Background: Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is one of the most commonly used food additives for the enhancement of food taste and flavour. There are several conflicting reports of toxicity or otherwise safety of the compound, which raises a growing concern regarding the safety of monosodium glutamate as a food additive.
Objective: In the present study, we sought to investigate the effect of monosodium glutamate on body weight, feed consumption, body temperature and some haematological parameters.
Methodology: Twenty adult Wistar rats divided into four groups of five rats each were used for the study. Rats in groups 1, 2 and 3 were given feed thoroughly mixed with 3, 6 and 9 g of monosodium glutamate respectively for 14 days, while rats in group 4 (Control) were given only the feed for the same period of time. Body weight, temperature, feed consumption, and some haematological parameters were measured before the addition of the compound to the feed and thereafter for every 2 days for a period of 14 days.
Results: Our findings indicated significant changes (P < 0.05) in the red blood cells (RBC) count, packed cell volume (PCV), as well as body temperature in all the treated groups compared to the control group. The result also revealed a significant dose-dependent increase in body weight in the groups treated with 6 and 9 g of monosodium glutamate compared to the control, the body weight correlated positively with the duration of monosodium glutamate consumption.
Conclusion: The current data suggest that consumption of high doses/quantity of monosodium glutamate for a long duration of time could lead to anaemia due to a decrease in red blood cell count and packed cell volume and obesity resulting from an increase in body weight gain.