Nav: Home

Study finds glutamates such as MSG can help reduce Americans' sodium intake

November 08, 2019

Promising results from a new study published in the journal Nutrients add to accumulating evidence that glutamates such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) can be used to reduce sodium in the food supply. The study analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), looking at what Americans eat and estimating the reduction in sodium if glutamates are used as a partial replacement for sodium in certain food categories.

Findings indicate that the substitution of glutamates for salt can reduce sodium intake by up to 7-8 percent.

Research results are consistent with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's 2019 Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium report, which references MSG as a tool to help reduce sodium. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that Americans consume less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day as part of a healthy eating pattern, but about 90% of Americans are consuming too much. High sodium intake can raise blood pressure, and high blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.

"Most of our sodium intake comes from restaurant meals and packaged foods," says Dr. Taylor C. Wallace, an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at George Mason University and lead researcher in the study. "MSG can be used to reduce sodium in these foods without a taste trade-off. MSG contains about 12 percent sodium, which is two-thirds less than that contained in table salt, and data shows a 25-40 percent reduction in sodium is possible in specific product categories when MSG is substituted for some salt. As Americans begin to understand that MSG is completely safe, I think we'll see a shift toward using the ingredient as a replacement for some salt to improve health outcomes."

Researchers used the data set from those enrolled in NHANES between 2013-2016, which includes 16,183 subjects aged 1 year and older. They established average sodium consumption and then used a modeling method to estimate sodium reduction using glutamate. For the total population, they found that the substitution of glutamate in certain food categories can reduce sodium intake by approximately 3 percent, and among consumers of at least one product category that is typically higher in sodium (like cured meats), the addition of glutamate could reduce sodium intake by even more (7-8 percent).

This indicates that if glutamate were used as a salt substitution in products like cured meats, meat-based frozen meals, soups and crackers, everyone in the US >1 year of age will likely benefit from a reduction in sodium. Other research has shown that when salt is simply reduced on its own, consumer acceptance of the food or product goes down. Because glutamate offers umami taste, it can reduce sodium without sacrificing taste.
-end-
The study was funded by Ajinomoto Co., Inc. It uses conservative assumptions on sodium reduction by substituting glutamates for sodium chloride, and does not model inclusion of glutamates in restaurant foods, which supply a large portion of sodium to the US diet. Therefore, the effect of glutamates could be greater than what is presented in the study.

About Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition North America, Inc.

Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition North America, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ajinomoto Co., Inc., a global leader in the research, development, manufacture and sale of amino acid-based products for the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, sports nutrition, health and beauty industries, as well as food ingredients. The company opened its first American office in New York in 1917 and has since grown and expanded its presence, establishing offices and production facilities in North Carolina, Iowa and Illinois. Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition North America, Inc. leverages an international manufacturing, supply and distribution chain to bring the highest-grade products to customers. For additional information on Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition North America, Inc., please visit http://www.ajinorthamerica.com.

Link to abstract: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/11/2691

References:

1. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium: Knowledge Gaps and Future Directions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2019.

https://www.nap.edu/read/25353/chapter/18#410

2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2015). Dietary

Guidelines for Americans. Retrieved from https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/

3. Jackson SL, Coleman King SM, Zhao L, Cogswell ME. Prevalence of sodium intake in the United States. MMWR. 2016; 64:1394-1397.

Edelman Public Relations

Related Nutrition Articles:

Diet, nutrition have profound effects on gut microbiome
A new literature review from scientists at George Washington University and the National Institute of Standards and Technology suggests that nutrition and diet have a profound impact on the microbial composition of the gut.
Are women getting adequate nutrition during preconception and pregnancy?
In a Maternal & Child Nutrition analysis of published studies on the dietary habits of women who were trying to conceive or were pregnant, most studies indicated that women do not meet nutritional recommendations for vegetable, cereal grain, or folate intake.
Supermarkets and child nutrition in Africa
Hunger and undernutrition are widespread problems in Africa. At the same time, overweight, obesity, and related chronic diseases are also on the rise.
Horse nutrition: Prebiotics do more harm than good
Prebiotics are only able to help stabilise the intestinal flora of horses to a limited degree.
New study measures how much of corals' nutrition comes from hunting
When it comes to feeding, corals have a few tricks up their sleeve.
Nutrition programs alone are not enough to support healthy brain development
Caregiving programs are five times more effective than nutrition programs in supporting smarter, not just taller, children in low- and middle-income countries.
Ant farmers boost plant nutrition
Research, led by Dr. Guillaume Chomicki from the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, has demonstrated that millions of years of ant agriculture has remodeled plant physiology.
Featured research findings from Nutrition 2019
Press materials are now available for Nutrition 2019, the flagship meeting of the American Society for Nutrition, to be held June 8-11, 2019 at the Baltimore Convention Center.
Individual nutrition shows benefits in hospital patients
Individualized nutrition not only causes hospital patients to consume more protein and calories, but also improves clinical treatment outcomes.
Study reveals how motivation affects nutrition and diet
New research led by the University of East Anglia suggests that people with a positive attitude are more likely to eat healthily.
More Nutrition News and Nutrition Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.