Is MSG Making You Fat?
Unfortunately, seldom the case.

123rfstockphoto Krzysztof Slusarczyk

by Linda Dulicai

It’s common knowledge that the United States is a nation facing high obesity rates.  What’s not so common is the research that suggests Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) might be behind some of the weight gain.


MSG is a salt of the amino acid Glutamic Acid (glutamate).  The chemical is used as a flavor enhancer and is commonly added to Chinese food, restaurant foods, canned vegetables, soups, snacks, beverages and processed meats.  And while some foods naturally have MSG, there is a problem with the synthetic version, which is often labeled as “natural flavoring.”  Not only can MSG come with side effects like headaches, it seems it can cause weight gain.


According to researcher Elizabeth Renter of the Natural Society, “Monosodium glutamate is a food additive used in many foods to enhance taste, but this additive is also toxic. Known as an excitotoxin – which ‘excites’ the cells of the body into overproducing a particular chemical, thus burning them out prematurely – MSG is thrown in everything from Ramen noodles to potato chips, all to ‘enhance’ the flavors in these quasi-foods. But while MSG is said to improve taste, it has many more sinister effects. Many people know that MSG can sometimes be blamed for headaches and possibly even ADHD, but the link to obesity often goes unrecognized.”

One of the theories is that because MSG makes food taste better, people eat more, resulting in what is being called “MSG obesity.”  Carol Hoernlein, researcher at MSG Truth says, “The food industry has found their own anti-appetite suppressant.  It's a convenient way to keep consumers coming back for more.  The blood sugar drops because of the insulin flood.  And you are hungry an hour later.”  MSG obesity is characterized by a preference for carbohydrates (sugars), which in and of themselves can be addictive.  “MSG tricks your tongue into making you think a certain food is high in protein and thus nutritious,” says Hoernlein, but the MSG laden food is usually packed with carbohydrates. 


However, research also shows that MSG could be causing obesity even without increased food consumption. The link between MSG and weight gain or obesity holds true even when excess calories are taken into consideration.


Dr. Russell L. Blaylock says, “Researchers found that people who eat more MSG are more likely to be overweight or obese. And the increased risk wasn't simply because people were stuffing themselves with MSG-rich foods. The link between high MSG intake and being overweight held even after accounting for the total number of calories people ate…evidence suggests that MSG might interfere with signaling systems in the body that regulate appetite.” 


It is estimated that in the United States, the average person consumes about a half a gram of MSG every day.  For some people, this consumption can bring on a migraine.  For others, it is the launching point for a weight problem.


In many Asian countries, MSG is also common.  There is a connection between MSG consumption and obesity in those countries as well, but the overall obesity rate is not as high as that in the U.S. because Asian societies tend to be more active and eat fewer unhealthy foods.


If you are overweight, it could be that MSG is a contributing factor.  You can learn more about MSG and how to avoid it by contacting Linda Dulicai, Alternative Health Practitioner, at The Healthy Zone.

A practitioner for more than 38 years, Linda Dulicai is a Certified Natural Health Professional and an Advanced Loomis Digestive Health Specialist educated in more than 25 modalities of wellness. She is CEO ofThe Healthy Zone.  Linda can be reached at 540-428-1949 or