This question has been a favorite of the Glutes, one you’re bound to see every so often.
And the answer is ….
1) Not everyone in Asia (or anywhere else, for that matter) will get an MSG-headache because while MSG triggers glutamate receptors related to headache in some people, others react to too much MSG with pain, asthma, fibromyalgia, a-fib, tachycardia, skin rash, seizures and more.
2) In Asia, at least until recently, the large amounts of MSG needed to trigger headaches and other reactions following ingestion of MSG were not available. Manufactured free glutamate (MfG), the toxic ingredient in MSG, was found only in MSG, and MSG was typically used sparingly. When used in Asia, small amounts of MSG are traditionally added to food at the end of cooking.
3) In contrast, in the U.S., and to a lesser degree in Europe, MfG is used in great quantity in processed and ultra-processed foods, snacks, protein-fortified foods, protein drinks, shakes, and protein bars. It’s found in flavor enhancers, protein substitutes, ingredients such as hydrolyzed proteins, yeast extracts, maltodextrin, and soy protein isolate, all in addition to MSG.
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