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To the Editor:
—I have observed allergy to monosodium glutamate in a mother and her son; two other siblings were not involved. The symptoms resembled those due to a gallbladder disease but may result from gastrointestinal reaction. They were manifested by epigastric fulness, eructations, distention, and upper abdominal discomfort that may become quite marked. The offending agent could not be identified for many months. X-ray studies of the gallbladder and of the upper intestine were normal; yet dyspepsia, as caused by gallbladder abnormality, followed careful dieting. They would become sick within half an hour after eating meals that had been pridefully prepared at home or by relatives. Succulent roasts and steaks, spaghetti, mild sauces, nicely prepared foods, etc., eaten at fine restaurants or at parties caused distress in these allergic patients while the other guests were enjoying themselves. The symptoms disappeared when monosodium glutamate was finally recognized as the causative
Pollock LH. ALLERGY TO MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE. JAMA. 1954;155(8):775. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.03690260067030