Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 34

Thread: Is MSG bad for you?

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. Top | #1
    Elder Contributor Underseer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    11,413
    Archived
    39,172
    Total Posts
    50,585
    Rep Power
    72

    Is MSG bad for you?


    (View video on YouTube)

    A long time ago, people who tried Chinese food came down with a mysterious ailment that was dubbed "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome" that included a scary list of symptoms. This was said to be caused by monosodium glutemate, and so to this day, people think that MSG is bad for you despite the fact that there has never been a scientific study proving that Chinese Restaurant Syndrome is a real disease, much less than that it is caused by MSG.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Bourdain
    “You know what causes Chinese Restaurant Syndrome? Racism.”
    Mind you, the sodium ions in MSG can cause the same problems as the sodium ions in table salt, but other than that it's just a sodium ion bonded to glutamic acid.

    If MSG caused brain damage as the racists imagine, then China and Japan would be among the dumbest nations on the planet right now.

    Part of the problem is the "liberal" mainstream media, which was happy to exploit racist fears about Asian people in the 1970s to push stories about MSG being bad for you and citing research that turned out to be flawed, but after decades of subsequent research showed the flaws in the original research, the media was suddenly not as interested in reporting the retractions because not-racism doesn't sell as many news stories as racism.

    The kicker is that those who complain about MSG never seem to complain about MSG in Western ingredients or dishes. It just becomes a problem when it's in Asian food.

    To any conservatives or libertarians reading this, I apologize for saying that racism is a bad thing, and I hope your feelings were not hurt by my words. I only complain about racist things because I am a sinister Social Justice Warrior out to attack your freedom to not be criticized.

  2. Top | #2
    Formerly Joedad
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    PA USA
    Posts
    4,513
    Archived
    5,039
    Total Posts
    9,552
    Rep Power
    72
    MSG is not food, which is why I don't eat it. It's in a few things I eat occasionally, but those things it mentioned in the first minutes of the video are all things I do not eat.

    I was never aware of its association with racism.

  3. Top | #3
    My Brane Hertz spikepipsqueak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Victoria
    Posts
    2,500
    Archived
    8,811
    Total Posts
    11,311
    Rep Power
    46
    I often can't understand how you make unrelated topics into questions of racism, Underseer.

    In some people, glutamates interfere with nerve impulse transmission. It can play havoc in those people. That happens whatever food it is delivered in, but probably happened more when Asian restaurants became popular in the West.

    MSG is not typically used in home cooking in English speaking countries whereas some Chinese friends of mine do add tasting powder to home cooked meals.

    The people who react also have to avoid potato chips and other foods that aren't related to Asian culture, including KFC.
    My Brane Hertz

  4. Top | #4
    Contributor repoman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    5,935
    Archived
    2,280
    Total Posts
    8,215
    Rep Power
    70
    So, on a basic level is this a "dose makes the poison" issue?

    There is free glutamic acid and glutamate (proton is gone) in a lot of savory food that give the sense of umami.

    There is also a lot of glutamate in protein powder - often 20% of the amino acid by weight.

    But, would not the glutamate have to get into the blood in significant quantities and then get past the blood brain barrier and then show it would do something? This should be eminently testable, so easy as to be trivial.

    Is the "theory" that MSG (if it gets into the brain) is a long term brain stressor that would lead to something that would look like standard aging, but push it up by a decade or more earlier?

    Now, the fact that MSG directly stimulates the tongue's umami sensors may in itself do some rewiring of taste, sort of like artificial sweeteners push our taste buds and appetite in a bad direction. It does not have to actually get past the blood brain barrier.

  5. Top | #5
    Member Peez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    376
    Archived
    5,504
    Total Posts
    5,880
    Rep Power
    66
    Quote Originally Posted by spikepipsqueak View Post
    I often can't understand how you make unrelated topics into questions of racism, Underseer.

    In some people, glutamates interfere with nerve impulse transmission. It can play havoc in those people. That happens whatever food it is delivered in, but probably happened more when Asian restaurants became popular in the West.

    MSG is not typically used in home cooking in English speaking countries whereas some Chinese friends of mine do add tasting powder to home cooked meals.

    The people who react also have to avoid potato chips and other foods that aren't related to Asian culture, including KFC.
    Interestingly, according to my (admittedly meager) searches, the idea of a "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome" was generated by a Chinese immigrant to the USA. Many people I know are suspicious of any artificial (and many natural) additive, regardless of cultural associations. There are plenty of people out there with racist attitudes, to lesser and greater degrees, but there does not seem to be anything necessarily racist about a mistrust of MSG.

    Peez

  6. Top | #6
    Elder Contributor Underseer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    11,413
    Archived
    39,172
    Total Posts
    50,585
    Rep Power
    72
    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    MSG is not food, which is why I don't eat it. It's in a few things I eat occasionally, but those things it mentioned in the first minutes of the video are all things I do not eat.

    I was never aware of its association with racism.
    Not food?

    Do you also not eat salt, sugar, or any other seasonings in your food?

    If you don't get some sodium, you die.

    Cutting out all glutamic acid would probably not be very good for you either.

    Be more specific about what you mean by "not food"?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Peez View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by spikepipsqueak View Post
    I often can't understand how you make unrelated topics into questions of racism, Underseer.

