Ok...so what's the deal with MSG?


Is it bad for you or is it ok to use in your food?

I just bought a spice that was recommended off the “vegetable recipes” thread, they have a regular one and then the “lite” one which contains no MSG. Then I recalled seeing restaurants that claim to use “no MSG” in their cooking, so I got to wondering what the big deal is.

I did a little google search and a bunch of stuff came up, of course:rolleyes:, both for and against it. I’m not much of a science gal:p, so I didn’t understand half of what I read, but I did conclude that those opposed to it claim that it’s causing people to be addicted to food and those that support it say it’s natural and found in many of our foods:shrug: :confused:.

I really don’t know what to make of it, I want to use my spice cause I heard it was great on vegetables…and I want ds (and myself:cool:) to eat veggies, so anything that will make them taste better gets a :thumbsup: from me!!!

Any thoughts on this? Or has anyone done more research on this that can enlighten me…as I try to teach ds to eat a healthy diet?


Many people experience adverse reactions to foods with MSG added.


I’ve never read any reports about it (but I assume that those that are against it are REALLY against it, just like every other “anti” anything), but I heard years ago (when I was a kid, actually, so like 20-25 years ago :eek:) that I lot of people are allergic to it. One person that I knew would get severe headaches (it was always a pain trying to find msg free Chinese food for her back then). I don’t know what other problems it may cause. The “addicted to food thing” is interesting, :hmmm: could that be my problem? hmm…

In Christ,



Wiki gives a good overview from neither a pro or con POV.


It is in almost every prepared, fast food and lots of restaurant foods. From what I understand, it is not a flavor in itself but it “stimulates” the taste buds so flavors are more intense.

Some people have reactions, some people think they have reactions and some just like to say “No MSG”.


Many people get some physical side effect to it. I get TERRIBLE migraines :frowning: . I’d say, watch out, get away from it.


Me too. I still have a hard time finding Chinese restaurants that use no MSG. If I find one, I’m lucky, so I stick to that. Otherwise, the day after I eat Chinese food I get a migraine attack that can last 48 hrs and keep me in bed incapacitated (or next to the toilet throwing up from the pain).


If you have not had a reaction when eating Chinese food, those fries with that orange seasoning salt or any flavored chips - you are not someone who has a reaction.

I get a gastro reaction if I eat food that is heavy on MSG :o I avoid those pre-mixed seasoning mixes if they contain MSG. Look at the ingredients and mix it up yourself without the MSG :slight_smile:

Chances are, if you are sensitive, you already know it.


There’s nothing technically wrong with it… it’s a “natural” salt… monosodium glutamate…

Many people have a negative reaction to it… so that’s why it has a stigma. Some people are allergic to it…


Test it on something small, a sample something. If you have a headache, don’t use it any more unless you have a bee sting. It does a great job on those!!


MSG is carcinogenic.


Personally, I have msg in my spice cabinet… I use it to enhance the flavor of vegetables in stews, soups, and stirfry. Nobody in my house has a reaction to it…but many people do get nasty headaches from it. Am I the only one who cooks with msg?


So are carrots when you eat too many of them… and just about everything else too.


Agreed…everything in moderation, too much of anything is bad for you.


I get terrible migraines from it…:frowning: So, I stay away from foods that have it in them–a lot of frozen foods and chinese restaurants cook with it (not all, and you can request no msg)

Overall, it’s not good to take in a lot of sodium…so if you use it sparingly, and you don’t have any bad reaction–should be ok to cook with.


if you are allergic or sensitive to it, yes it is bad for you. somebody posted here a while back a list of products with ingredients related to those in MSG, in general, the glutamates. some “natural” foods contain the same ingredients so by itself “natural” does not mean harmless in this context. I used to get headaches for years after certain foods and only got rid of them by eliminating MSG–which used to be in almost all processed foods–and its relatives. to this day I only eat Chinese food I have prepared, or in a restaurant where I know they don’t use MSG. if I do eat something with it I know right away because I get a migraine

I am sure since it has been used in some cultures for a long time, there are many people who can eat it without problems


I don’t avoid MSG. I’ve just learned from experience that if I have won ton soup at a Chinese restaurant, within 20 minutes I will feel as though someone has put a wide, tight elastic around my head. The feeling doesn’t last long and is rather interesting when it occurs.

The first time I experienced this I had no idea what was happening to me. Then I remembered that about a month before two girls had arrived at the ER where I worked, complaining of very weird symptoms which the doctor, upon hearing where they’d had lunch, said ‘Chinese restaurant syndrome’. I hadn’t known what he meant but I figured that that must be what they’d experienced.

I’m usually OK if I don’t have the soup so I assume it takes a lot to trigger my reaction.


It’s a migraine trigger for many people. I try to avoid it on that reason alone, I sure don’t need any more migraines than I already get.


MSG is an excitotoxin. It causes random firing in neurons of the brain. In other words it is neurotoxic and has been used increasing in almost all of our processed food with an especial increase in the last few decades. Be sure to read neurologist Blaylock’s book on the subject and below is a link to an interview with him.

There is also a special loophole in the law. If msg is added it must be listed on the label. However if msg is part of another substance such as “natural flavorings” it does not have to be shown on the label. Beware. It can make anything, even dog poop, taste “delicious”.



So do I. Iguess there are a lot of people here we can’t have over for dinner if we are using MSG that evening.:wink:


I don’t go out of my way to eat it or not eat it…if I’m in the store choosing between two products, or if a restaurant makes clear which foods contain it, I’ll choose the MSG-free one, but I do eat it occasionally (usually at a Japanese place I like).

I can always tell if I’ve ordered/been served something with added MSG - I guess I only react in large amounts, because I never react to plain foods that naturally contain it, but it’s not psychological because my reaction is what tips me off to the fact I’ve consumed it - because my cheeks get BRIGHT BURNING HOT RED. A flush like you can’t imagine. It doesn’t hurt, and there’s so headache, although the skin is hot to the touch, so I keep eating the tasty dumplings and whatnot :rolleyes: It usually goes away an hour after I’ve finished.

My mother gets the migraines (her mother cooked with it a lot and she was constantly sick growing up) so we’ve never used it in our own cooking.

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