What exactly is MSG? Why is it bad for you?

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    MSG or monosodium glutamate is a sodium salt that is added to foods usually listed as a flavor enhancer.  It is often added to Chinese food, canned foods (veggies, soup) and processed meat.  Whether or not it is bad is somewhat controversial.  If people are MSG sensitive, some short term effects can be headaches, flushing, sweating, chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, and weakness among other reactions.  However, some independent research has linked MSG consumption to more long term illnesses such as asthma, irritable bowel sydrome, and insomnia.  Research has not been able to find many difinitive links as to why MSG causes these problems.

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