Controversies Around The Use Of Monosodium Glutamate In Food

1168 words - 5 pages

Monosodium glutamate (C5H8NO4Na) also known as MSG is an organic compound derived from glutamic acid that is used as a flavour enhancer for food. Glutamic acid or glutamate is a naturally occurring non essential amino acid that combines with sodium ion to form MSG. Glutamate is produced naturally by our bodies and is also found in meats and vegetables that we eat (Health Canada, 2008, Para. 1). MSG is an odorless, white crystalline compound in its pure form. MSG on its own has a taste similar to salt, but when it is added to a dish the natural flavour of the food itself is enhanced. The functional groups associated with MSG are an amine group and two carboxyl groups. MSG readily ...view middle of the document...

Robert Ho Man Kwok described the strange feeling he felt after eating at a Chinese restaurant back in the New England Journal of Medicine back in 1968. Unable to find the cause, he concluded that the use of MSG in the meal was the direct cause for the symptoms he had. The MSG syndrome complex usually involves the symptoms of: headache, nausea, numbness, weakness, and facial pressure (Zeratsky, 2012, Para. 2). Despite the controversies around the use of MSG, U.S Food and Drug Administration continues to approve the use of MSG in food as scientists are unable to consistently trigger the allergic reactions experienced by some (FDA, 2012, Para. 3). MSG breaks down into glutamate and sodium ions inside the body. Glutamate is a major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain. Neurotransmitters are responsible for sending signals between nerve cells. It is essential for the normal functioning of the brain which includes: memory, learning, and cognition. Excessive quantities of Glutamate may overexcite brain neurons and can lead to brain cells and neuron death (Stanford University, 2011, Para. 1). For this reason glutamate is also known as a potential excitotoxin. But this phenomenon is far unlikely to occur under normal consumption of MSG.

Aside from the negative notions by the media, the use of MSG does come with many benefits. MSG effectively reduces the use of salt. The addition of salt is often used to enhance the flavour of food, but many people use more salt than the recommended amount to the point of being unhealthy. According to the American Heart Association, the average American consumes around 3400 mg of sodium in their daily diet while the recommended amount is just 1500 mg (American Heart Association, 2014, Para. 1). The high sodium content of salt poses many health risks such as: high blood pressure, stroke, kidney stones, and obesity. MSG contains just one third the sodium content found in table salt (Marie, Para. 4). The European Food Information Council announced that when MSG is used with table salt, it can reduce the sodium intake by 20 to 40 percent (EUFIC, 2002, Para. 4). MSG is known to increase appetite and stimulate the reduced taste buds in seniors which can encourage people stay nourished. Besides being a safe food addictive, MSG can also aid in the digestion of food. A study done in the 2000 by a group of British scientists has shown that glutamate provides most of the energy for digestion to take place inside the intestines (Reeds, Burrin, Stoll & Jahoor,...

Find Another Essay On Controversies around the use of Monosodium glutamate in food

The ‘Glutamate Theory’ of the Pathogenesis of Schizophrenia

2452 words - 10 pages Introduction: There is immense study on the role of glutamate in Schizophrenia. Even so to date the current antipsychotics do not control major glutamatergic action albeit a study at the NMDA receptor location such as the glycine transport inhibitors may give new novel evidence for the discovery of future antipsychotics (Olney et al., 1999) The Dopamine hypothesis of Schizophrenia The dopamine (DA) theory of schizophrenia has subjugated the

The Main Controversies of Medieval Thought in the 12th and 13th Centuries

1212 words - 5 pages The Main Controversies of Medieval Thought in the 12th and 13th Centuries The twelfth and thirteenth centuries were a time of great controversy for medieval scholars. New systems of thought were being developed and implemented that challenged the accepted teachings of the church. Some fought to preserve tradition, others fought to destroy it, while still others sought to find a common ground between the two. The greatest controversy of

For what dramatic purposes does Wilde use food in 'The Importance Of Being Earnest'?

849 words - 3 pages Magda Jentgen Magda Jentgen English 11/11/2009 Edward Thomas "Rain" How does the poet express despair in `Rain'? In the poem `Rain' the poet, Edward Thomas, uses different poetics, such as ; rhyme scheme, alliteration, metaphors, diction, as well as merging of images to convey the message of despair. E. Thomas has created a broken rhyme scheme in the poem `Rain', which shows us how the poets

Use of Genetically Modified Food

1128 words - 5 pages to specific herbicides. These qualities are helpful in food production, allowing farmers to use fewer chemicals, and to grow crops in less than ideal conditions. However, the herbicide use could be increased, which will have a larger negative effect on the surrounding environment. Also unintentional hybrid strains of weeds and other plants can develop resistance to these herbicides through cross-pollination, thus contradicting the potential