    In some people, glutamates interfere with nerve impulse transmission. It can play havoc in those people. That happens whatever food it is delivered in, but probably happened more when Asian restaurants became popular in the West.

    MSG is not typically used in home cooking in English speaking countries whereas some Chinese friends of mine do add tasting powder to home cooked meals.

    The people who react also have to avoid potato chips and other foods that aren't related to Asian culture, including KFC.
    Interestingly, according to my (admittedly meager) searches, the idea of a "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome" was generated by a Chinese immigrant to the USA. Many people I know are suspicious of any artificial (and many natural) additive, regardless of cultural associations. There are plenty of people out there with racist attitudes, to lesser and greater degrees, but there does not seem to be anything necessarily racist about a mistrust of MSG.

    Peez
    That doesn't change the fact that this is clearly racist, as evidenced by the fact that no one ever complains about MSG if it's in Western food.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by spikepipsqueak View Post
    I often can't understand how you make unrelated topics into questions of racism, Underseer.

    In some people, glutamates interfere with nerve impulse transmission. It can play havoc in those people. That happens whatever food it is delivered in, but probably happened more when Asian restaurants became popular in the West.

    MSG is not typically used in home cooking in English speaking countries whereas some Chinese friends of mine do add tasting powder to home cooked meals.

    The people who react also have to avoid potato chips and other foods that aren't related to Asian culture, including KFC.
    Watch the video. It's racism. I'm sorry if complaining about racism offends you.

  7. Top | #7
    Raspberry bilby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    The Sunshine State: The one with Crocs, not Gators
    Posts
    19,706
    Archived
    10,477
    Total Posts
    30,183
    Rep Power
    77
    Quote Originally Posted by Underseer View Post

    Not food?

    Do you also not eat salt, sugar, or any other seasonings in your food?

    If you don't get some sodium, you die.

    Cutting out all glutamic acid would probably not be very good for you either.

    Be more specific about what you mean by "not food"?
    Glutamate is synthesized by the human body, so a healthy person can survive without eating it - but it would require an unusual diet very low in protein in order to do so.

    I know a few people who 'know' that MSG gives them headaches. But oddly, that only happens when they eat food that they suspect contains MSG - if they eat something with MSG that they didn't realize contained it, they are fine, and if they eat food that probably doesn't contain it, but that they imagine probably does (typically Asian take-away) then they get a headache.

    Food intolerances are real, devastating and very, very rare. The vast majority of people who avoid MSG, Gluten, or other additives and ingredients are victims of self hypnosis. Their symptoms may be real, but the causes are psychological.

  8. Top | #8
    Contributor repoman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    5,935
    Archived
    2,280
    Total Posts
    8,215
    Rep Power
    70
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Underseer View Post

    Not food?

    Do you also not eat salt, sugar, or any other seasonings in your food?

    If you don't get some sodium, you die.

    Cutting out all glutamic acid would probably not be very good for you either.

    Be more specific about what you mean by "not food"?
    Glutamate is synthesized by the human body, so a healthy person can survive without eating it - but it would require an unusual diet very low in protein in order to do so.

    I know a few people who 'know' that MSG gives them headaches. But oddly, that only happens when they eat food that they suspect contains MSG - if they eat something with MSG that they didn't realize contained it, they are fine, and if they eat food that probably doesn't contain it, but that they imagine probably does (typically Asian take-away) then they get a headache.

    Food intolerances are real, devastating and very, very rare. The vast majority of people who avoid MSG, Gluten, or other additives and ingredients are victims of self hypnosis. Their symptoms may be real, but the causes are psychological.
    Ironically, a lot of the new chemically synthesized or concentrated ingredients like the "gums" and carrageenan that are used to give texture instead of flour, dairy and eggs seem to be dangerous for long term consumption.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5389019/

  9. Top | #9
    Formerly Joedad
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    PA USA
    Posts
    4,513
    Archived
    5,039
    Total Posts
    9,552
    Rep Power
    72
    Quote Originally Posted by Underseer View Post

    Not food?

    Do you also not eat salt, sugar, or any other seasonings in your food?
    Lots of stuff people eat is unhealthy. Those are the things I eliminate or minimize. Chips and KFC are recreational eating to me because of all the additives which make them super tasty. But like I said I do indulge occasionally, it's not a religion like it is to some people.

    It's that my gut can't tolerate the stuff, all the additives, so I have to stick to simple food, and I get plenty of salt in my diet, just not in the form of MSG. Carrageenan is a big no-no for me, really irritates the gut. That's just an example.

    I notice you like lots of spicy foods with lots of ingredients. I can't do that without my gut sending me hate mail and my reaching for the charcoal tablets. It's not mental, it's physical.

    So my foods are simple. Breakfast today was wilted red lettuce, dehydrated apples from the yard, black beans from a can (no preservatives), and a splash of unsweetened almond milk. It's actually quite tasty. Oh, and a small glass of home made wine without all the histamine-raising preservatives you get in factory wine. It works for me. It's either that or a life of meds.

  10. Top | #10
    Contributor repoman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    5,935
    Archived
    2,280
    Total Posts
    8,215
    Rep Power
    70
    There apparently are also flavor super charger chemicals added to zing up the effects of free glutamate/glutamic acid.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disodium_guanylate

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disodium_inosinate

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •