AJIMOMOTO (MSG): A FIFTH TATSE OR A BIO BOMB
Vivek Sharma* and Rahul Deshmukh
This review assesses many of the health implications associated with monosodium glutamate (MSG) in humans and animals. MSG is the sodium salt of glutamic acid and has been used all over the world for its flavor enhancing properties. The prevalence of this salt as a food additive in Asian cuisine and other diets makes MSG a relevant aspect of the human diet worldwide. It increases the appetite by stimulating
the appetite centre but nowadays it has been debated for its safety and harmful effects as it affect almost every major organ in the body. The studies on experimental animals have confirmed toxic effect of MSG in different organs, mainly manifested by increased oxidative stress, cytotoxicity, immunosupresion, reproductive toxicity(males and females), obesity, asthma, autism and numerous other ailments. For thirty years, scientists and researchers have used MSG in their experiments to purposely create obese and pre-diabetic test subjects, trigger epileptic seizures, create ischemic strokes, produce oxidative stress, neurobehavioral abnormalities and destroy cell tissues in vivo and in vitro. Additionally, MSG is known to produce impairment in memory retension, damage in the hypothalamic neurons, alterations in mitochondrial lipid peroxidation and antioxidant status in different regions of brain. Beside this MSG induces a shift in the carbohydrate metabolism towards lipogenesis leading to hyperlipidemia and hyperglycemia. Furthermore, MSG induced oxidative stress in erythrocytes, liver, kidney, heart and brain of experimental animals has also been documented. Debate over the healthiness of MSG and its associated health problems has led to a negative public opinion of the additive. Present review make it safe to conclude that MSG has the potential to create several health hazards and thus advocates strict guidelines and mass awareness regarding its use.
Keywords: Ajinomoto, cytotoxicity, cognitive deficits, mono sodiium glutamae, obesity.
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