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MSG Consumption Associated With Weight Gain

April 6, 2011: 04:30 AM EST
Researchers in China, Canada and the U.S. who studied the impact of monosodium glutamate (MSG) on metabolism found a positive association, regardless of calorie intake, between the flavor enhancer widely used in Asian cuisine and weight gain. The study analyzed health data collected on more than 10,000 healthy Chinese adults from 1991 to 2006. They found that a daily intake of .6 g to 3.8 g was positively associated with being overweight, defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher. The researchers urged further studies be undertaken to determine how MSG acts in the body, but they guessed that the compound influences energy balance through the disruption of the hypothalamic signaling cascade of leptin action.
K. He, et al. , "Consumption of monosodium glutamate in relation to incidence of overweight in Chinese adults: China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS)", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, April 06, 2011, © American Society for Nutrition
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