A recent study which was published in the Experimental Eye Research journal cautioned that Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), which is used in flavouring oriental and processed foods could result in vision loss due to retina injury. Glutamate is an amino acid which acts as a neurotransmitter, a chemical that sends signals between nerve cells.
The findings were published following a study which involved rats that were fed with diets high in MSG over a six month period in Japan. The results indicated that these rats developed thinner retinas after being fed with a high-MSG diet. Also the response of these rats to light was impaired compared to those rats which were fed with a lesser dose of MSG.
This study is the first to have shown that eating food containing MSG could lead to eye damage, though previous research has shown that MSG causes nerve damage when injected directly into the eye.