The popular 2-minute noodles has now become the "Maggi ban case". Being in the limelight was never a problem for Maggi noodles during the last three decades, but the sort of attention they have gained in the last few weeks has been for all the wrong reasons. Once a part of almost every Indian household, the two-minute magic noodles has been banned in Delhi, Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir for 15 to 30 days on the grounds of containing excessive amounts of monosodium glutamate and lead.
The news not only came as a shock to all the people who have countless memories of Maggi moments from childhood but it also landed celebrities in trouble for having endorsed the brand. It appears that things have gone a little too sour for Preity Zinta in unhealthy Maggi case.
Actress Preity Zinta, one of the three Bollywood stars involved in the fallout of Nestle's Maggie noodles has expressed disappointment for being sued for endorsing the nestle product at least 12 years ago. In the midst of all the bad rap, you may wonder why there is so much fuss about MSG and lead and how dangerous they could be. Let's break it down for you.
Monosodium glutamate or MSG is a naturally occurring non-essential amino acid, commonly found in tomatoes, potatoes, mushrooms and other vegetables and fruits. Companies use it as a taste enhancer which enhances the meaty, savoury flavour of food.
When consumed in excess amount, MSG can promote sluggishness in the body leading to headache, nausea, increased thirst and a twitching sensation in the mouth. In some cases, the unhealthy MSG in Maggi may also cause skin rashes and excessive sweating in some cases.
Although, MSG is not a true food allergen, reports have shown that foods with excess MSG have adverse reactions on health. The first adverse reaction to MSG was reported to be after one-hour of consumption of oriental food and it was dubbed as the Chinese restaurant syndrome, which causes headaches, light headedness, chest tightness, flushing, sweating and facial pressure. However, there is no definitive proof that claims that MSG is entirely responsible for causing symptoms of Chinese restaurant syndrome.
Scientists believe that MSG could over stimulate the nervous system causing an inflammatory response, destroy retina and parts of the brain. Some studies have also shown that MSG is harmful for pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children who are susceptible to brain damage and underdevelopment.
Lead being a heavy metal does not get excreted from the body, but instead gets accumulated in the body, affecting liver and particularly kidneys. Infants and pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to lead as it causes damage to the central nervous system in children.
So the ban has more to do than the amount of MSG and lead; it's about the damage that excess amount of MSG in food can do to our health.
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