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Is MSG Actually Bad for You? Health Authorities Agree: Absolutely Not

By August 25, 2022October 6th, 2022In the News, MSG
is msg bad for you

“This flavor enhancer has a bad reputation that it doesn’t deserve.” — Cleveland Clinic

“Most of those myths [which began in the 1960s] have been dispelled, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says MSG is ‘generally recognized as safe.’ Global food-regulating bodies like the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) agree.”

These direct quotes come from the Cleveland Clinic website Health Essentials section, in a report titled “Is MSG Actually Bad for You?,” published earlier this year.

The report also notes:

“It’s one of the most popular flavor enhancers in the world, but MSG — short for monosodium glutamate — has a marketing problem.”

“In the late 1960s, the ingredient came under fire for allegedly being a toxic addition to some of your favorite foods, from soups and salad dressings to Chinese takeout and French fries. It became so stigmatized, in fact, that some restaurants started advertising that they’d cut MSG from their menu entirely.”

MSG is safe“Since then, research has debunked the myth that MSG is a villainous ingredient, and research shows that in small amounts, it doesn’t cause any significant or lasting harm. Registered dietitian Beth Czerwony, RD, explains what MSG is, how it got such a bad rap and what we now know to be true about it.”

“Sometimes, Czerwony says, a societally ingrained bias against MSG leads people to assume they’re having a reaction to MSG, which can prevent them from identifying the real culprit.”

“Your symptoms might be from something else in the food,” she says. ‘So, it may very well not be the MSG that’s making you feel ill, but the fact that you’re eating foods that are already highly processed, fried, full of sodium, etc.'”

Read the full Cleveland Clinic report on MSG here.

Related reading, from Prevention magazine: “Monosodium glutamate is deeply misunderstood, experts reveal.” Details: “Is MSG Actually Bad for You? Here’s What the Science Says


About Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic was at the forefront of modern medicine when its founders opened it as a multi-specialty group practice in 1921. From a small outpatient clinic, it has grown to become the world’s first integrated international health system. With more than 65,000 caregivers worldwide, Cleveland Clinic has almost 6 million patient visits per year, at more than 200 locations. Cleveland Clinic is proud to be ranked among the top hospitals in the country. 100 years after it was formed, the vision of the founders remains Cleveland Clinic’s mission: caring for life, researching for health, and educating those who serve.


The MSGdish Team's goal is to provide timely and important information about glutamate, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and the many culinary creations inspired by “umami" while connecting these topics to facts about food, taste, and health. The MSGdish Team is comprised of TGA staff professionals who are recognized as experts in science-based nutrition communications. Read more on the About page.

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