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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Chinese restaurant syndrome & MSG | චයිනීස් රෙස්ටොරන්ට් සින්ඩ්‍රෝමය සහ MSG

MSG(Mono Sodium Glutamate) is a very commonly used food additive in Sri Lanka, as well as around the whole world. Many food items including burgers, sauces, commercially produced soup peparations, soup cubes and instant noodles contain added MSG. Adding MSG (in the form of "Ajinomoto"- which means "making food tastier" in Japanese) and stock powder is becoming a routine practice among urban eating houses and hotels. Furthermore; adding MSG or MSG containing products has become essential in some households.

MSG is a derivative of gluatamic acid which is a neurotransmitter in the brain, so the taste is produced by alteration of neurotransmitters. The taste of MSG is called "Umami", a Japanese term

Some people are particularly sensitive to MSG and it produces symptoms like chest pain, flushing, headache, numbness, facial pressure, sweating, or excessive sleepiness, ect...This is called "Chinese restaurant syndrome" the commonest symptom Sri Lanakans experience is headache. Life threatening adverse effects have been reported such as palpitations, shortness of breath and feeling of swelling of throat. You may have experienced these symptoms; yet not have attributed them to the hidden MSG in your koththu roti, mix fried rice, curry cubes, burgers or sausages.

Please be kind enough to report your personal experiences related to MSG containing products here, through our mail ( or on our Facebook page (


  1. Interesting article. I too have noticed I get headaches and I feel drowsy after a heavy chinese meal like fried rice from a restaurant. Thanks for the information.


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