3 Harmful Effects Of MSG On Pregnancy

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Pregnancy puts your body through a lot of emotional, physical, and hormonal changes. While your baby grows as the months pass, your body also transforms and changes itself to accommodate your baby. When you are pregnant, a lot depends on what you eat and consume on a daily basis. You may feel a change in your liking towards certain foods and a total dislike for others. Your doctor would always recommend you to stick to simple, homemade and organic food and avoid any additives. One additive that you may be wary about having Monosodium glutamate or Msg during pregnancy.

What Is MSG? 

Monosodium glutamate is a food additive and flavoring substance used primarily in various cuisines. MSG is also a common component in many packaged, especially ready to eat canned foods and is used to add flavor and taste. The Food and Drug administration association allows the addition of MSG to food as an additive, which means it is a safe food ingredient.[1]

[ Read: Chinese Food During Pregnancy ]

MSG And Pregnancy Effects

Is msg harmful during pregnancy? This is one big question that can be raised. Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

1. Avoid if you are allergic

It is best to avoid eating msg during pregnancy, if you are allergic to it, as the effects and allergic reaction could multiply in reaction. MSG has been known to cause certain allergy type reactions with symptoms which include but are not limited to:

  • Sweating and flushing
  • Headache, numbness and muscle tightening
  • Nausea and chest pain

2. Free glutamates can cause harm

Excessive MSG gives way to free glutamates in the body. It affects the baby by breaking down the placental barrier of food supply to the baby.

  • The breakdown of this barrier would mean your baby is exposed to every substance in your blood, good or bad, in equal proportion as you.
  • This may not be healthy for your baby as the immune system of the baby cannot fight any external allergens and disease causing germs.
  • The free glutamates can also reach the brain neurons and stimulate them.

[ Read: Coffee During Pregnancy ]

3. Avoid if you have water retention

You may experience water retention during pregnancy. Salt is a major contributor to this problem. If your body is retaining excess water during your pregnancy, avoid MSG and all other salts as well.

The Best Way to Deal with MSG Exposure

There is no proven scientific study so far that says the MSG has a proven adverse effect on women and the baby during the pregnancy. However, since pregnancy leads to hormonal changes, you may have heightened responses from the body. The best way to deal with MSG is:

  • Avoid it if you are allergic to MSG.
  • Avoid it if you want to exercise caution and don’t want to take a risk.

How To Know If Food Has MSG?

FDA has instructed all food manufacturing and packaging companies, as a mandate, to mention the MSG content related information on the food packet. While buying any kind of packaged food or processed food, you can make an informed choice by reading the contents on the label.

[ Read: Noodles During Pregnancy ]

Is It a Yes or No to MSG During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, always try to have fresh food and avoid packaged and processed food as it has reduced nutritive value. Exercise caution when you go out to eat or buy packaged food. MSG can make your food flavorful and sumptuous, but is it worth the health of your baby? We suggest minimal or no consumption of MSG during pregnancy. It is important that your baby gets all the necessary nutrients needed for healthy development, and nothing detrimental! Do check on the same with your doctor to get the most informed advice. Eat healthy, for what you eat is what your baby does! Also, do share your experiences with us.

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Sadiya Qamar

Sadiya is a writer and editor with a passion for writing about parenthood and children. Her focus areas are health, wellness, and beauty. For MomJunction, she writes on kids’ health and nutrition.  Sadiya believes in doing in-depth research and providing accurate information to help parents with concerns on their children’s growth and development.