Food Additive That Makes You Fat?

To keep your waistline trim, you might want to make sure this flavor enhancer doesn't make its way into your mouth: MSG, or monosodium glutamate.

MSG is a food additive used in restaurant and processed foods to boost flavor. A new study shows monosodium glutamate side effects may include weight gain.

Investigating MSG
Have you heard of MSG? It's basically a salt that comes from glutamic acid. Restaurants and food manufacturers use this food additive because it gives flavors a little lift. But that pleasure for your mouth may come at the expense of your hips.

People who started a study at a healthy weight but were among the highest MSG consumers -- taking in about 5 grams a day -- were 33% more likely to be overweight at the end of the study 5 years later. And, surprisingly, it's not because better-tasting food enticed people to eat more. The monosodium glutamate side effects bumped up the risk of extra pounds, regardless of calorie intake. (Related: Sprinkling this on your food could help boost your appetite control.)

Weighted Speculations
The study researchers suspect the MSG food additive might somehow interfere with the signaling powers of appetite-regulating hormones. But while a growing body of research suggests MSG may have negative impacts on weight and appetite hormones, more research still needs to be done to confirm the findings and understand exact influence of the monosodium glutamate side effects.

Keep the pounds off with a multifaceted, proactive approach: