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What Are the Treatments for an Allergic Reaction to MSG?

By Brandon May
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is a flavor enhancer found in many common processed foods and restaurant meals to aid in overall flavor. Many people can be sensitive to the effects of MSG, and an allergic reaction to MSG can include developing a rash and skin irritation to slight depression or other mental ailments. The health effects of MSG consumption on the population are not widely known, prompting some researchers to suggest that people use simple detox methods to move MSG out of the body. The best treatment advice for an allergic reaction to MSG and other food chemicals is to avoid MSG all together.

Monosodium glutamate is a common flavor enhancer found in many foods, from canned soup to frozen meals, and is derived from certain glutamate chemicals. Since MSG is chemical-based, many people who are sensitive to the effects of these chemicals can develop allergic symptoms, whether MSG is consumed just once or on a regular basis. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to MSG include developing a skin rash or blisters, headaches, mood disorders and irritability.

Avoiding foods that contain MSG additives is the best treatment approach for an allergic reaction, according to doctors and nutritionists, as it helps a sensitive individual prevent further allergy occurrences. Using anti-inflammatory foods or medications may be helpful in some cases, to help reduce inflammation that occurs in the body or the skin. It can often be difficult to recognize an allergic response to MSG, as symptoms like rash and depression aren't commonly thought of as symptoms of food additives. Some critics of MSG treatments are reluctant to say that MSG can cause an allergic reaction, yet other researchers point to the studied effects such as neurological dysfunction and headaches.

It is suggested by natural physicians and nutritionists that those who are extremely sensitive to the effects of MSG use safe detox programs to help rid the body of the food additive. Most doctors, however, tend to believe that simple avoidance of foods containing the additive is enough to prevent any further occurrences. Organic foods are forbidden to use MSG and artificial flavor enhancers, making them a popular choice for individuals sensitive to the ingredient. Many people who experience an allergic reaction to MSG tend to choose to eat organic foods, as most processed foods can contain aspects of MSG but still be labeled as MSG-free.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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