MSG is a food additive that has been widely publicized for producing harmful effects such as nausea and dizziness when consumed. For this reason, the general public plays it safe and tries to avoid products that include MSG whenever possible. But what you probably don’t know is that MSG is hidden inside just about every processed, packaged, canned or frozen food you can think of – just labeled with secret names so we don’t know it’s there! The truth is, we all consume massive amounts of MSG every day. So how harmful is monosodium glutamate really, and can consuming it contribute to acne?
Why is MSG added to food?
Monosodium glutamate is a chemical derived from algae that improves the taste of food. Because it makes food taste so much better (and it’s so cheap), companies like General Mills, Campbells, etc. add large amounts of MSG, or monosodium glutamate, to our food. This has created a multibillion dollar industry and food corporations love it.
However, when it became known that high amounts of MSG in Chinese food were causing stomach aches, cramps, vomiting, headaches, and dizziness, people were freaked out by MSG (and still are). But fearing to lose money because the taste of their food would not be as attractive without it, food companies decided to ditch the term “MSG” and started labeling the exact same chemical under a different name. In this way, the consumer would have the impression that GMS was not added.
These are just a few of the many MSG labels to be aware of:
autolyzed yeast extract
sodium / calcium caseinate
natural or artificial flavor
high fructose corn syrup
MSG health factors
Well, now we know that MSG is sneakily added to almost all of our foods. But are there really any real health risks? Very few studies have been done on the health effects of monosodium glutamate, mainly because the wealthy corporations that are benefiting from this chemical are doing their best to avoid any further acquisition of knowledge on the subject. In fact, food corporations pay lobbyists and authors to publish positive information about MSG, while scientists trying to bring dangerous health risks into public view face extensive lawsuits.
Some researchers have concluded that MSG can be responsible for almost any illness: depression, stroke, upset stomach, “cloudy” head, migraines, numbness, skin disorders, fatigue, or even a heart attack. These are “MSG extremists”, people who think that MSG is a big conspiracy.
However, there is absolutely no evidence that sodium mono glutamate causes ANY of these symptoms. And if you look at the timeline of the first time MSG was added to our foods in the early 1950s, there hasn’t been an increase in any of these health problems among the general public. Clearly, there is no obvious connection between monosodium glutamate and dangerous health complications.
But can MSG cause acne?
The answer is no, probably not. The chemical cannot cause acne directly, but foods that commonly contain MSG can. Because foods that contain MSG are typically processed, high in sugar, and lacking in much nutritional value, they force your body to work harder to digest them while providing no nutrition. This leads to a sluggish digestive system and liver, which ultimately leads to symptoms like acne.
So should you be concerned about the amount of MSG you consume on a daily basis? Perhaps. If you want to promote healthy skin, the best thing you can do is try to maintain a healthy diet of fresh foods that do not contain added chemicals or preservatives. These types of foods are easier on your body and better on your skin.
Written by Brittany Race