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Too Much MSG Could Cause Blindness
New Scientists ^
| Duncan Graham-Rowe
Posted on 10/26/2002 12:18:03 PM PDT by blam
Too much MSG could cause blindness
15:32 26 October 02
Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition
Eating too much monosodium glutamate - the flavour enhancer common in oriental and processed foods - could make you go blind.
Easy on the tongue, hard on the eyes (Image: CARL DE KEYSER/MAGNUM) Researchers at Hirosaki University in Japan have found that rats fed on diets high in MSG suffer vision loss and have thinner retinas. Glutamate is an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter. It has already been shown to cause nerve damage in experiments where it is injected directly into the eye.
But according to lead researcher Hiroshi Ohguro, his is the first study to show that eye damage can be caused by eating food containing MSG.
In the study, rats were fed three different diets for six months, containing either high or moderate amounts of MSG, or none. In rats on the high-MSG diet, some retinal nerve layers thinned by as much as 75 per cent. And tests that measured retinal response to light showed they could not see as well. Rats on the moderate diet also had damage, to a lesser extent.
The researchers found high concentrations of MSG in the vitreous fluid, which bathes the retina. MSG binds to receptors on retinal cells, destroying them and causing secondary reactions that reduce the ability of the remaining cells to relay electrical signals.
Ohguro acknowledges that large amounts of MSG were used, 20 per cent of the total diet in the highest group. "Lesser amounts should be OK," he says. "But the precise borderline amount is still unknown."
Eye drops delay glaucoma 13 June 2002
Severed optical nerves can be made to grow again 5 December 2001
Converted iris cells could restore damaged retinas 12 November 2001
For more related stories search the print edition Archive
School of Medicine, Hirosaki University
Monosodium glutamate, FDA
How MSG enhances food flavour, New Scientist
Glaucoma, Wills Eye Hospital
Experimental Eye Research
He says the findings might explain why, in eastern Asia, there is a high rate of normal-tension glaucoma, a form of the eye disease that leads to blindness without the usual increase in pressure inside the eyeball. The higher rate, however, could also be due to genetics.
Peng Tee Khaw, a glaucoma specialist at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, says the amounts of MSG in the highest diet are "a lot, lot higher than you'd eat. But if you're a sodium glutamate junky, then you could potentially run into problems with your retina."
And while the amount of glutamate in the rats' diets was extremely high, lower dietary intakes could produce the same effects over several decades. This may be why people tend not to develop normal-tension glaucoma until they are in their forties.
Journal reference: Experimental Eye Research (vol 75, p 307)
TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: blindness; cause; msg
Boy, I love Chinese food. I eat it at least three times a week. (I can't see poop either, hmmmm)
posted on 10/26/2002 12:18:03 PM PDT
You'll grow hair on your palms too.
Can I just eat MSG till I need glasses?
Ohguro acknowledges that large amounts of MSG were used, 20 per cent of the total diet in the highest group. "Lesser amounts should be OK," he says.
posted on 10/26/2002 12:21:30 PM PDT
posted on 10/26/2002 12:21:48 PM PDT
Next time you post an article, could you please use some larger fonts? I can hardly read that fine print. Jeez.
I'm going downstairs now to reheat some chinese food from last night.
Ohguro acknowledges that large amounts of MSG were used, 20 per cent of the total diet in the highest group.
Which Chinese restaurant is that?
posted on 10/26/2002 12:24:40 PM PDT
by Bon mots
Rats on the moderate diet also had damage, to a lesser extent.
democRATs have always been blind, politically.
posted on 10/26/2002 12:25:15 PM PDT
"I'm going downstairs now to reheat some chinese food from last night."
LOL. I just got back from an 'all you can eat' Chinese lunch.
posted on 10/26/2002 12:25:52 PM PDT
To: Bon mots
True. Maybe in China. In California, I haven't seen a Chinese joint that uses MSG for decades. I DO know that it gives me a semi-migrane headache. Nobody uses it anymore. I don't even know why they wasted their time on this study.
posted on 10/26/2002 12:29:05 PM PDT
I agree. I've overdosed on Madison Square Garden. :-}
What a load of ... hey, wait...
Oh NO! I can't see the other side of my head...!
posted on 10/26/2002 12:32:02 PM PDT
"I hardly see you"
Big deal. As if everyone didn't know that
S timulation of
posted on 10/26/2002 12:34:50 PM PDT
That's a relief...my high school health teacher told us it was that other activity that caused blindness.
posted on 10/26/2002 12:38:04 PM PDT
Too much MSNBC can cause blindness too. But, since nobody watches, it is no big deal.
posted on 10/26/2002 12:54:26 PM PDT
Now that should be an add for socialized health care... See what'll happen to your teeth folks, if Hitlery had her way?
To: Welsh Rabbit
Now that should be an add for socialized health care
I meant "ad".
MSG is not a sin.
It has already been shown to cause nerve damage in experiments where it is injected directly into the eye.
Well, I guess I'd better stop doing that then...
posted on 10/26/2002 1:09:00 PM PDT
by July 4th
Well that's just great. First I have to put away my nudie magz now no more General Taos Chicken. Can life get any worse?????????? Blindness doen't sound so bad. Mmmmmmmmmmm,,, gotta go.
posted on 10/26/2002 1:09:57 PM PDT
now no more General Taos Chicken
Taos? Is that a new Chinese/Mex dish?
Maybe you meant General Tsao's Chicken?
posted on 10/26/2002 1:17:33 PM PDT
One way to avoid MSG is to make your own chinese food.
"One way to avoid MSG is to make your own chinese food."
...or, ask them to put a lot of carrots in it.
posted on 10/26/2002 4:12:11 PM PDT
And deafness! (Hats off to whoever gets the photo reference, unless of cause you're Roy Harper).
You are mistaken if you think no one uses MSG any more. Read the labels when you grocery shop. Canned soup, canned broth, bouillion cubes, salad dressings, various snack foods to name a few things. I always ask when I eat out if there is MSG in the food. Many times I have been told that it is in every thing they cook & I am talking about Mexican food, cajun food etc.. Its not just in Chinese food anymore.
posted on 10/26/2002 4:22:04 PM PDT
"General Taos Chicken"
It's a Georgia O'Keefe sort of thing.
Sweet and spicy,
with a certain Lesbian insouciance.
MSG does a lot more than just harm your eyesight (if it does that). There are many many reactions people have to it. Headache is a common one, as is heart arrythmias & facial swelling. I have read that as much as 30% of the population may have allergic reactions, but most don't know what is causing their strange reactions.
posted on 10/27/2002 9:52:44 AM PST
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