Monosodium Glutamate - RD42

Monosodium Glutamate

No Longer a Controversial Food-Flavoring Agent!

by Steven S. Bhimji, MD, PhD
(4.2 / 32 ratings )

This course is credentialed for:
Dietetics/Nutrition (1.00 CPEU)

Price: $20.00
CE-PRO Price: $10.00


Monosodium glutamate is surrounded by a great deal of controversy. It is a common flavoring agent in many Asian foods and has been linked to MSG symptom complex. There are hundreds of anecdotal reports from people who have developed the complex after consuming MSG. The media has capitalized on this issue and vilified MSG. Despite a prevalent belief that MSG can provoke headache, asthma and other symptoms, there is no reliable clinical data to support these claims. Scientific studies continue to reveal that not only is MSG safe for general consumption, but there is not even an accepted daily intake quantity. It should be noted that the available evidence indicates that pregnant women and infants are at no increased risk when exposed to MSG than are other members of the general population. Without a set accepted daily intake, one can freely consume MSG ad lib, without worrying about side effects.


The goal of this continuing education program is to provide pharmacists and dietitians with adequate information about monosodium glutamate, its physiology and its involvement in MSG symptom complex. After studying the material presented here, you will be able to:
  • Identify the biochemical properties of monosodium glutamate and where MSG is found
  • Discuss MSG symptom complex and how it relates to MSG
  • List evidence that refutes MSG’s role as the culprit in the development of MSG symptom complex

Approval Information
This course is intended for multiple professions, including pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and dietitians.
Dietitians: Take this version of the course to ensure you receive appropriate credit. 
For the version accredited or approved for another profession, go to your specific profession at or If you have a CE Direct login ID and password (generally provided by your employer), please log in as you normally would at and search for this topic title.
OnCourse Learning is a Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Accredited Provider (#GD001) with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). This course is a Level 2 course. Learning codes: 2000, 2020, 2030, 2040, 2100, 4000, 4040, 8000, 8130.
OnCourse Learning is also accredited by the Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition (provider # FBN 50-1489).

Course Originally Released on: 4/23/2012
Date of Most Recent Review: 10/2/2014
Course Termination/Update Date: 3/3/2018

Unless stated above, the planners and authors of this course have declared no relevant conflicts of interest that relate to this educational activity. OnCourse Learning guarantees this educational activity is free from bias.

Please see CE Course Instructions to learn how to earn CE credit for this module.


For Florida professionals:

If this course is approved by the Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition, this course completion will be electronically reported to CE Broker as required per Florida Statute 456.025(7). Click here to view your CE Broker transcript and check the status of your CE requirements with a FREE 7-day CE Broker trial subscription. It may take up to 24 hours for the course to appear on your CE Broker transcript.

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Read more about the new license renewal process at and claim your free Basic Account in CE Broker to see what has already been reported for you.

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Jessica B - East Peoria, IL  ·  Aug 26, 2015
Helpful in pointing out the lack of evidence to support MSG as culprit in MSG symptom complex.
Was this review helpful?  0
KATHLEEN N - TN, TN  ·  May 15, 2015
I was interested in this course because I react to MSG with redness and itching of palms of hands, red ears, rash on wrists, and maybe once tongue swelling. The worst reaction was on a empty stomach. I have a range of severity of reactions but they usually start within minutes of consuming MSG and the increase in intensity for 10 minutes and then decrease for another ten minutes.
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Arin S - Oxford, OH  ·  Aug 07, 2014
This is any issue that has come up a lot in today population. Good Topic
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Stephanie Suzanne B - Chicago, IL  ·  Mar 13, 2014
I think there are more important factors to consider regarding MSG usage than whether or not it causes death, as in the case of the rat experiments. If it is questionable to use in any regard, and it is unnecessary, then why use it? It's like using food coloring or "natural flavoring". Isolated nutrients of any kind, in my opinion, are unnecessary and can create toxicities or deficiencies that would not be present where these nutrients consumed in their natural, whole-food state.
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Beverly R - Oxford, OH  ·  Sep 29, 2013
Very interesting and informative short course.
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Price: $20.00
CE-PRO Price: $10.00