MSG... THE NEW BUZZ
MSG (Mono sodium glutamate) aka Ajinomoto is a taste enhancer/additive that was first seen in the US market. Today it is so popular that a fifth taste type, "umami" is attributed only to describe the taste MSG produces in our mouths! In spite of a large range of spices, MSG has still managed to make its way to the top choice of preferences, usually added to Chinese dishes sold in restaurants, fast food joints, and ready-to-eat foods such as soups, meat, and more.
Several studies have revealed that MSG could lead to various health complications, some of which are headaches, nausea, facial pressure, chest pains, increased heart rates, tingling, or numbness in the feet. Some may also experience symptoms for short durations, sometimes referred to as "MSG Symptom Complex". Medically, MSG is composed of a high percentage of glutamate that can lead to heart and nervous system complications.
MSG has also been linked to obesity which is probably attributed to the fact that it is mostly used in high-sodium foods and processed/ready-to-eat stuff that are also related to obesity. Other symptoms associated with MSG consumption are fatigue and general weakness. Researchers also believe that MSG may have a stimulant or even an addictive side to it, which is why MSG has such an important position in industrial kitchens.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has no oppositions to the use of MSG in Indian food products, though they have been said to be receiving studies that present the adverse health effects possibly associated with it. No research so far however, has strong evidence against the use of MSG in food preparations.
MSG, safe or not, is still unclear. However, knowing what health impacts it can possibly cause as suggested by researchers and medical practitioners; limiting its intake and tracking food labels carefully, can be a practice you can benefit from.