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Vitamin C reduces the liver injury induced by MSG

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By Jimmy Downs

Thursday Oct 18, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is commonly used as a taste enhancer.  Savory or meat flavor products must include this flavor enhancer to render the desired flavor/taste. However, this food additive is a neurotoxin.

Good news is that taking vitamin C supplements may help reduce side effects from MSG.  At least, a study in Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology suggests taking vitamin C supplements may reduce the liver injury induced by monosodium glutamate.

For the study, Ayman EL-Meghawry EL-Kenawy at Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Research Institute Minufiya University in Egypt and colleagues gave one group of rats a diet with 0.9% salt or sodium chloride; another group a diet with MSG 6 mg/g/b.w.; and a third group of rats a diet with 6 mg/g/b.w. and then vitamin C in a dose of 500 mg/kg/b.w. all for 45 days. 

Significant alterations by the vitamin C supplement included "dilatations of the central veins; severe cyto-architectural distortions of the hepatocytes; marked reduction in both carbohydrates and proteins; vacuolated cytoplasm, swollen mitochondria and vesiculated rough endoplasmic reticulum with picknotic nuclei; in addition to significant variation in the expression of ki-67 and p53 proteins."

The researchers concluded "The data obtained from this study showed the improvements in the pathological architecture of the liver after treatment with vitamin C. The present data point to the ameliorative effect of vitamin C against MSG induced liver injury."

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