Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Why MSG is good for your food and not bad for you

Chicken dishes are so tasty with some MSG
Yesterday someone posted on Facebook a picture of a fish sauce and asked "Safe to eat? (No MSG?)". While I have no idea what was in the bottle, I am sure MSG might be the safest thing to consume when buying home made fish sauce.

There is still this myth that MSG is bad for you, that there are people allergic to MSG or that it will kill you. None of it is true. The MSG story is a hoax, and is based on a study that is retracted by the author since decades.

MSG is Monosodium glutamate. As Wikipedia says, the sodium salt of glutamic acid, one of the most abundant naturally occurring non-essential amino acids. Monosodium glutamate is found naturally in tomatoes, cheese and other foods.

Broccoli for example. So if think you are allergic to MSG but you can eat tomatoes or cheese, than your are NOT allergic to MSG.

Also, you can eat a lot before you die. The lethal dose is 5 and 18 g/kg body weight - in rats. No way your local chicken curry comes even close to it. (Actually, salt is way more dangerous and lethal in much small doses)

There is NOT study than ever proved a link between MSG and headaches. We humans actually use Glutamat and Salt for quite a while, about 5000 year or so. In the meantime we invented the internet, made it to the moon, but we didn't know that we all gonna die from MSG? Highly unlikely since population grows in particular in MSG-countries.

Actually, MSG has benefits. It makes food tastier, mainly chicken, but also other dishes. It is NOT something artificial that will give your unborn children 4 arms and a trunk. It will not alter your DNA, and it is not bad for your Karma. It is just something you use when you are cooking, like you use salt and pepper.

So, you say you always get headaches when you eat food with MSG? Ok, first, is that also the case with tomatoes, broccoli or cheese? Second, it doesn't actually matter what you feel. That's not how science works, because you could be just feeling bad because someone told you so ("Uaaah, Chinese food!!! Beware of the MSG!!!") 

Science works this way: You get 500 people and you divide them randomly in two groups. One group gets a meal with MSG, the other group the same dis without MSG. Both groups don't know about the MSG-thing. Once they are finished, you asked them if the are more thirsty, if the have headaches etc. You may do that 12 hours later again. And then you compare the results. If the MSG groups reports a significantly higher number in headaches, than you have strong evidence that it causes headaches. But all studies came to the opposite result. 

You are NOT healthier if you eat MSG. It doesn't do any harm to you. There are thousand more health risks in Cambodia, like the tab water (yes, it contains most likely E.coli, but again, you also have them in your intestines and for a reason).

So, nothing to worry about and now you can go to all those lovely local restaurant, even if they do not have a NO-MSG sign on the door. 

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