Monosodium glutamate, also known as MSG, is a flavor enhancer created from the sodium salt of the glutamic acid. It is meant to stimulate the taste buds and trick the brain into thinking that the food ingested is delicious. Processed foods are not exactly tasty – they lack the flavors that natural meat and vegetables contain. So, food manufacturers add liberal doses of MSG to enhance the original flavor of processed foods like canned soups, food flavorings and condiments like ketchup, soy sauce, processed cheese, instant noodle soup powders, and even sausages, chips, frozen meats and canned goods.
Because of its bad reputation, it has hidden itself in food labels with other pseudonyms like “natural flavorings”, “spices” and “hydrolyzed protein”. They still mean MSG, and they are not safe. Here are the noted side effects of MSG.
First, it is believed to affect the neurons of the brain, so frequently eating processed foods that contain MSG could be a possible cause if you suffer from frequent headaches. Other people may also complain of a tight, uncomfortable sensation in the chest and upper body. There could also be feeling of burning and numbness, like a bad heartburn.
Other neurological side effects of MSG are due to its long-term consumption. MSG predisposes a person to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. In addition, it can also cause seizures, brain tumors, allergies, asthma attacks and even cancer. In the interests of your health and wellbeing, stick to natural flavors like salt, pepper and vinegar and stay clear of any food you suspect might have MSG.