With widespread use of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) in food as flavoring agent, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) today cautioned against its use as it poses serious health risk.
Raising alarm, President DAK Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement said that "MSG" is potentially harmful to human life. MSG, which is used to enhance taste, is one of the most harmful food additives.
"It is used everywhere- in processed food, restaurants, barbecues, school cafeterias and, amazingly, even in the baby food and infant formula," he claimed.
"You will see it in everything- soups, chips, noodles, chicken, meat, gravy, sauces, salads and many other eatables. Get any of the food items from your local store; MSG is most likely lurking there somewhere," Dr Nisar said.
"MSG is a proven excitotoxin that results in brain damage and can trigger neurological diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. High levels of glutamate intake during pregnancy can cause learning disabilities, behavioral abnormalities and endocrine problems later in baby's life. There is anecdotal evidence of a link between MSG and cancer," he said.
A researcher and author of the book called "Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills" asserts that excess consumption of MSG promotes "cancer growth". There are certain observational studies that link glutamate consumption to "weight gain" and "obesity".
"Since its introduction, in the past 30 years, the incidence of diabetes has doubled. Certain people experience a symptom complex of burning sensation, palpitation, chest pain and headache after taking glutamate containing meal. Most fast foods use MSG in their fries and drinks to enhance the flavor and get you addicted to their food. The food industry is fully aware of the harmful effects of this toxic substance, yet they use it. It may be missing on the ingredient label or it may be disguised under different titles making it difficult to detect the additive," Dr Nisar said.