia, Rapid heartbeat, Palpitations, Slow heartbeat, Angina, Extreme rise or drop in blood pressure.

Circulatory: Swelling.

Gastrointestinal: Diarrhoea, Nausea/vomiting, Stomach cramps, Rectal bleeding, Bloating. Muscular: Flu-like achiness, Joint pain, Stiffness.

Neurological: Depression, mood swings, rage reactions, migraine headache, dizziness, light-headedness, loss of balance, disorientation, mental confusion, anxiety, panic attacks, hyperactivity.

Respiratory:  Asthma, Shortness of breath, chest pain, tightness in the chest, runny nose, sneezing.

Skin: Hives (may be both - internal and external), rash, mouth lesions, temporary tightness or partial paralysis, numbness or tingling of the skin, flushing, extreme dryness of the mouth, face swelling, tongue swelling". Obesity.

Urological / Genital:- Bladder pain (with frequency), Swelling of the prostate, Swelling of the vagina, Vaginal spotting, Frequent urination, Nocturia.  

Visual: Blurred vision, difficulty focusing, pressure around eyes, bags under eyes, eye damage.

MSG may causes anaphylactic shock in sensitive people, due the quantity of MSG and the absorption rate into the blood stream. Sometimes there are contributory factors - reaction with other ingested substances or intense exercise.



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