Since the 1960’s MSG has been something people run from just by hearing the name. MSG is commonly found in Asian cuisine in the United States, infamously Chinese restaurants, starting the “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” due to cold sweats and dizziness people experienced when eating out at Chinese restaurants. Monosodium glutamate, commonly known as MSG, is directly related to umami a category of taste typically referred to as savory. Umami is the taste receptor that MSG targets and has labeled MSG as a flavor enhancer. Glutamate, which is a chemical in food that often makes food taste savory, naturally occur and are intertwined with other chemicals in the food. MSG however is glutamate without the other chemicals keeping its balance in check making negative symptoms such as cold sweats, dizziness and headaches occur.
However after multiple studies and experiments tested the safety of MSG the FDA stated that, “scientists were unable to consistently correlate the symptoms of MSG, even though studies tested MSG and a placebo, involved people claiming to be sensitive to MSG” (smithsonianmag.com). The FDA also declared that only in large doses and an empty stomach could affect those who are truly sensitive to MSG.
In essence, while MSG has a negative connotation associated with the name, MSG is still a type of glutamate in which humans consume every day. The fear minor, and unpleasant side effects erupted into nationwide argument of impacts of MSG ranging from obesity to brain lesions. The fear of MSG is still present today even though it has been proven to be the direct cause of multiple claims.