Frontiers Journal of Case Reports and Images

CHINA RESTAURANT SYNDROME: AN UNUSUAL NEUROLOGICAL EXPERIENCE DUE TO GLUTAMATE

Keywords : China Restaurant Syndrome; Monosodium Glutamate

Abstract

"China Restaurant Syndrome (C.R.S.)” is a term coined for a serious response to monosodium glutamate (MSG) food additives, the first cases of which were reported in 1968. Alternative names include "hotdog headaches," glutamate-induced asthma, and MSG syndrome. Response to the syndrome includes pain and nausea, sweating and/or flushing, tightness in the chest, tremor, numbness or burning in and around the mouth, facial pain or swelling, and headache and muscle pain. Children may react with fever, confusion or anxiety. In 1908, 105 years ago, a Japanese professor, Kikunae Ikeda, extracted MSG from algae broth. He then patented the taste and MSG was soon commercialized. MSG production currently involves the fermentation of starch, sugar beet, sugar cane or molasses, similar to the fermentation process used to produce yogurt, vinegar and wine.

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