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.