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The Harmful Effects of ‘M.S.G.’ (Aginomoto)


Posted Date: 06-Mar-2012  Last Updated:   Category: Caution & Alerts    
Author: Member Level: Platinum    Points: 30


Mono Sodium glutamate (M.S.G.), generally known as aginomoto is widely used in food in a large scale due to its fragrant properties. This is the sodium salt of glutamate. Some people are highly sensitive to this salt. This article explains its composition and in what way this salt is a health hazard to the people who are susceptible to the reactions it triggers off.



It has been seen females are more prone to becoming the victim of the 'Chinese Restaurant Syndrome'. The symptoms that surface up after eating I Chinese food are indicative of how much more you are sensitive to the mono sodium glutamate. If you feel the below detailed symptoms after having a Chinese meal, you should understand the effects of azinimoto on the system of your body.

The symptomatic reaction of the (MSG) Azinomoto


  • Headache,
  • Pulls on the chest,
  • Stiffness in the limbs and weakness,
  • The glow of the face getting dimmed down,
  • Inflammation in the chest,
  • Problem of gas,
  • Scorching feeling on face, back and neck and limbs,
  • Increased rate of heart palpitation,
  • Restlessness,
  • Feeling hunger abnormally,
  • Urinating excessively,
  • Pain in the stomach,
  • Vomiting and nausea,
  • Asthma,
  • Depression etc.

If you feel any of the above mentioned complication after eating a Chinese food, then there is the possibility that you are more sensitive on account of the mono sodium glutamate. Normally these symptoms are temporary.

What is mono sodium glutamate (MSG)?


Mono sodium glutamate (MSG) which is in general parlance known aginomoto also is used in preparing food in a big scale for its properties of fragrance. This is the sodium salt of glutamate. Glutamate is an amino acid which is found in natural form in cheese, fish, meat, peas, mushroom and milk. The body uses glutamate for the better functioning of brain and for making blocks which produce protein.

Uses of glutamate (MSG)


Glutamate enhances the food fragrance and used as such for adding tastes in foods especially in Chinese, Japanese, and in other Asian food materials. It is now being used in big hotels in a large scale in cooking meat, seafood, and vegetables. This is liberally used in packed and processed foods, besides marketed edible spices, soya sauce, yoghurt mixture, cheese, dips, murg musallam, seafood, crackers, dry and packaged soup, and mayonnaise and in the decoration of salads. In some countries, it's used by keeping on the dinning table as salt and peppers containers are put for their ready uses at the times of taking meals.

Dangers posed by MSG

Researches reveal, it might be that there is no so much of danger the azinomoto poses to the human health as was it assumed to be earlier. The entire scientific institutes are researching on the effects of the MSG and several institutions amongst which is the American FDA is also included have already declared azinomoto to be harmless and quite safe. Although there is the chief issue of the quantity of the MSG present in the MSG i.e. how much is the azinomoto safe for the children and the pregnant women.

Is MSG allergic?


According to the American College of Allergy and Asthma, azinomoto doesn't cause allergy. There is no any proof found by the researching agencies where allergy to the person from its long uses has been found out thus far. Despite it also is true some people are extremely sensitive on account of the uses of the MSG. This also depends on the factor as to what is the quantity of the azinomoto the person has consumed.

It has been noticed caffeine and vitamins 'B'-6 remove the adverse reaction of the azinomoto. The MSG should be used before preparing the meal or during the course of it. One general rule of using the MSG is that one spoonful is sufficient to cook a kg of meat or 2-3 cups of vegetables.

The second worry pertaining to the MSG is on account of the sodium element present in it. There is 1/3 part of sodium present compared to the common salts in the MSG although when it is used with the common salt the sodium content might be on the higher side. A good cook should use less of MSG along with salt.

MSG ranks as the 5th among the tastes


TMSG is the 5th among the four shades of tastes i.e., it ranks 5t after, sweet, sour, salty and bitter. If you feel difficulties with the MSG, keep the following precautions:-

  • Read with great care the labels of the packets of the processed foods and see to it what quantity of the glutamate is present in it.

  • When you are eating out, eat the foods minus the MSG.

Conclusion: Caution is the watch word.


Read related articles: Mono Sodium glutamate    

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