Medically the review by Natalie Butler, R.D., L.D. — written by Jayne Leonard — updated on September 9, 2021

Some people experience symptoms, such as headaches and also sweating, after eat food containing monosodium glutamate (MSG).

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MSG is a food additive that improves flavor. It is generally used in restaurants and pre-packaged foods.

While there are many anecdotal reports the MSG-induced symptoms, clinical research into the syndrome is limited.

As a result, the use of MSG remains controversial, and also some restaurants advertise as being MSG-free.

Read on come learn an ext about MSG symptom complex and the health effects of this additive.

Share ~ above PinterestThere is minimal scientific evidence linking MSG usage with details symptoms.
The most typical reported symptoms of MSG symptom complex include:

breathing difficultieschest painfacial flushingnumbness or burn pain in the moutha quick heart ratesweatingswelling that the face

Most symptom don’t need treatment, yet a person should walk to one emergency room or contact 911 if experiencing chest pain or breath difficulties.

While MSG symptom facility may be related to MSG intake, researchers space still not sure what causes the symptoms.

While MSG walk not affect most people, some civilization self determine as sensitive to it or various other food additives.

MSG is made from glutamate, which is one type of glutamic acid, one amino mountain that is naturally current in many foods.

The human body likewise produces glutamate and also requires that for number of functions, consisting of learning and memory.

MSG is supplied to enhance flavor, and it is commonly included to handle foods, soups, and canned goods.

The United says Food and also Drug management (FDA) consider MSG to be “generally recognized as safe.”

However, due to the fact that the FDA have actually received numerous reports of an unfavorable reactions to MSG, the management requires manufacturers come feature included MSG top top food labels.


Relatively couple of studies have investigated the effects of MSG, particularly in recent years.

A study from 2000 had 130 world who self-reported together being perceptible to MSG. They to be administered MSG or a placebo.

Of those participants, 38.5 percent reacted to MSG only, 13.1 percent reaction to the placebo only, and also 14.6 percent reacted to MSG and the placebo.

The reaction were commonly mild. An boosted dose that MSG there is no the presence of food to be most likely to cause a reaction.

However, the researchers were can not to replicate the results when they repeated the test through the same of participants. This argues that external factors, such together food intake, may have caused the reactions.

In 2016, a review of studies concluded that eating MSG through food had actually no significant influence top top the incident of headaches.

However, one study contained in the evaluation reported a far-ranging link in between the consumption of MSG and also headaches in female participants.

The writer concluded that, overall, the techniques used might not create reliable, continual results and also that an ext research is needed.

It is vital to keep in mind that an company that promotes the use of glutamate employs one of these authors.

Researchers commonly provide MSG to mice to induce obesity. In the previous decade, some human being have wondered even if it is MSG entry is additionally linked come extra load in humans.

One study from 2011 uncovered that MSG was connected with boost in weight in healthy Chinese adults. However, there have been conflict results.

More research study is required to recognize the result of MSG ~ above the body.

People report assorted health issues that castle associate through MSG. According to a oriental study native 2014, the most usual complaints were:

thirstiness (84.5 percent)drowsiness (55.7 percent)weakness (34.5 percent)nausea (30.2 percent)a headache (14.7 percent)

MSG symptom facility may also cause:

flushing the the skina tingling sensation in the skinnumbness or burning in the mouth

Severe and life-threatening symptoms are rare. Castle resemble the symptoms of an allergy reaction and include:

chest paindifficulty breathingan irregular or fast heartbeatswelling in the neck or face

People who experience major symptoms must seek emergency medical attention.

The treatment for MSG symptom facility varies, depending on the symptoms and their severity.

Mild symptoms

Mild symptoms commonly clear up there is no treatment. A human with this symptoms may benefit from:

drinking water to continue to be hydratedrestingtaking over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, if a person has a headache

Severe symptoms

A doctor might recommend OTC or prescription drugs to relieve these symptoms. Therapies include:

antihistamine medications for breath problems, facial swelling, or one abnormal heartbeata shoot of epinephrine (adrenaline) for life-threatening reactions

MSG eaten in normal amounts does not cause adverse results in most people; however, if you are sensitive to MSG the only method to avoid symptoms is by cutting out foods that save the additive.

Anyone with a sensitivity come MSG should examine whether it is contained on food labels. Psychic to also check because that the full name: monosodium glutamate.

Some restaurants likewise use MSG in your food, so people may desire to enquire around this once ordering.

The additive is usually existing in:

packaged and also processed meats, together as warm dogsmeat extracts, such together pork extractbouilloncanned vegetablespotato chipssoups and also stocks

MSG is likewise known as:

E621hydrolyzed proteinmaltodextrinmodified food starch

Avoiding herbal glutamate

People who are an extremely sensitive to MSG may likewise need come avoid foods items that contain high amounts of organic glutamate.

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Natural glutamate is existing in the following:

mature cheesescured meatsbraised meatsbone brothsfish and shellfishfish sauce and also oyster saucesoy proteinsoy saucemushroomsripe tomatoes and also tomato juicegrape juiceyeast extractmalted barley, i beg your pardon is used in beer and breadwalnuts

Avoiding organic glutamates might be challenging, but a doctor or dietitian can administer guidance and also develop a low-glutamate meal plan.