Why does MSG give me a headache?

A Answers (3)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is a strong form of sodium that can cause side effects like headaches. In this video, Dr. Oz lists why MSG should be avoided. 

  • AStephen H. Atkins, PhD, Functional Medicine, answered
    Dr. Stephen Atkins - Why does MSG give me a headache?

    Monosodium glutamate (MSG) can make food taste better, but for some people it can be a pain in the brain. Find out why by watching this video featuring integrative medicine specialist Dr. Stephen Atkins. 

  • AIrene Semenov, DO, Neurology, answered on behalf of NorthShore University HealthSystem
    Monosodium glutamate (MSG is the sodium salt of the amino acid glutamate). Glutamate, in addition to serving as one of the amino acids found in proteins, is also an excitatory amino acid and activates other neurons in the brain by binding to a specific type of glutamate receptors. This process activates calcium release, which in turn affects the intra-cranial blood vessel tone. This is one of the crucial steps in the process of migraine generation.
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