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You are here:  Health » Conditions and Diseases » Allergies


What is Chinese restaurant syndrome?

Find out what common additive to Chinese food may cause an allergic reaction in some people.

Some people are susceptible to Chinese restaurant syndrome, an allergy to MSG. [©Jupiter Images, 2009]
©Jupiter Images, 2009
Some people are susceptible to Chinese restaurant syndrome, an allergy to MSG.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG), a commonly used flavor enhancer, is thought to cause flushing, headache and numbness around the mouth in people who are sensitive to it.

Because many Chinese restaurants use MSG in food preparation, these symptoms may appear after a MSG-sensitive person eats Chinese food.

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