Is MSG Making You Fat?

Sure, MSG (monosodium glutamate) makes even bland food taste better. And you probably consume more of it than you think. You can find it (or its variant gluamate) in processed foods ranging from Doritos to ranch dressing. But could this ingredient be expanding your waistline, regardless of your total calorie intake?

New research from China says yes. In fact, of the study participants, those who ate the most MSG were three times more likely to be overweight than those who ate no MSG. The study was controlled for physical activity and total calorie intake, and still MSG proved to be an overwhelming culprit for extra weight. Previous research had suggested MSG’s role in nerve damage, and some researchers claim it may worsen the progression of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.

Knowing most shoppers would be wary of picking up something labeled with MSG, certain food manufactuers try to hide the ingredient’s presence under words like glutamate, hydrolyzed protein, calcium casinate and yeast extract, all which contain MSG. Even vague labels like natural flavors may masquerade its presence. (Click here for a full list of alert words.) And unlike trans fats, which are banned from foods labeled organic, MSG can be found in organic products (usually through the form of yeast protein).

I don’t doubt that MSG and its variants sneak into my diet once in awhile, but now I’m going to be even more diligent about reading labels and banishing it from my food for good.

Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living offers its readers the latest news on health conditions, herbs and supplements, natural beauty products, healing foods and conscious living. Click here for a free sample issue.

By Lindsey Galloway, Natural Solutions magazine


Murat K.
Past Member 7 years ago

After reading this information, even though konteyner we have already dealt with
getting rid of most the plastic in our lives. Yet, I just thought about
something else. The fact that we have children giving birth to children.
These kabin cemicials mess with a young girls hormone and they become
physically a adult with hormones racing out of control and what does it
do to prefabrik villa our young boys.

Kim Lien
Kim Lien8 years ago

not trying to be smart or rude why dont you ask 2 billion chinese who eat msg every day, it seems they dont have a weight problem over there. 2 billion peopl can't be wrong or can they?

Jim C.
Jim C.8 years ago

Sorry, this simply isn't true. Further work has found no correlation between msg and weight gain. See

Vural K.
Past Member 9 years ago


Joy R.
Joy R10 years ago

In reading the original article, I thought about individuals who overeat primarily processed junk foods, like snack cakes and chips. I have also looked into the "satiety factor" and I don't think these people feel satisfied with the sensory experience of these foods, making them eat more. There was also a recent story about obese individuals not having "the full or off switch" with eating that normal weight individuals may have. With all these factors in play, the MSG probably does have some role in some cases, especially with overeating or gorging.

Phil Peas
Phil Peas10 years ago

I truly am for self gardening,plant it and let grow!That's easy for me to say though,I grew up on a farm but I'm glad of it, especially when times are in such a need of healing,today. Prayers and faith and healing to everyone.

Jessica B.
Jessica B10 years ago

The biggest problem is not knowing if "natural flavours" contain MSG. Almost all foods have "natural flavours" listed in the ingredients.

nancy c.
nancy C10 years ago

I have a yeast allergy. Although I read ingredients and rarely buy packaged foods, I noticed flat crackers and other foods containing yeast and wondered why....

Many people have yeast allergies, especially women and this should be CLEARLY labeled.

Also, calories from SUGAR.

We need to crack down on the manufacterers putting ingredients in our food that are artificial chemicals. Other countries have banned what we allow here, even India!