High School Student Shows MSG Stunts Brain Growth

by Rajashri on Aug 16 2008 3:28 PM

A summer research study carried out by a teenage Canadian high school student has unearthed a link between stunted brain development and the consumption of popular food additive MSG.

Grade 11 student Michelle Ah-Seng was selected along with 22 other high school students to take part in the summer research program at the University of Calgary. Ah-Seng, who studies Grade 12 at Cochrane high school, injected the brain cells of fresh water snails with monosodium glutamate.

Neuroscientist Naweed Syed, who supervised the study, said the discovery was exciting. "This is the first unequivocal evidence, to my knowledge, that MSG has direct effect on neuronal ability," Syed said. "The stuff she has done (in six weeks), I would call it equivalent to a master's degree."

Ah-Seng plans to continue her research in Grade 12 as well.