History of Capital Punishment in America and its Controversies

1119 words - 5 pages The history of the capital punishment has been around since the beginning of the world we live in today. As the years have come and gone the use of capital punishment has been passed down throughout the generations of countries. One of the first uses of capital punishment dated back to the Old Testament. During biblical times God punished the world for its sins by causing a flood to destroy mankind. Many ancient cultures followed by deciding

Medical Technology and the Controversies Associated With Prolongation of Life

3168 words - 13 pages Medical Technology and the Controversies of Prolonging LifeIn 1900, the average life expectancy was 47 years, by 1998 life expectancy had risen to 76.7 years (Kleespies, P., 2004). Prior to the advent of Penicillin, pneumonia carried a mortality rate of 30%, Penicillin lowered this to 6%. (Leach, J., 2005). Infant mortality rates have fallen from 16.5 per 100 in 1900 to 0.77 per 100 in 1997. Many of the childhood diseases which took young lives

This is a short story called, "The Deed". The assignment required the use of flashbacks and dialogues in a way that give a little twist at the end. The story revolves around boxing and retaliation

1806 words - 7 pages too much and that was not a good thing, especially for this match. The bell rung for the start of the first round and the butterflies were fluttering around in my stomach. The Russian came out with a surprisingly slow and weak start by just defending all of my dad's punches. The round was nearing its end when my dad got the Russian into a corner and just spanked him. Right jab to a left, another left, and a strong uppercut. This nearly knocked the

Use of Food in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

3867 words - 15 pages Search for food, reproduction, sleep; the primal needs for every uni- and multicellular organism is to consume in order to survive and by doing so ensuring the continued existence of its own species. As a consequence, eating and drinking is not only an individual but also a common necessity; it is the basis of a civilization (Keeling 5). But food is more than just nutrition; it can be pleasure or temptation, and the way how or what is consumed

A new specific neuronal modulatory effect of nicotine: the functional cross talk between nicotinic and glutamate receptors

1080 words - 5 pages not only induce neurotransmitter release but, throughout the interaction with other co-existing receptors, it may also exert functional modulatory role on central neurotransmission as well as on the functions of colocalized receptors [4,12-15]. In this regard, the interactions occurring between nAChRs and glutamate receptors, considering the role of glutamate in several aspects of nicotine dependence [16], neuronal plasticity as well as in the

Fluent in the Language of Food

1755 words - 8 pages The experience associated with the preparation and consumption of food always fosters some method of communication. Even without words, food provides information about a person’s religion, lifestyle, wealth, and culture. In Babette’s Feast and Eat Drink Man Woman, this experience of food is primarily how the characters communicate and always involves everyone gathering together. In each film, communication revolves around the consumption or

The Importance of Food Safety in China

1171 words - 5 pages The Importance of Food Safety Food safety was established to ensure the food we consume is properly cooked or maintained well. Food is an essential for surviving in all animals’ creation as well as humans. The government has set up programs and a department for food safety and inspection to make sure retailers are selling up to codes whether it be warm or cold edible food. It is unfortunate that some countries do not have to opportunity to

Similar Essays

The Controversies Around Human Cloning Essay

2288 words - 9 pages of cloning because it creates more issues than solving them, human life is precious and cannot be wasted. The President of the United States of America, Barack Obama's authorization of the National Institute of Health to fund research projects is seen to encourage embryonic-stem-cell research. Obama has assured a ban on reproductive cloning of humans, but the Dickey-Wicker amendment which blocks the use of federal funds in such research is seen

Deleterious Effects Of Monosodium Glutamate On Thymic And Splenic Immune Functions

2714 words - 11 pages Thousands of food additives are widely used in food processing and people consume daily a considerable amount of these additives. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, an abundant naturally occurring amino acid (Walker et al., 2000). It can produce a unique taste, known as a fifth taste (umami) that cannot be provided by other basic taste. MSG has also the ability to enhance diet intake in older (Bellisle, 1998

Ethical Controversies Involved In The Use Of Germ Line And Somatic Gene Therapies

1559 words - 6 pages Ethical Controversies Involved in the Use of Germ-line and Somatic Gene Therapies Abstract There are many sides to the issue of using germ-line and somatic germ therapies. Many people argue that it should be stopped completely, whereas others argue that both germ therapies should continue for the benefit of all people. There are other arguments that lie somewhere in between. Most of the controversy is caused by germ-line gene therapy

The World Revolves Around Food Essay

785 words - 4 pages things in their nature and can not use pain killer because that will make them inorganic, but they have antibiotics. GMO’s are plants or animals that have changes in their DNA that are removed or input from scientists to make the product have more benefits like more nutrients, less growing time and more abundant, and different types of breeds to be made. Finally, we still tend to make waste. If we cook and eat just enough to sustain ourselves we