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Old 01-03-2011, 11:05 PM   #1
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MSG?

I've seen some conflicting reports. My boyfriend claims he is slightly "allergic" to MSG and have always wondered if it was a myth. As far as I can tell, it is. This website cites 3 different published scientific journals/studies which say that MSG allergies are a myth. My question is, are there any recent scientific studies that claim it isn't a myth?

I guess I could do my own study, and use a slight amount in some in his food and see if he complains, but that'd be evil. Anyone have any more info on this?

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Old 01-03-2011, 11:06 PM   #2
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MSG is basically salt.
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:15 PM   #3
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A small percentage of the world's population is allergic to MSG. The symptoms can range from mild to debilitating. For the vast majority of people it has no side effects.

If he has difficulties after eating it, he should try to avoid it. It's sometimes difficult to do as it's not always listed as MSG on a ingredient list.

A little history. Back about 30-40 years ago, reports of widespread reactions to MSG created a wave of panic. As a result, most Chinese restaurants stopped using it and often printed on their menus that they did not use MSG to keep customers.

Scientists have since determined that the majority of the issues back then were the result of the power of suggestion fueled by a few real cases.

But, to repeat, some folks are really allergic the the stuff and should avoid it.
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:33 PM   #4
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Alton Brown did a segment where half of the guests were served msg and the other half of the diners were not. Then after they had eaten he told them they had had the msg. He asked them who felt effects. Many people complained of feeling poorly due to the msg. The funny thing was that a lot of those people were the ones who were not served msg. It was all in their heads.
Having said that I still would not serve msg to someone who claims to be allergic. Reactions to allergies can be erratic and just because a person is only mildly reactive once does not mean that he/she won't have a serious reaction the next time. It's probably better to be safe than sorry.
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:56 PM   #5
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The common reaction to MSG, by those of us who are sensitive to it, is not an allergy. There is no histamine reaction. It's a sensitivity. It is real. If there is over some amount of MSG in food, I will get the reaction. It's a weird pulling in opposite directions of all the muscles around my face and a bit into my scalp. I get that reaction even when I didn't expect there to be any MSG in the food.
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by joesfolk View Post
Alton Brown did a segment where half of the guests were served msg and the other half of the diners were not. Then after they had eaten he told them they had had the msg. He asked them who felt effects. Many people complained of feeling poorly due to the msg. The funny thing was that a lot of those people were the ones who were not served msg. It was all in their heads.
Having said that I still would not serve msg to someone who claims to be allergic. Reactions to allergies can be erratic and just because a person is only mildly reactive once does not mean that he/she won't have a serious reaction the next time. It's probably better to be safe than sorry.
I remember that show. The results were considered inconclusive.

I'm not affected by it and even have some now. I sprinkled some on some cottage cheese recently and the flavors were intense.

I wouldn't serve to anybody without being sure they aren't affected by it.
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:15 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=joesfolk;955058]Alton Brown did a segment where half of the guests were served msg and the other half of the diners were not. Then after they had eaten he told them they had had the msg. He asked them who felt effects. Many people complained of feeling poorly due to the msg. The funny thing was that a lot of those people were the ones who were not served msg. It was all in their heads.
Having said that I still would not serve msg to someone who claims to be allergic. Reactions to allergies can be erratic and just because a person is only mildly reactive once does not mean that he/she won't have a serious reaction the next time. It's probably better to be safe than sorry.[/QUOTE]

What Joesfolk said.

If someone says they have an allergy or a sensitivity to any food, etc. it's best NOT to try to call them on it. Just take it in stride. The last thing you want to have to do is call 911 because someone is turning blue and can't breathe.

That being said...I have a severe allergy to brussels sprouts
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:44 AM   #8
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That being said...I have a severe allergy to brussels sprouts
Is the gag reflex part of the allergy for you too?
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Old 01-04-2011, 02:02 AM   #9
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Is the gag reflex part of the allergy for you too?
Oh yes, my throat closes up just seeing them in the store!
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Old 01-04-2011, 02:30 AM   #10
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Sensitivities to foods or anything else is just that. Every human body is different. We cannot all eliminate ingredients from our diet because maybe someone might be allergic to it. Taxlady, thank you for differentiating between a true allergy and a sensitivity. I happen to love to use Maggi seasoning on pork and/or beef when I'm stir frying. The people who I cook for know to tell me if they have allergies. But so many people hear the news reports that we're talking about, and decide they're allergic.

Nuts of all kinds constipate me. This isn't an allergy. Some things upset my tummy when I eat them. Not an allergy. When my husband gets stung by a bee, immediately hives come out, and he falls down because he cannot breathe. Allergy. I love, absolutely LOVE linguini with white clam sauce. But it goes through me in about 20 minutes, so when I can get the ingredients I make it at home, because in a restaurant I can't get home before needing to stop somewhere. Not an allergy.
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