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Chinese restaurant syndrome

Various authors have criticised or confirmed the relation between adverse reactions to Chinese food ('Chinese Restaurant Syndrome') and the use of monosodium glutamate.
The occurrence of urticaria, angioedema or anaphylaxis in chinese or indonesian restaurants is more often due to IgE-mediated Type I food allergy, caused by consumption of shrimp, peanut or spices.

Because glutamate is absorbed very quickly in the gastrointestinal tract (unlike glutamic acid-containing proteins in foods), glutamate could spike blood plasma levels of glutamate.
Glutamic acid is in a class of chemicals known as excitotoxins, high levels of which have been shown in animal studies to cause damage to areas of the brain unprotected by the blood–brain barrier and that a variety of chronic diseases can arise out of this neurotoxicity. .......

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Leiter des Ped Mind Institutes
Stefan Bittmann, M.D., M.A.
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Weissenstein A, Villalon G, Luchter E, Bittmann:
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