Heap of monosodium glutamate on wooden spoon and dark background with text MSG

Does MSG Trigger Headaches?

Does Monosodium glutamate (MSG) cause headaches? Although it seems like a simple question, there isn’t a clear answer. The results of research studies have not been conclusive. Many believe that MSG is no worse than eating high-salt diets. Others strongly oppose its use. For headache sufferers, the answer seems simple: if it causes you pain, stop using it.

Levels of MSG

There are varying tolerance levels to MSG. Some people can eat it happily, while others react to very little. Many migraine sufferers believe MSG will trigger migraines. MSG has been known to cause headaches in people who are not suffering from migraines.

MSG is known to cause headaches so why is it used in food? It all comes down to money. MSG is a flavor enhancer. MSG is a flavor enhancer. Food industry can use lower quality ingredients. MSG is a low-cost additive, so it costs food providers more. MSG makes them so much money that MSG manufacturers have teamed up to fund ‘medical research’ to prove MSG safe.

Let’s see…

MSG opponents argue that these research studies are biased because many of the FDA’s members are food industry workers. What kind of food contains MSG? Certain foods are clearly marked as containing MSG. It’s quite a list, isn’t it? It doesn’t end there. Sports drinks, candy, chewing gum and bubble gum are all possible sources of MSG. It is becoming increasingly clear that MSG can trigger headaches.

You should be cautious about buying packaged or processed foods. What can MSG do to me? MSG can trigger migraines and other headaches in those who are sensitive to it. How do I determine if it’s MSG or something else that is affecting me? You may want to consider an ‘exclusion diet’ if you suspect you have a problem. Try to eat no or very little MSG for three weeks. After the 3 weeks, you can eat anything that contains MSG to see if your symptoms return. I can read labels, but what about eating out?

Did you know?

MSG is a common ingredient in airline food, unless you opt for a vegetarian option. MSG can be found in salad dressings, too. Taco Bell claims that their food contains no MSG. Some people have experienced symptoms after eating at Taco Bell. Burger King: The Garden Salad, French Fries and French Fries are clearly marked. All other items contain MSG. McDonald’s: Garden Salad with light Italian Dressing is good. Iced tea is good. Apple pie is delicious. MSG is in everything else. McDonald’s has a complete list of all their ingredients in its restaurants. MSG is often found under the hidden names’ section of the above list. MSG is not an issue for everyone, at least not when it comes to headaches. It is helpful to have the knowledge to avoid MSG.