Skip to main content

Is MSG Bad for You? No—and Here’s Why

By January 23, 2019July 15th, 2023In the News
is MSG safe

Published in Men’s Health magazine, January 23, 2019

Author: Chris Mohr, PhD, RD

“The myth that monosodium glutamate may hurt your heart or give you a migraine originated from shoddy “research.” Here’s the truth.”

“You’ll find the phrase “NO MSG” slapped on everything from steak seasoning to chicken broth to Chinese restaurant menus.

“Yet MSG, also known as monosodium glutamate, doesn’t deserve its bad reputation. is MSG safe

“The findings that characterized MSG as evil were based on an opinion letter and a rodent study. And, to date, no peer-reviewed research since has duplicated these findings.

“Still unconvinced?

“In December 2018, John Fernstrom, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the University of Pittsburgh, published a study review on the supposed ill effects of MSG. His team’s conclusion: ‘Findings from our data and other human studies provide important evidence that MSG in the food supply presents no hazard to the human brain. Not only does oral ingestion of glutamate not cross the blood brain barrier.’

“Americans consume about 500 mg/day (or about 7 mg/kg/day for a 70 kg person). That number is higher in Asian cultures, but is nowhere near the 25,000 mg/kg (3000-5000 mg/kg) megadose of the now notorious mice study.

“Don’t fear MSG, largely because MSG makes food taste good.”

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.

Leave a Reply