Can MSG Cause Sleep Apnea?

Because it causes breathing disruptions during sleep, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) promotes frequent waking that leads to maintenance insomnia. Unfortunately, this annoying problem doesn’t just result in drowsiness and chronic fatigue; studies have shown that it is also linked to serious health problems, such as dementia, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

In most cases, obstructive sleep apnea results when soft tissue blocks a person’s airway. This can occur due to genetics and/or obesity. That said, a recent study out of China suggests that a popular seasoning might play at least a small role in promoting OSA in certain individuals.

Monosodium Glutamate

A recent Chinese study suggests that consumption of monosodium glutamate (MSG) may somehow promote sleep-disordered breathing and snoring. Published in the journal Nutrition, the research involved more than 1200 healthy subjects. After assessing each individual’s eating habits, researchers found a correlation between high MSG intake and the prevalence of snoring and breathing abnormalities related to sleep apnea.

Real-world Applications?

This recent study is interesting, because it may offer some people a strategy for coping with night time breathing problems. That said, while some people may be able to relieve their sleep apnea symptoms by eliminating monosodium glutamate from their diet; most sleep apneics require more aggressive strategies. Some people rely on continuous positive airway pressure to relieve their nightly breathing disruptions. Unfortunately, this isn’t a good choice for everyone.

Because CPAP comes with annoying side-effects, such as pressure sores, loud noises and claustrophobia; many people just can’t tolerate it. On the other hand, most everyone can tolerate an oral appliance, which eliminates sleep apnea symptoms by adjusting the jaw. To learn more about this quiet, comfortable sleep apnea treatment, contact Dr. Roubal’s office today.