MSG, or monosodium glutamate, has been used as a food flavor-enhancing additive, most commonly associated with Chinese food, but it could be the thing that is poisoning your body.
‘Chinese Restaurant Syndrome’ or ‘MSG Symptom Complex’ is a group of symptoms that has been associated with the poisoning effects of eating MSG. Read below for the 4 signs that MSG is poisoning your body.
Many processed foods contain MSG, so it’s important to know what to look for on your labels. Dr. Mercola’s website says that the following ingredients in your food always contain MSG:
* Glutamic acid
* Autolyzed yeast
* Yeast Food
* Textured protein
* Sodium caseinate
* Monosodium glutamate
* Calcium Caseinate
* Yeast Extract
* Yeast nutrient
4 Signs MSG Is Poisoning Your Body
MSG was discovered in Japan as an extract from seaweed and has since become a man-made chemical ingredient. With regard to being a food additive, MSG has similar flavor properties as salt in that it seems to boost the flavors of the food that it is added to.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of MSG as a food additive to enhance flavor. Although animal research has shown poor health effects in high doses, the human research is mixed.
Many people report having the symptoms of MSG poisoning due to their consumption of Chinese food with the additive, but the FDA calls these reports anecdotal. The research literature is how they make their food safety determination.
Regardless of what the FDA says, you may find that you experience certain uncomfortable symptoms after eating MSG. These are the 4 signs that MSG may be poisoning your body.
1. Sexual health problems
A safety evaluation of MSG conducted by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) found that MSG caused central nervous system lesions in high doses in animals.
The committee reviewed 59 animal studies on mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, chicks, ducks, rabbits, dogs and primates and found damage to the hypothalamus and that ‘neural lesions were observable within hours of administration.’
The hypothalamus is in the brain and it helps regulate levels of our hormones that are secreted by the pituitary gland. Reduced function of the pituitary gland can lead to reduced testosterone levels which cause erectile dysfunction, reduced muscle mass, and hair loss in men. For women, pituitary dysfunction causes decreased estrogen, which is linked to decreased libido, hot flashes, and mood swings.
2. Liver and intestinal problems
The JECFA study also allocated an ‘acceptable daily intake (ADI) not specified’ to glutamic acid and its salts. No specified daily amount was recommended by the committee so food manufacturers can add as much as they want.
Although the JECFA says they failed to confirm a connection between MSG and physical symptoms for humans, they do say that high doses of MSG resulted in elevated liver and intestinal enzyme metabolites in the blood stream.
Elevated liver enzymes may result in symptoms of nausea, fatigue, nausea, pain in the upper right part of the abdomen, and mental confusion. Itching, unusual blood vessels on the skin surface, joint pain, loss of appetite, or bowel movements that are light in color may be a sign of elevated intestinal enzymes.
3. Mental confusion
MSG may be poisoning not just your body, but your brain. MSG negatively affects the glutamate receptors in your body. A quote from the FDA taken from Dr. Merola’s website says ‘Abnormal function of glutamate receptors has been linked with certain neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s chorea.’
These are both neurodegenerative diseases that take time to progress. It is likely that the poisoning effects of MSG are cumulative and take time to damage enough cells to notice that your mental focus is not as sharp as it used to be.
4. Chest pain and/or heart palpitations
Do not delay in seeking medical help if you are experiencing chest pain, regardless of whether or not you believe you have consumed MSG. Chest pain, pressure or abnormal heart rhythms are serious medical symptoms. If you experience any of these symptoms that affect a vital part of your health, please consult a medical professional immediately.
Chest pressure or pain could be the sign of a heart attack, and these symptoms have been associated with MSG poisoning. A heart ‘flutter’ may also be experienced from eating MSG.
After a large meal, you may normally feel pressure in your chest due to the fullness of your stomach that causes outward pressure on your organs. If the meal was suspicious food that may contain MSG, the chest pain could be due to the poisoning effects of MSG.
Cardiac arrhythmias have been linked to the consumption of MSG due to the glutamate receptors located on the heart. Difficulty breathing, tightness in the throat, sweating, and dizziness have also been reported as symptoms related to MSG consumption.