One of The Biggest Food Myths Just Got Busted
People have always been told that Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), which is a naturally derived compound of sodium and glutamic acid present in food, is very harmful and can be very hazardous for health. That it is an evil chemical that can give people headaches, asthma, heart palpitations etc. It’s been commonly used in Asian cuisine for years, and it’s also a prominent part of Asian fast food around the world.
But the chemical has been unfairly villainized since it is just a combination of sodium and a naturally-occurring substance that is already present in our bodies. Glutamic acid is made by human cells, and many healthy foods have high concentrations of it. As far as sodium is concerned, there is less of it present in MSG than there is in table salt.
So why did everyone start getting afraid of it? It was the doing of one normal person who decided to question it without being informed about what it actually is. And as most people have a herd mentality and can believe what a person says without researching about it themselves, it blew up. In 1968, the New England Journal of Medicine published a letter from a doctor who was complaining about feeling ill after eating at Chinese restaurants.
He had a theory that maybe it was from the MSG but there was no proof or tests to back his theory up. Multiple readers responded with similar complaints, so scientists decided to study the phenomenon and “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” was born. Complaints blaming Chinese food and MSG exploded in numbers after that.
However, it has since been found that many of those initial studies had critical flaws the biggest one being that the study participants had already known if there was MSG present in their food or not. Recent research has found no discernible links between MSG and its associated symptoms. Participants of this new research had no reactions to the food they were given even though it contained MSG.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers the addition of MSG to food to be “generally recognized as safe”. Although many people identify themselves as sensitive to MSG, in studies such as this scientists have not been able to consistently trigger reactions. If you don’t want to ingest glutamic acid, you’ll have to stop eating fish, poultry, meat, eggs, dairy products, vegetables with protein, lentils, beans, and mothers would not be able to feed their babies because glutamic acid is also present in breast milk.