Researcher: artificial flavorings are a health risk | Monosodium glutamate, used to enhance the flavor of food, represents a health risk, warned the specialist from the University of Guadalajara (UdeG, for its acronym in Spanish), Carlos Beas Zarate.

As part of Brain Awareness Week X Jalisco, he added that the food industry “uses monosodium glutamate as an additive to enhance the flavor of food, but according to several factors, represents a health risk.”

In the event organized by the University Center for Biological and Agricultural Sciences (CUCBA, for its acronym in Spanish), he indicated that the substance “generates ‘excitotoxicity’ which damages or kills cells or neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson, epilepsy, ischemia, among others.”

The also member of the National System of Researchers said the controversy over the use of this compound as an additive in the food industry resulted in the FDA in the United States forced companies to include the content on the label of their products.

“It caused that companies give other names like broth powder, protein extract, flavor enhancer, among others, which is a consumer deception,” said the researcher.

He also urged the public in particular to be aware and careful with this additive, used mainly in packaged, canned food and “junk” products, and asked to reduce their consumption.

In turn, the specialist Monica Ureña Guerrero said the CUCBA conducted a study to determine the impact on the immature central nervous system, by using male rats, “high doses (4 mg of monosodium glutamate per gram weight) were applied in days 1, 3, 5 and 7 in newborn rats “.

Ureña Guerrero, one of the undertakers of this research, added that “at this stage, glutamate causes neuronal death, modifies neural circuits, receivers and other things and, subsequently, we have seen, in adult animals, it changes the susceptibility in animals to present seizures.”

He explained that in the absence of specific studies in humans and not knowing which susceptibility is, “every time we eat we are taking a risk.”

Brain Awareness Week Jalisco is done during these days and until March 19 at college campuses, libraries and public spaces in order to disseminate knowledge about the brain, neurons and nervous system.

The FDA is the agency of the US government responsible for the regulation of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, biologics and blood products.



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