Is MSG bad for you?

The origin of monosodium glutamate was in the last century. When the wife of Kikunae Ikeda, a professor at Tokyo Imperial University in Japan, boiled a pot of kelp soup for him. Due to a long time of cooking, white crystals were formed.

After tasting these white crystals, Kikunae Ikeda found that this taste is different from what people often taste; sour, sweet, bitter and spicy, so he named this taste: umami. This white crystal is found to be sodium glutamate, the earliest monosodium glutamate source.

Sodium glutamate is very common in food. We can get this substance when we cure ham or boiled seafood. Therefore, even without MSG, seafood will have a strong umami taste.

When you add a little monosodium glutamate in the cooking process, you add more favour to the dish. Because of this, monosodium glutamate has been popular worldwide. Since its discovery and has become a must-have product for families. MSG mainly stimulates specific taste receptors on the tongue’s taste buds, such as amino acid receptors or glutamate receptors, to bring people to taste sensation. This sense of taste is defined as “umami”. Monosodium glutamate has a perfect effect of improving taste; it has won awards in the World Expo many times.

However, monosodium glutamate, a must-have product for families, has been constantly “questioned” by people in recent years. It has been suggested that adding monosodium glutamate in the cooking process has a tremendously harmful effect on the human body. For example, overeating monosodium glutamate will lead to hair loss, vision loss, and zinc deficiency. Some people may even suggest it may lead to cancer or other visceral diseases.

According to relevant studies, adding a moderate amount of MSG to dishes or foods is safe. The reviewers of the FDA, the American Medical Association, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization’s Joint Expert Group on Food Additives and other authoritative departments indicated that there are no specific restrictions on the use of monosodium glutamate in food. There is no need to worry about its safety. Because the main component of monosodium glutamate is sodium glutamate. It can be converted into glutamic acid, glutamine and tyrosine after ingestion into the human body. These amino acids are essential constituent units of human protein and have basic functions. According to research, monosodium glutamate can increase people’s appetite improve the human body’s ability to absorb various other foods. And it has a particularly nourishing effect on the human body. 96% of glutamic acid in monosodium glutamate can be absorbed by the human body to form proteins in human tissues. It can also combine with blood ammonia to form glutamine, which is harmless to the body ammonia produced in tissue metabolism. It can also participate in brain protein and sugar metabolism, promoting the oxidation process. It also plays a good role in the everyday activities of the central nervous system, so it is beneficial to human health.

Since MSG is not harmful, why do people have a lot of doubts about MSG? There may be two reasons for this. There may be some people who blindly publicize the relevant results of some scholars’ research on the safety of MSG. It may be related to the fact that monosodium glutamate can increase the umami taste of food and cause appetite because too much monosodium glutamate may cause people to become dependent on it.

Although monosodium glutamate is safe, adding too much monosodium glutamate in cooking should be avoided. After all, monosodium glutamate is only a flavouring agent. At the same time, in cooking, pay attention to the temperature (suitability is 70-80 ℃) and time (preferably before the soup is put out of the pot). Therefore, “MSG is good, but don’t put too much.”

The DISCOVERY program once experimented on MSG, allowing two people to eat together. One group had no MSG in the food, while the other had MSG added. Still, the results showed that people with severe MSG syndrome were eating Those who ate foods without MSG, and those who ate foods with MSG, no one reported the occurrence of MSG syndrome. This experiment shows that monosodium glutamate is non-toxic. It is not harmful to the human body when used in small amounts. The subjects who show allergic symptoms may only be allergic to a few ingredients, not to monosodium glutamate.

In 1973, the World Health Organization (WHO) formulated the recommended dosage of sodium glutamate, 120 mg of sodium glutamate per kilogram of body weight per day. For a 50-kilogram adult, daily Eat 6 grams of MSG will not exceed this dose.

People who eat out often have symptoms of MSG allergy. The restaurant has put too much MSG in every dish, and it is easy to accumulate excessive doses in a short period and cause allergies. It is not the case in comparison. “Any food has a safe dose for the human body.” As long as the usage is not too much and the dose is not high, it will not cause any harm to the human body, and it is safe.


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