Why does MSG give me a headache?

Stephen H. Atkins, PhD
Integrative Medicine

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. 

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.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
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. 

Continue Learning about Headache



Throbbing, pulsating and pain in the head are all symptoms of a headache. Varieties of headaches such as migraines, tension headaches, sinus headaches and menstrual headaches can halt your daily activities. But, you can learn what ...

to watch for, and what to do, so you'll be ready to stop a headache before it stops you.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.