Food Additive That Makes You Fat?

To keep your waistline trim, you might want to make sure this flavor enhancer doesn't make its way into your mouth: MSG.
Too much monosodium glutamate (MSG) -- an additive used in restaurant and processed foods to boost flavor -- may be a fast track to weight gain, a new study shows.

Investigating MSG
Have you heard of MSG? It's basically a salt that comes from glutamic acid. Restaurants and food manufacturers use it because it gives flavors a little lift. But that pleasure for your mouth may come at the expense of your hips. People who started a study at a healthy weight but were among the highest MSG consumers -- taking in about 5 grams a day -- were 33 percent more likely to be overweight at the end of the study 5 years later. And, surprisingly, it's not because better-tasting food enticed people to eat more. Eating lots of MSG bumped up the risk of extra pounds, regardless of calorie intake.

Weighted Speculations
The study researchers suspect MSG might somehow interfere with the signaling powers of appetite-regulating hormones. But while a growing body of research suggests MSG may have negative impacts on weight and appetite hormones, more research still needs to be done to confirm the findings and understand MSG's exact influence.


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