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Talk:Monosodium glutamate

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This Food related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.

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Someone with fancy wiki widgets categorize this.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 04:31, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Anecdotal evidence of discomfort[edit]

There has frequently been debate here and elsewhere over the so-called 'Chinese Restaurant Syndrome' - purely anecdotal evidence of some discomfort or mild short term reactions to foods containing MSG in some form or other. These include headache, dizziness, sweating, sleeplessness, heart palpitations, upset stomach and more. None are considered serious or 'medically significant', and there's no evidence that any of it is true, yet I for one know that I've always suffered from it. But the scientific evidence suggests I'm a woo-meister. So I'm curious - have any other Rationalwikians ever been inclined to deny their rationalism and admit they've had some kind of adverse reaction to MSG-laced food? And that they try to avoid its consumption? Be honest now….. DogP (talk) 04:56, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Could be that the foods you ate with MSG had some other substances that caused your symptoms. Or it could be a nocebo.--Krejtalk 16:17, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
It's possible some people may have a genuine MSG intolerance, although I don't know how much research there is in this area beyond the anecdotal evidence. The problem is that sufferers tend to generalise from their experiences that MSG is bad for everyone, & there are plenty of hypochondriacs willing to jump on the bandwagon. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:42, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Krej - no, I'm been pretty scrupulous over the years about examining the conditions under which it affects me - see my Talk page for the discussion which sparked this comment wherein I explain what my controls have been. And Weaseloid - I don't generalize, I just know I experience it, and I've met one other person who said it affected them similarly, but I have no idea if that's true at all. Yes, there's a passel of people who would love to suffer from something, and I'm always steering clear of them. I'm only claiming that it happens to me. DogP (talk) 06:22, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
There is now evidence for Chinese Restaurant Syndrome in peer reviewed research, I added one reference to the main page. Femilisk is watching 17:08, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Removed 1991 Study[edit]

I have removed the 1991 study which had been added by Femilisk earlier this year for the following reasons:

  • The study was given a disproportionately large amount of page space
  • The study is 23 years old
  • It's findings (MSG causes migraines) are counter to those of newer studies which are already cited in this article.
  • The study fails to explain why foods which naturally contain MSG (Soy products, cheeses, tomatoes, etc) are not known to cause migraines.
  • "Despite a widespread belief that MSG can elicit a headache, among other symptoms, there are no consistent clinical data to support this claim." (2006)-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20470841
  • "there are no consistent clinical data to support this claim. In addition, findings from the literature indicate that there is no consistent evidence to suggest that individuals may be uniquely sensitive to glutamate." (2010)-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20470841

PatrickJS (talk) 19:50, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

"The study was given a disproportionately large amount of page space & The study is 23 years old " are not valid reasons to remove data. The third, if true, IS a valid reason but im not seeing sources to back it up--Miekal 20:00, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Immediate admission of ignorance[edit]

So this isn't my area of expertise, but there wasn't anything to do with "rabbits" so misleading edit summaries had me spooked. Nonetheless, I've gotta deliberate on the point, at least a little now that I'm involved. The first result on google scholar looking briefly is a small-sample size(but still double-blind) study with staggering results. Look, 2/14 for control group, 8/14 for experimental group. That's not "no clinical data" to support the notion. I'm now afraid that the article might have a conclusion bias. Ikanreed (talk) 20:01, 15 July 2014 (UTC)


And the next source that actually seemed topical: [1] According to a double-blind placebocontrolled study in self-identified subjects sensitive to MSG, there is an apparent threshold dose for the occurrence of symptoms of 2.5 g MSG (Yang et al., 1997). Ikanreed (talk) 20:09, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

I have added multiple studies, all of which are newer than the 1991 one I removed, debunking the claim that MSG causes migraines. See also: [[2]]

PatrickJS (talk) 20:20, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

I think you're conflating articles asserting inconclusive results with asserting negative results. Ikanreed (talk) 20:36, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
The sentence I added uses the phrase "no consistent clinical data," and I think it's pretty clear what I mean by that PatrickJS (talk) 20:39, 15 July 2014 (UTC)