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New Study Evaluates MSG’s Potential for Helping Americans Reduce Sodium

By November 11, 2019November 15th, 2019In the News, MSG
reduce sodium

Published in, November 8, 2019

New research suggests that glutamates such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) can be used to significantly reduce sodium in the food supply, especially in the saltiest food categories.

“As approximately 90% of Americans struggle with keeping their sodium intake in check, new research suggests that glutamates such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) can be used to reduce sodium in the food supply by 7% to 8%.”…

“Glutamate, such as MSG represent a potential strategy to reduce overall intakes while preserving product palatability.”…

Small Reduction in Sodium Could Have Large Public Health Payoff

“Researchers used the data set from those enrolled in NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) between 2013-2016, which includes 16,183 subjects aged 1 year and older. They established average sodium consumption and then used a modeling method to estimate sodium reduction using glutamate in food categories containing the most salt (e.g., cured meats, which 18.7% of US adults consume on a given day).”…

“MSG can be used to reduce sodium in these foods [especially in restaurant meals and packaged foods] without a taste trade-off. MSG contains about 12% sodium, which is two-thirds less than that contained in table salt, and data shows a 25-40% reduction in sodium is possible in specific product categories when MSG is substituted for some salt. As Americans begin to understand that MSG is completely safe, I think we’ll see a shift toward using the ingredient as a replacement for some salt to improve health outcomes,” said Dr. Taylor C. Wallace, an adjunct professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at George Mason University, and lead researcher in the study.

More info.: full study and news summary

Study reference: Nutrients 201911(11), 2691;

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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