People have been long avoiding this controversial seasoning because for some reason it has a bad reputation. Monosodium glutamate or MSG for short is a common food additive used as a seasoning to enhance the flavor of food. There are plenty of controversies surrounding MSG and its effects on the body. Some people claim that it causes diseases like asthma, headaches, and even brain damage. On the other hand, one of the most credible sources for health and food information says otherwise. The FDA actually claim that MSG is safe to consume.
What is monosodium glutamate exactly? MSG is a seasoning derived from glutamic acid which is is an abundant amino acid in nature. It is a non-essential amino acid which means that our bodies can actually produce it. It also has roles in our bodies and can also be found in almost all foods. Visually, MSG is a crystalline powder that looks like salt or sugar.
The main reason why people think that MSG is bad for health is that glutamic acid serves as a neurotransmitter in the brain. MSG is an excitatory neurotransmitter. This means that it stimulates our nerve cells for it to relay its signals. People believe that too much MSG leads to too much stimulation in our brain. In this article, we have listed the most common misconceptions about MSG and why they are false.
MSG causes headaches and brain damage
Ever since then, people have been claiming that MSG causes them to develop headaches and nausea. When these cases were reported, no strong medical evidence was found to support these claims. The FDA conducted investigations to find out if these claims were true. They were not able to confirm if MSG caused the headaches and nausea that people were saying. Furthermore, the FDA also commissioned a group of scientists to conduct studies on MSG back in the 1990s. The studies find out that MSG is safe.
MSG causes allergies
MSG is actually not an allergen so the chances of it causing an allergic reaction are far from possible. The FDA considers only eight commonly known allergens and MSG is not one of them. The eight common allergens are eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, shellfish, tree nuts, soy, and wheat. There have been countless researches dedicated to finding out if MSG is an allergen. So far there have been no results that say that MSG causes allergic reactions.
No added MSG means that there is no MSG in food
Even if you are sure that you did not add MSG to your food when you were cooking it, you are still not MSG free. That is because MSG can be found in almost all foods because it is a naturally occurring process. MSG can still be present in foods because it is just sodium and amino acid.