“Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” is the term coined by medical experts to describe the reactions that many people have after consuming food containing the flavor enhancer and preservative, monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is commonly used in Chinese food and other Asian food.
Symptoms of Chinese Restaurant Syndrome
People who are sensitive to MSG will experience any or all of the following symptoms when they consume it:
Possible cure for Chinese Restaurant Syndrome
There is some evidence that this syndrome may be due to a Vitamin B6 deficiency, since this B vitamin is required to metabolize MSG. Some healthcare providers have found that supplementing the diet with 50 mg of Vitamin B6 may eliminate the symptoms of MSG sensitivity.
How much is too much?
One study suggests that as much as 30% of Americans experience reactions after consuming as little as 5 grams of MSG, while 90% experience symptoms after consuming 10 grams of MSG.
MSG on Food Labels
The FDA requires that food companies list MSG on the food label, if it is an ingredient in their product. Although this is may be one way to find the MSG in your food, it also may appear as a component of other ingredients including the following:
Autolyzed plant protein
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
Hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP)
Soy protein extract
Some say it is poison.
There are some health experts that take a very dim view of monosodium glutamate in our food supply. They consider it an “excitotoxin,” which affects brain health, and a “poison” that is not only addictive but can also be linked to the increased incidence of autism, diabetes, obesity and even ADHD.
In order to pursue a healthy eating lifestyle, you need to learn all you can about the foods you eat. Take some time to read labels and stay away from too many processed foods. In this way you will not need to worry so much if you are sensitive to MSG.