Possible significance of adverse reactions to glutamate in humans

Fed Proc. 1976 Sep;35(11):2205-11.


Of those exposed to Chinese restaurant food, our studies indicate that 25% report adverse reactions (Chinese restaurant syndrome (CRS)), presumably to the mono-sodium glutamate (MSG) content. The possible significance of the symptoms is discussed in the light of the known neuroexcitatory activity of MSG. It is suggested that CRS may result from a "benign" inborn "error" of metabolism that is deserving of further study, particularly in individuals with certain other metabolic abnormalities or who are on certain types of drug therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aspartame / toxicity
  • Brain Diseases / chemically induced
  • Female
  • Glutamates / adverse effects*
  • Headache / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain / chemically induced
  • Retinal Diseases / chemically induced
  • Sex Factors
  • Sodium Glutamate / adverse effects*
  • Sodium Glutamate / metabolism
  • Sodium Glutamate / toxicity
  • Syndrome


  • Glutamates
  • Sodium Glutamate
  • Aspartame