Is there a connection between monosodium glutamate and celiac disease?

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Gluten basically refers to specific plant storage proteins present in rye, barley and wheat. If an individual has celiac disease, these forms of gluten can easily trigger an autoimmune reaction that attacks the gluten protein and disrupts the body in the process. By observing a gluten-free diet, it is the only effective treatment for celiac disease. Even though many preservatives, flavorings and stabilizers contain gluten, monosodium glutamate or MSG does not contain gluten.

If you are wondering if there is a connection between MSG and celiac disease, you might be surprised that this flavor enhancer does not contain gluten. On the other hand, there are some individuals who have MSG intolerance. These individuals should avoid eating foods that contain MSG. If you want to learn more about MSG intolerance, click here.

Production of MSG

Monosodium glutamate or MSG is basically a sodium salt of glutamate which is an amino acid that is a component of foods that contain protein such as cheese, milk, fish, meat and some vegetables. It is important to note that the body produces its own glutamate in order to promote healthy metabolism and brain functioning. The MSG is comprised of three main components – sodium, glutamate and water. The glutamate utilized in producing MSG is derived from gluten-free sugar beets, corn sugar and sugar cane. Take note that all of these foods are free from gluten.

If a family member is diagnosed with celiac disease, consuming even a small amount of food that contains gluten can trigger the autoimmune response that causes damage to the villi within the small intestines. Some believe that the foods that contain gluten can also cause bowel, sleep and behavioral issues among children with autism. Since MSG is free from gluten, it will not cause any of these problems.

Monosodium glutamate
There are some individuals who have MSG intolerance. These individuals should avoid eating foods that contain MSG.

What are the foods that contain MSG?

MSG is basically a flavor enhancer that brings out the best taste in various foods including soup, meat, snacks, stew, seafood, poultry and vegetables. Even though MSG has been widely used in Chinese food served in restaurants, many establishments no longer use it in their recipes since some believe that it causes headaches and other accompanying symptoms.

Important considerations to bear in mind

Even though MSG is considered free from gluten, it is often served in dishes that contain other ingredients that contain gluten such wheat noodles or barley grains. There are various brands of ingredients utilized in Chinese dishes that contain gluten such as certain types of teriyaki and soy sauces that are made out of wheat that contains gluten. Breaded or buttered as well as marinated fish, meat or poultry can also be coated with gluten.

Those who have MSG intolerance should carefully check the labels on different food products in order to avoid the unwanted symptoms of the condition. If possible, the individual should avoid eating outside especially Asian dishes since most of these contain MSG.


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