Effects of Ajinomoto during Pregnancy: Indian Moms Guide


Is Chinese food with Ajinomoto Harmful during Pregnancy?

Does the tempting texture and irresistible aroma of Chinese food make you go crazy when you are up the duff?

Indian Chinese Recipes and Ajinomoto

Chinese recipes are delectable due to many special ingredients including Ajinomoto. MSG or Ajinomoto is a sort of salt made of chemical ingredients. It enhances the flavour of the Chinese food but affects the health as well if consumed in a large proportion. During pregnancy, your foetus is already sensitive to various foods and any adverse effect on your own and your unborn baby’s health due to the ingredients like Ajinomoto may lead to rue. So, is Ajinomoto indeed a big NO NO during pregnancy? Let’s understand this taste enhancer comprehensively and its impact on a mom-to-be’s body.
CAUTION: When you order ready Chinese food from restaurants, always mention “NO MSG/AJINOMOTO” 99% of Chinese food restaurants use Ajinomoto. Only High End restaurants like Main Land China do not use Ajinomoto

Is Ajinomoto/MSG a Safe Ingredient for Pregnant Women?

NO, Its Not Safe
Well, the bottom line is as a to-be-mom, you may want to offer the best nutrients to your unborn baby without letting the food supply process get disturbed. Ajinomoto has an adverse impact on the placental wall and it is enough to make a to-be-mom worried. If possible, deduct the compound from your diet during pregnancy as even a minor mistake during this sensitive phase may turn into a blunder. Though Ajinomoto has been categorized under GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) and approved by FDA, many past cases showing its adverse impacts can’t be overlooked. If you can’t put your faith in this taste enhancer, better say it a big NO as a healthy baby is way more important than satisfying the taste buds.

About Ajinomoto

Scientifically known as MSG, Ajinomoto is a brand name and a compound comprising of non-essential glutamic acid in the form of salt. It is also called monosodium glutamate. Ajinomoto Corp., a Japanese company, majorly manufactures this compound which acts as a taste enhancer. There is no solid evidence but the compound has been found responsible for a range of health issues including headache, respiratory issues, pain in chest, sweating etc. This compound is created synthetically in the stores which can affect your health if consumed in an excess amount or frequently. The human body also produces this salt but in a small amount.

Use of Ajinomoto

Ajinomoto is used to enhance the taste of a food item like soups, noodles, sauces, to name a few. It is a cheap food additive that leaves a great impact on the taste buds. It is mainly used for Chinese cuisines. The taste of a recipe created by Glutamate is called Umami taste which is neither too sweet, nor too sour, bitter or spicy. A perfect balance in the taste can be achieved using MSG in Chinese dishes. The major reasons for why MSG still has a thriving market are –
• Its taste is addictive. It is sometime called food nicotine
• Available in the form of cheap colors and flavours
• After reaching inside the body, it breaks in to small particles called GABA which relaxes the mind and body for a while
• Helpful in the case of high sugar. Helps producing insulin in the body and increasing the hunger

Pregnancy and Ajinomoto

The Japanese origin taste enhancer is not only limited to the Chinese restaurants but entered the global kitchens as well. During pregnancy, women crave for the dishes with intense taste and aroma. Though a much demanded taste enhancer in the market, there are several debates associated with its health impacts. There were many cases in the past showing the adverse effects of the compound on the health of pregnant women. Ajinomoto affects your body gradually and make you suffer from many severe health conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and even cancer. Excess consumption of Ajinomoto can even lead to infertility and for the pregnant women; it can disturb the food supply to the unborn baby and affect his health as well. During pregnancy, make sure to avoid the taste enhancers and if you have already experienced some sort of allergies due to MSG, better cut it down from your pregnancy diet.

Can Consuming MSG/Ajinomoto Cause Miscarriage?<>
Ajinomoto/MSG is surely unhealthy for Pregnant women and can cause many health issues. But there is no reported case of miscarriage due to consumption of MSG.

I ate MSG/Chinese Food With Ajinomoto once while Pregnant

Having it once is not going to cause severe health issues to you or baby. Instead the worry caused due to thinking of its side effect will definitely harmful. so if its only once/twice and no bad changes in your health are seen then you should not worry. Have healthy balanced nutritious diet and lots of liquids/water daily so it can eliminate the impurities and toxins from your body naturally.

Ajinomoto – The Two Sides of the Tastemaker

As there is no solid evidence that MSG is completely in favour of or against the health of a pregnant women, both the sides of the compound can be considered. The negative side of MSG can be summed up as –
Reference: Mayo Clinic
• The compound is created using fermenting sugar undergoing an unnatural procedure, which can’t be welcomed if a healthy life is desired, especially during pregnancy
• Spikes blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure
• Nausea, tightening of face, respiratory issues, chest pain, headache
• Often triggers Migraine
• Neuro disorders
• Obesity
• Sleeping troubles
• Hypertension

Well, this long list of the negative impacts of MSG is not sufficient to prove that the compound is totally worth pooh-poohing. There is a positive side of the compound as well which is still helping it survive in the market and that too with sheer excellence. The pros of the compound are –
• Natural glutamate is found in breast milk, many vegetables and fruits
• It is produced by human body in a small quantity
• It can make a normal food irresistible (had to mention it; couldn’t resist!)
Read: What not to eat during pregnancy


About Author


An IT professional, a mom of two, Sapana had belly-only pregnancies in her life & has lost 15Kg weight twice. Along with fitness, Sapana is an expert in Indian names & has helped scores of Indian parents to shortlist suitable baby names by virtue of her years of expertise in Sanskrit origin names & logical approach towards cultures & trends during the name research. Drop a comment to get help from her.


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