Monosodium glutamate (MSG) has long been held as a cause of inducing bronchoconstriction in asthmatics. But a study published in the June 1998 Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology reports that MSG failed to induce asthma in those who believe themselves to be sensitive to MSG.
In the study, Australian researchers conducted a double-blind placebo-controlled challenge to determine if MSG caused asthma attacks. Twelve subjects were randomly challenged with MSG on three separate days with one milligram or five milligrams of MSG, or with a placebo. MSG-induced asthma was not demonstrated in this study.
These findings reaffirm MSG’s safety and support the 1995 report on MSG for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by the Life Sciences Research Office, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) titled, "Analysis of Adverse Reactions to Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)." FASEB’s thorough review of the scientific literature confirmed the safety of MSG for the general public as currently used in food to enhance flavor.