Is MSG bad for you? It doesn't bother me but so many people think it's harmful. Thanks!

Hello and thank you for submitting your question!


Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a food additive that is used to enhance flavor and preserve a variety of foods, including processed meats, salty snacks and canned soups. It is also naturally present in tomatoes, cheese and other foods.


According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, MSG is “generally recognized as safe.”1 Mild symptoms, such as headache and nausea, have been reported after eating foods with MSG; however, there is no definitive evidence to confirm that MSG caused the reported symptoms.


The reaction to MSG will vary between individuals. Unless you experience adverse symptoms or develop a sensitivity to foods containing MSG, I would not consider MSG as “bad.”


Food choices play an important role in your health, but there are other things to be mindful of as well, such as adequate sleep and physical activity. Explore our Lifestyle page to learn more!


Hope this helps!




  1. “Food Additives & Ingredients - Questions and Answers on Monosodium Glutamate (MSG).” U S Food and Drug Administration Home Page, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. Updated January 4, 2018. Accessed May 9, 2018.