MSG...good, bad or ugly?


Along the same lines as the nitrites and nitrates debate in cured meats…I’d like to understand what sort of credible evidence is published to confirm the effect of msg (monosodium glutamate) on our health. Also, any additional impacts to consider for ketogenic diet, or supplementation during extended fasting (instant bouillon cubes containing msg)?

(AnnaLeeThal) #2

I notice it swells me up so I avoid it. I know some people get headaches from it.

(thefeatherdustersllc) #3

I get instant headaches w msg


I don’t know a whole lot about it other than it’s not (all, I stand corrected. @carolT) man made. Pretty sure it started with a seaweed?


Cris Kresser has an article with some referenced links in it. I’m one of those “sensitive” people who get migraines from it.

(jim schafer) #6

bad / ugly i avoid it when / if possible.

(Genevieve Biggs) #7

I’m definitely sensitive. Even homemade bone broth if I cook it too long gives me headaches. :confused:


@Genevieve, really?!?! Wow. Do you know what in the homemade broth gives you a headache?

(Genevieve Biggs) #9

Read the Kresser article above. It’s the glutamate. Before MSG, humans derived it from bones and seafood.


@Genevieve, thank you for pointing that out. I really appreciate this information.

It makes me wonder why some people feel bad when they eat msg. I’d like to understand the science behind that. Is quantity or concentration of msg in broth directly related (like what Genevieve has said about boiling broth too long?).

(Derek I. Batting) #11

For your consideration:

(Siobhan) #12

As far as I’ve heard the worst it does is cause headaches in some people who are sensitive - and the research indicates that may not be the cause of MSG.
I think it’s just a type of salt, and is found naturally in many foods (kelp, for one, I think also tomatoes and other stuff).

I’d say: undetermined, but probably fine, avoid it if you want to.