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Posted by gillfred on 4/9/2006 at 19:33


We've read to ask for food without MSG - can anyone let us know what that is and why you should ask for food without it?


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Posted by tsargood on 4/9/2006 at 20:49

MSG stands for 'Mono Sodium Glutamate' it is a flavour enhancer used in some foods, more commonly found in Chinese food. It is said that in asthmatics it can cause an attack and in the worst case has even caused death in some instances. It has also been linked to some cancers, however this product is eaten widely all over the world and only seems to affect a small minority of people in a harmful way.
I choose not to eat it as I think food should taste good from using quality products and good preparation. Not from adding man made chemicals.
The choice is yours.
Hope this helps.

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Posted by steviej on 4/9/2006 at 20:52

Hi gillfred,

Thats a hard one as MSG is present in quite an array of foods in its natural form (Seaweed being the most prevalent). I reckon your gonna have to do a little Google-ing.

As for why without? apparently it can cause headaches, nausea, digestive problems etc.

I've even read somewhere that some people wash the coating off certain tablets (drugs) as this contais MSG!!!!

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Posted by tsargood on 4/9/2006 at 20:56

PS: If you want to see the stuff in its form before added to cooking, just go to your local Chinese food supermarket type thing and you will see gigantic bags of the stuff that restaurants buy in bulk. It's kind of scary!

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Posted by ReneHanoi on 5/9/2006 at 08:28

Posted from within Vietnam.

MSG is used a lot in Vietnamese cuisine (they won't eat without it). Some restaurants exaggerate a bit, but as MSG is naturally produced by your body small amounts of artificial MSG should do no harm. No reason to panic, I would say, as with most things here.

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Posted by tsargood on 5/9/2006 at 13:54

I think if your diet is used to a regular intake of MSG you will probably feel no ill health from it. I know when I was last in China where they use it in large amounts, I had difficulty sleeping and felt very anxious, like I had drank too much caffeine (although I had none). Some people may be more susceptible than others....
I found this article that is very informative....

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Posted by gillfred on 5/9/2006 at 16:03

OK thanks for all the replies, it sounds like it should be ok if we have eaten it in food already in the UK when eating thai foods etc.

Thanks for letting us know....

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Posted by Tilapia on 5/9/2006 at 21:56

MSG is a natural by-product of the fermentation process and is present in a massive variety of foods. It's not all man-made. When you see "No MSG" on a label, or a menu, it means that no MSG is intentionally added to the food. This does NOT mean that there is no MSG in the food. You're going to find MSG in just about anything that goes through a fermentation process. It's also occurs naturally, as mentioned above, in loads of different foods. Green peas, mushrooms, tomatoes, corn, cheese and lots more all have MSG.

It's an amino acid that effects the person rather than the food, like salt does. Somehow it is able to expand or enhance the taste buds' ability to detect flavours by stimulating glutamate receptors on the tongue. The argument is still out on whether or not it causes allergic reactions. Research points towards "no" on that one. It does not stimulate the production of histamines. People can, however, have sensitivities to the stuff.

You've probably been ingesting it for years without knowing it. In the US a few years ago it was used in foods under 41 different trade names.

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Posted by jimbeam1 on 10/9/2006 at 03:12

One last point it is also known as E621 and you will find it on most lables

#9 jimbeam1 has been a member since 16/8/2006. Posts: 3

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