Maggi Noodles from Nestle was a brand people could count on for a quick and healthy snack. But the latest tests conducted on this product have shown the world how the 2 minute meal isn’t what it claims to be. After multiple tests performed by the UP Food and Drug Administration it was determined that these noodles contained dangerously high levels of lead and MSG. This has led many state governments to ban the product from being sold to consumers. And, as a result people have begun to question their loyalty towards the brand.
Maggi has always claimed to be healthy with its high fiber whole grains and real vegetable, and has continuously highlighted through advertisements that they do not use any harmful additives in their product so that the whole family can enjoy a well balanced meal. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, what have people really been eating?
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
Monosodium glutamate, or MSG as it is commonly known, looks similar to sugar or salt crystals. It is a naturally occurring glutamate that doesn’t have much of a flavor on its own but when combined with other foods it is capable of enhancing their flavor and taste.
Almost any kind of bland food can be instantly converted into a tasty delight with a little sprinkle of MSG. Which is why, it’s usually found in fast food restaurants as well as in canned and other processed foods – to improve their taste. MSG is a mix of sodium and amino acid glutamate is natural in fruits and plants, but the manmade kind is very bad for health, which is often the case when people try to recreate a natural product.
How can MSG Affect the Human Body
The effects of MSG are not the same for everyone. And, though the international FDA claims that it has no ill effects, experts believe that if is consumed in large amounts it could cause damage to the system.
- Numbness or Tingling/Burning Sensation: As a result of too much MSG in food the body can suddenly experience numbness or a tingly sensation on the face, neck or in the stomach and other parts of the body too.
- Asthma Attack Trigger: The FASEB submitted a report in 1995 that stated MSG has the ability to trigger asthma attacks in people who are sensitive to it. However, the information gathered is inconclusive and more research will be required to determine if there is a link between asthma and MSG as an additive.
- Causes Weight Gain: A study mentioned in the 2009 edition of Obesity claimed that an experiment was conducted on non MSG eaters. These people were asked to use a specific amount of the additive in their meals for the duration of the study. At the end of the experiment it was found that upon adding MSG to their food there was an increase in all the subjects’ body mass index.
- Runny Nose, Hives and Edema: “Clinical and Experimental Allergy” reported in 2009 that, those who are extremely sensitive to this additive may experience symptoms like runny nose and nasal congestion. This is because MSG may cause the mucus membranes to swell. Some people even develop hives, rashes, itchiness and swollen skin as a result of consuming MSG rich food. To prevent these outcomes, it’s best to avoid foods containing this substance.
- Promotes Liver Inflammation and Dysplasia: In the 2008 edition of Autoimmunity, it was reported by researchers that the constant intake of MSG can damage the liver and cause other diseases too. While testing the effects of MSG on rats, it was found that there was significant swelling in their livers, they now suffered from obesity and developed Type 2 diabetes as well. They also discovered that at the age of 6 – 12 months some of the mice developed lesions.
- Can Cause Brain Damage: MSG is considered to be an excitotoxin. It is capable of over stimulating the brain to produce extreme amounts of dopamine. This creates a brain rush similar to the kind one would get from taking drugs. As a result people feel addicted to food containing MSG which alters the brain’s way of processing. They feel a constant need to eat more which then promotes obesity.
Other undesirable side effects of MSG include headaches, depression, eye damage, fatigue and disorientation, nausea, feeling flush, chest pain, weakness and sweating. It takes about 15 to 30 minutes to experience these effects and they can last up to 2 hours and in some cases much longer.