MSG symptom complex

[ em-es-jee-simp-tuhm kom-pleks ]

  1. a reaction after eating, as numbness, headache, sweating, etc., thought by some to be caused by the addition of monosodium glutamate to food.

Origin of MSG symptom complex

First recorded in 1990–95
  • Also called, Offensive, Chi·nese-res·tau·rant syn·drome [chahy-neez-res-tuh-rahnt sin-drohm, -nees-] /ˈtʃaɪ nizˈrɛs təˌrɑnt ˌsɪn droʊm, -nis-/ .

usage note For MSG symptom complex

In 1968 a doctor wrote a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine about his perception that peculiar symptoms followed meals he’d eaten in Chinese restaurants. Doctors and nutritionists at the time speculated that the trigger for these reactions was the flavor-enhancing preservative MSG. Based on his letter and the prevalence of MSG in American Chinese food, the phenomenon was dubbed Chinese-restaurant syndrome , and MSG was widely criticized as an additive from the 1970s on.
However, MSG continued to quietly be used in foods from various ethnic and regional origins, somehow without the stigma it had come to have when used in Chinese food. Research has not established a definitive link between MSG and the reported symptoms, though sensitivity to MSG in some people has not been ruled out. Moreover, any symptoms that do occur have not been linked to a particular ethnic cuisine. Use of the older name is associated with xenophobic exoticism or outright racism, and this set of symptoms is now known as MSG symptom complex .

Words Nearby MSG symptom complex Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024