Novin Aghaei Teodora Grigorescu Nia Katani


Introduction: Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is a widely used food additive to enhance flavours. Though commonly used, MSG’s accumulation in the body can induce genomic instabilities. These genome instabilities are detectable through various methods such as Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA Polymerase Chain Reaction (RAPD-PCR) and comet assay. Additionally, cells can employ DNA repair mechanisms to ameliorate this damage. The objective of this review paper is to investigate the role of prolonged MSG ingestion in DNA damage, potential downstream diseases, and DNA repair mechanisms that cells undertake to counteract these effects, such as nucleotide excision repair (NER) and base excision repair (BER). Compounds such as vitamin C, green tea extract, and Allium sativum have been shown to ameliorate the health hazards of MSG by inhibiting oxidative stress, reducing apoptosis, and increasing antioxidant availability.

Methods: This review focuses on MSG-induced DNA damage mechanisms including gene suppression, chromosomal disruption, and carcinogenic effects. We conducted a comprehensive literature review of 28 peer-reviewed articles published since 2000-present.

Results: Studies show that MSG consumption may lead to the formation of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and micronuclei (MN), which are known as biomarkers of carcinogenesis. Furthermore, the genomic instabilities that lead to this effect were identified through the use of RAPD-PCR and comet assays. These instabilities are mainly dealt with by endogenous repair machineries such as NER and BER. Also, researchers have identified many substances which act as preventative measures towards the potential harmful impacts of MSG.

Discussion: Diseases, such as cancer and obesity, may be linked to chronic intake of MSG. The efficacy of the mentioned DNA damage detection methods will be discussed. Furthermore, the endogenous mechanisms of NER and BER are outlined in this review. Substances such as vitamin C, green tea extract, and Allium sativum aid to prevent genotoxic effects induced by MSG.

Conclusion: Through this research, we hope to bring awareness to the harmful impacts of MSG on genome stability and its role in disease development. We aim to educate the public about the prevalent usage of MSG in the food industry and to inform individuals to take precautions in their food consumption. 

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