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Is it true that micin can cause brain cancer?

Even though it can make the taste of food more savory, some people are worried about eating foods that contain micin or MSG. This food flavoring is said to cause brain cancer. Actually, can micin really cause cancer?

Is it true that micin can cause brain cancer?

Can Micin Cause Cancer?

Micin or monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the salt form of the amino acid glutamic acid. Glutamic acid actually occurs naturally in some foods, such as cheese, soybean extract, and tomatoes.

In addition, micin has been widely used as a flavor enhancer in food sold in restaurants, canned vegetables, canned soup, processed meats and other foods.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified micin as a safe food additive. However, the effects of micin on health are still being debated.

Regarding the news circulating that consuming a lot of micin can cause cancer, the fact is not the case. Until now, micin has not been proven to cause cancer.

Chairman of the Indonesian Cancer Foundation (YKI), Prof. Dr. dr. Aru Wisaksono Sudoyo, Sp. PD-KHOM revealed that micin was not proven to cause cancer.

He also explained that the American Cancer Institute had conducted research in this regard using mice as experimental animals. The result is that the mice do not get cancer after being given MSG.

The emergence of cancer, including brain cancer, is not only triggered by food. There are various factors that can cause a person to get cancer, including family or genetic history and radiation exposure.

Also Read: Excessive Consumption of Foods High in Salt, These 11 Effects on the Body

Bad Effects of Micin on Health

Even though it is known that it cannot cause cancer, you still need to remember that micin or MSG is a food additive. Therefore, consumption needs to be limited, especially if you are sensitive to this substance.

For some people, excessive consumption of micin can have an impact on health. The following are some of the impacts that can arise, including:

1. Chinese Restaurant Syndrome

Some people who are sensitive to MSG can experience Chinese restaurant syndrome (Chinese restaurant syndrome) when exposed to this substance. People who experience this syndrome will generally experience symptoms such as:

  • Dizzy.
  • Nauseous.
  • Sweating.
  • Reddish skin.
  • Often thirsty.
  • Burning or numbness in the mouth and throat.
  • Weak body.

In addition, there are some people who can experience more severe symptoms such as shortness of breath and swelling of the face and throat.

2. Headaches

Some people can also experience headaches after consuming foods that contain MSG.

Excessive MSG in the body can trigger dilation of blood vessels in the head area. As a result, brain nerve activity will be overstimulated and eventually a headache will appear.

People who have migraine problems tend to be more susceptible to headaches due to consumption of micin.

3. Weight gain

The savory taste that results from adding MSG to food can increase appetite. Besides that, food that tastes savory can increase saliva production, so food tastes better and makes you want to eat more.

As a result, you tend to eat more than usual. This condition can trigger weight gain.

Therefore, several studies have shown that people who consume more micin tend to slowly increase their body mass index.

4. Increased Blood Pressure

Micin can contribute to the emergence of hypertension or high blood pressure in the body due to disturbances in the regulation of water balance in the body.

When micin is consumed in large quantities and for a long time, changes in the structure and excretory function of the kidneys occur. This condition will cause changes in the regulation of water balance in the body and eventually hypertension occurs.

Also Read: Is it true that burnt food can trigger cancer? Fact Check!

Rules for Using Micin in Food

Various organizations that regulate food and health regulations in many countries agree that micin or MSG is classified as safe for use in food. Even though it is classified as safe, you still have to pay attention to the daily intake or acceptance daily intake (ADI).

The recommended addition of micin to food is 30 mg/kg body weight every day. This amount is a much larger amount than is generally consumed daily.

In the end, micin or MSG is a substance that can strengthen the taste and give food a savory taste. Until now, there is no evidence that MSG can cause cancer. Even so, you still need to limit the amount of consumption.

  1. Anonymous. 2022. Is MSG Actually Bad for You? https://health.clevelandclinic.org/is-msg-really-harmful/. (Accessed March 3, 2023).
  2. Anonymous. 2019. [DISINFORMASI] MSG Can Cause Cancer. https://www.kominfo.go.id/content/detail/20867/disformasi-msg-dapat-mebabkan-kanker/0/report_isu_hoaks. (Accessed March 3, 2023).
  3. Doherty, Colleen. 2022. What Is an MSG Headache? https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-does-an-msg-induced-headache-feel-like-1719615. (Accessed March 3, 2023).
  4. Frothingham, Scott. 2019. Does Monosodium Glutamate Cause Cancer? https://www.healthline.com/health/monosodium-glutamate-cancer. (Accessed March 3, 2023).
  5. Lang, Ariane. 2023. Is MSG Truly Unhealthy? All You Need to Know. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/msg-good-or-bad. (Accessed March 3, 2023).
  6. Thongsepee, Nattaya. 2022. Daily Consumption Of Monosodium Glutamate Pronounced Hypertension And Altered Renal Excretory Function In Normotensive And Hypertensive Rats. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9563186/. (Accessed March 3, 2023).
  7. Zeratsky, Katherine. 2022. What is MSG? Is It Bad For You? https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/monosodium-glutamate/faq-20058196. (Accessed March 3, 2023).

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