- TOKYO (ANI) -- The controversial
taste-enhancer Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is once again in the centre of
a debate. A recent research has found it to damage people's eyesight.
- Scientists found that eating large amounts of MSG, used
to flavour oriental and processed foods, can injure the retina and lead
to vision loss.
- Rats fed diets high in MSG in Japan developed thinner
retinas and began to go blind. Glutamate is an amino acid which acts as
a neurotransmitter, a chemical that sends signals between nerve cells.
- Previous research has already shown that it causes nerve
damage when injected directly into the eye. But the Japanese study at Hirosaki
University was the first to show that eye damage can be caused by eating
food containing MSG, says a report in Sydney Morning Herald.
- Rats were fed three different diets for six months, containing
either high or moderate amounts of MSG, or none. In animals on the high
MSG diet, some retinal nerve layers thinned by as much as 75 per cent.
- Tests to measure retinal response to light showed that
the rats' vision was impaired. Those on the moderate diet also suffered
damage, but to a lesser extent.
- Research, also showed high concentrations of MSG in the
vitreous fluid which bathes the retina. MSG bound to molecules on retinal
cells and destroyed them, causing secondary reactions that reduced the
ability of the remaining cells to relay electrical signals, the report
- Copyright © 2001 ANI-Asian News International. All