Can MSG in beer cause an allergic reaction?

Fact Checked

The consumption of beer that contains MSG or monosodium glutamate can instigate symptoms that strikingly resemble an allergic reaction, but it is actually intolerance. The symptoms of allergy and intolerance are similar in nature and tend to be confused with one another. If an individual develops adverse reactions after drinking beer that contains MSG, he/she might have intolerance to MSG or yeast in the beverage. It is recommended that the individual will set an appointment with a doctor in order to determine the precise cause of the symptoms.

Actual allergy versus intolerance

An actual allergy and intolerance can be confused with one another since both strikingly resemble each other but have different causes. An allergic reaction is an immune system response to a particular substance that the immune system wrongly identifies as a threat to the body. As for intolerance, it is not an immune reaction but inability to digest certain proteins, ingredients or sugars present in some foods. It is important to note that beer contains different ingredients that can instigate the usual food intolerance symptoms.

MSG
The usual symptoms of an adverse reaction to MSG include headaches, flushing, facial pressure, sweating, chest pain, nausea, numbness, weakness and numbness in the neck, face and other parts of the body.

Intolerance to MSG

MSG is considered as a food additive that helps improve the flavor in various foods and usually used in Chinese cooking. The symptoms that can manifest due to MSG intolerance are triggered by a chemical reaction that it causes in the body. The usual symptoms of an adverse reaction to MSG include headaches, flushing, facial pressure, sweating, chest pain, nausea, numbness, weakness and numbness in the neck, face and other parts of the body. The symptoms can manifest in a span of 15 minutes after MSG-containing foods or can be delayed up to a few hours.

Histamine intolerance

Always bear in mind that beer also contains histamine which is a chemical that is naturally present in certain foods and also in the body. This chemical is utilized by the body to protect against infectious diseases but elevated amounts can cause inflammation in the soft tissues.

Histamine is the main chemical that is responsible for the symptoms of an allergic reaction. If an individual is sensitive to histamine, consuming beer can trigger similar symptoms to an allergy. The symptoms include flushed skin, rapid heart rate, wheezing and fainting.

Yeast intolerance and allergy

The intake of beer can lead to adverse reactions if the individual is allergic or intolerant to yeast. Take note that yeast is the main component utilized during the fermentation process of beer. An individual who is allergic to yeast can trigger mild to severe symptoms even drinking a small amount of beer depending on the severity of his/her allergy. As for intolerance to yeast, it will cause digestive issues such as gas, bloating, stomach pain and diarrhea. If you want to be prepared to handle an allergic reaction, it is best that you will enroll in a first aid course today.

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