Is MSG a tasty food seasoning or a silent killer? The debate continues to rage on the serious health effects of consuming MSG. MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is notorious for being added to Chinese food, but it is also found in a lot of processed foods that we eat on a daily basis. You will find it in canned foods, frozen foods, packaged dressings and condiments, and shockingly, some baby food! It is approved by the FDA but many people have claimed to have negative side effects after eating it and studies have backed this up to an extent.
Short Term Effects
Many people experience side effects shortly after eating food containing MSG. These include headaches and migraines, weakness, muscle tightening, chest pain, numbness or heart palpitations. These effects are temporary and can be prevented by not eating MSG. Avoiding foods with MSG may be a pretty difficult endeavour, but it could be worth the effort. If you have found yourself consistently experiencing these symptoms, you could try eliminating MSG from your diet to see if it helps.
Long Term Effects
While not every one may think that they are sensitive to MSG, some studies have suggested that the long term effects of MSG consumption for everyone can be very serious. The most compelling evidence comes from the research of Dr. Russell Blaylock, who wrote "Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills." Blaylock, who is a board certified neurosurgeon, claims that MSG agitates cells in ways that can cause long-term damage to vital organs, such as the brain and heart. In extreme cases, it can lead to sudden death and cardiac arrest. Other long-term effects that could be linked to eating a lot of MSG (or perhaps the junk food that often contains MSG) are obesity, constant fatigue, and depression.