A lot of us love it, and most of us have heard the warnings. MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is bad for you, and we shouldn't be ingesting any of it. But a food scientist is trying to put a break on all the negativity surrounding this flavor enhancer, claiming that it doesn't do as much harm as people think.

There are always two sides to every argument, and when it comes to science, there's always more research to be done. When it comes to the food that we eat, we are constantly told over and over again whether something is good for us or not, how little or how much we should eat of a certain food. Sometimes, certain foods that were thought to be bad for us are suddenly labeled as not so bad, or in extreme cases, actually beneficial to us. One moment it's, "Coffee? Bad for you!" So you stop drinking coffee for a few years, and then it's, "Coffee is actually not so bad. It can even be very good for you!" Basically, sometimes we just never know.

We do know, of course, that eating raw and natural foods are the healthiest way to go. Artificial additives are generally considered a no-no, only to be taken in moderation. One of the most polarizing additives is monosodium glutamate, better known as MSG. This sodium salt actually occurs naturally, found in foods such as tomatoes and cheese. First used as a flavor enhancer in Japan in 1908, the additive is now all over the place, included in so much of what we eat. In recent years, there has been talk of the many negative side effects of ingesting MSG, such as headaches, skin-flushing, sweating, nausea, and overall discomfort, with even some rumored links to illnesses such as asthma. 

But according to food scientist Dr. Steve Witherly, MSG is not nearly as bad for one's health as people think. He considers it a "supersalt," and even encourages the use of it in preparing food. "I like to encourage my kids to eat a little healthier, so I’ll sprinkle a little supersalt in there. That stuff is really powerful. For example, I had a whole-wheat pizza—and my kids hate whole wheat—so I put a little supersalt in the tomato sauce, and they sucked that whole thing down. Broccoli is tremendous if you add butter, garlic, and supersalt." Dr. Witherly thinks MSG is perfectly fine, even if consumed regularly. According to him, the whole idea of MSG being harmful started in 1968, when "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome" was first reported. People who had eaten too much Chinese food complained of certain symptoms, but no real research was ever done, nor were these claims substantiated. It's been almost 50 years since MSG started getting a bad rap, and Dr. Witherly is now wanting to give his favorite additive some loving.

So what do you think? Still bad, or agree with Dr. Witherly? For me, as long as anything is in moderation, it's all good.