Monosodium glutamate, deceived wisdom

It sounds like a nasty chemical and people have been worrying about it for year. MSG. Monosodium glutamate. But the monosdium, that’s just sodium ions from common salt and the glutamate is just the soluble form of the essential protein-making amino acid, glutamic acid.

The question of its safety arose in a Facebook discussion but it seems that much of the research into alleged negative effects of MSG refer to ingesting around 4 milligrams per kilogram of body mass. For a big bloke that’s still less than half a gram. Whereas we naturally ingest several grams of glutamate from proteins we eat daily.

So, once again deceived wisdom leads to chemophobia. I’m pretty sure all the negative stuff about this flavour enhancer is just a red herring…which, of course would be even tastier with a dash of MSG…

Monosodium Glutamate.

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3 thoughts on “Monosodium glutamate, deceived wisdom

  1. There has been debate in the past about how free glutamate can be absorbed and get into the brain much faster than bound glutamate in food. But, the scientific consensus seems to be that there is no spike and that digestion frees up far more Glu from food quite quickly enough to trigger such a spike if such a spike were to have any detrimental effect…

  2. Once in solution the link between the sodium and the glutamate is immaterial, as you presumably know. Sodium ions are ubiquitous in our bodies and food and the essential amino acid glutamate ion is ubiquitous in proteins and our bodies too…

  3. And the human milk contains (naturally) about 0.2% of MSG. So, a very little baby taking 200 mL/day and weighting 5 kG ingests 80 mg/kG.

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