Healthy Holistic Living

MSG Side Effects

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Are there really msg side effects and what are the symptoms?

Ingestion of glutamic acid (MSG) is known to produce a variety of adverse reactions in some people. These reactions, although seemingly dissimilar, are no more diverse than reactions found as side effects of certain neurological drugs. We do not know why some people experience reactions and others do not. We do not know whether MSG “causes” the condition underlying the reaction, or whether the underlying condition is simply aggravated by the ingestion of MSG. We only know that the reactions listed below are sometimes caused or exacerbated by MSG.

Possible MSG Side Effects

According to the FDA, MSG Symptom Complex or MSG side effects can result in.

  • Numbness
  • Burning sensation
  • Tingling
  • Facial pressure or tightness
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty breathing for asthmatics

“All forms of MSG (free glutamic acid that occurs in food as a consequence of manufacture) cause these reactions in MSG-sensitive people. That includes MSG found in a plant “growth enhancer” called AuxiGro, and MSG found in a variety of other fertilizers and fungicides that have been approved for spraying on growing crops, including crops identified as “organic.””

MSG Side Effects Symptoms

According to various independent studies show MSG reaction or MSG side effects can result in the following symptoms:

Cardiac – Arrhythmia, Atrial fibrillation, Tachycardia, Rapid heartbeat, Palpitations, Slow heartbeat, Angina, Extreme rise or drop in blood pressure

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Circulatory  – Swelling

Gastrointestinal – Diarrhea, Nausea/vomiting, Stomach cramps, Rectal bleeding, Bloating

Muscular – Flu-like achiness, Joint pain, Stiffness

Neurological – Depression, Mood swings, Rage reactions, Migraine headache, Dizziness, Light-headedness, Loss of balance, Disorientation, Mental confusion, Anxiety, Panic attacks, Hyperactivity, Behavioral problems in children, Attention deficit disorders, Lethargy, Sleepiness, Insomnia, Numbness or paralysis,  Seizures, Sciatica, Slurred speech, Chills and shakes, Shuddering

Visual – Blurred vision, Difficulty focusing, Pressure around eyes


Respiratory – Asthma, Shortness of breath, Chest pain, Tightness in the chest, Runny nose, Sneezing

Urological / Genital – Bladder pain (with frequency), Swelling of the prostate, Swelling of the vagina, Vaginal spotting, Frequent urination, Nocturia

Skin   – Hives (may be both ..internal and external), Rash, Mouth lesions, Temporary tightness or partial paralysis, numbness or tingling of the skin, Flushing, Extreme dryness of the mouth, Face swelling, Tongue swelling, Bags under eyes”

Many people react to the MSG experience. They are not always benign or transient. According to Dr. George Schwartz author of “In Bad Taste: MSG Syndrome” his patients “have developed neurological conditions similar to Giles de la Tourette Syndrome, Trigeminal Neuralgia, and unspecific symptoms mimicking multiple sclerosis and muscle degeneration.”

Dr. Schwartz also states, “In our practice we have observed reactions of severe palpitations, heart rhythm disturbances and liver abnormalities. Psychological disturbances including depression and anxiety attacks have also been seen after MSG ingestion.  

Gastrointestinal distress, headaches, dizziness and mental confusion are not unknown in these reactions, and asthma attacks are of great concern.


Particularly distressing are the hyperactivity and learning disorders that can be attributed to the absorption of monosodium glutamate by children. They symptoms are often misdiagnosed and attributed to “junk food.”

One of the questions frequently asked is why this additive produces so many diverse symptoms? One assumption is that it strikes where the patient is most vulnerable, the brain being most often affected.

It is not unusual to suffer a variety of side effects when dealing with a substance that shocks the nervous system.”

It makes you stop and think doesn’t it?

Need more information? Check out the video below, The Truth about MSG Monosodium Glutamate Clinical Nutrition:

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Michelle Toole

Michelle Toole is the founder and head editor of Healthy Holistic Living. Learn all about her life's inspiration and journey to health and wellness.
Michelle Toole
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