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Allergic reaction to MSG

SG, also called monosodium glutamate or sodium glutamate, consists of a sodium molecule connected to a glutamic molecule. SG is the sodium salt ofglutamic acid, a non-essential amino acid. Certain forms of MSG are used as a flavoringdevice and a widespread food additive largely included in Asian cuisine.

MSG is often utilized in Japanese cooking (named Ajinomoto) and Chinesefood. Marketed under the moniker ’’Accent’’ MSG is frequently utilized as aflavor addition in North America. It is also placed in canned foods, processedmeat, soups and similar products. It is created from sugar cane molasses orsugar beet.

MSG allergy is a reaction to various combined ingredients, or to monosodiumglutamate on its own. The validity of MSG allergy diagnosis is disputed, withits symptoms assigned to food intolerance or sensitivity. If there is a case ofcertain food ingredients causing allergy, a protein that the body considersdangerous has to be a part of it. Symptoms of food allergy occur when theimmune system spawns antibodies to combat the proteins, mistaking them forforeign bodies and causing a reaction. No bodies of that type are released inthe case of MSG.

Glutamic acid, of which MSG is a salt of, is a neurotransmitter andfunctions by arousing the nerve cells, sense of smell, taste and can sometimescause hunger. Like alcohol or caffeine, it has varied effects on variouspeople. The neurotransmitters in MSG are able to of overexcite the nervoussystem in certain people, causing an increase in histamine levels in the blood,producing symptoms akin to allergy. MSG is also able to worsen allergies toother foods, increasing an allergic reaction to soy. This process is often named Chinese restaurant syndrome.

MSG Allergy Symptoms

Symptoms of MSG allergy include a feeling of burning on the shoulders,torso, thighs, arms and neck, chest pain or palpitations, sub-sternaldiscomforts or a numb feeling in the vicinity of the mouth. Others include afeeling or swelling on the face, nausea and vomiting, flushing, perspiration,wheezing and headaches. Most of these symptoms occur within an hour ofconsuming MSG infused food, and dissipate within two to three hours after.

MSG was marked as a "generally recognized as safe" foodadditive in 1959, in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. According toresearch performed in the 1980s, glutamate has a big part in the regular functioning of the nervous system. This research, combined with peoplereporting various negative side effects after consuming MSG, caused controversialresults. The overall conclusion however remains that MSG is safe when absorbedin normal amounts. A more in depth research was performed by the FDA and FASEBin 1995, concluding that MSG cannot be connected with any long term illness ordisorder. The report identified the MSG Symptom Complex (short term reactions),categorizing the sufferers into two groups: The first are people who getsymptoms when absorbing large amounts of MSG (3gm or more per meal), the secondare individuals with dire and badly controlled asthma.

Antihistamines, corticosteroids, epinephrine are applied only if thesymptoms of MSG do not dissipate on their own, which they usually do. An MSGallergy diagnosis by an allergist leads to an avoidance of all foods with MSGcontained. All food labels must contain a MSG amount on them.

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