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Please be aware that this old REACH registration data factsheet is no longer maintained; it remains frozen as of 19th May 2023.

The new ECHA CHEM database has been released by ECHA, and it now contains all REACH registration data. There are more details on the transition of ECHA's published data to ECHA CHEM here.

Diss Factsheets

Administrative data

neurotoxicity: sub-chronic oral
Type of information:
other: SIDS
Adequacy of study:
other information
2 (reliable with restrictions)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
data from handbook or collection of data

Data source

Referenceopen allclose all

Reference Type:
Effects of dietary supplementation of monosodium glutamate on infant monkeys, weanling rats, and suckling mice
Wen C-P, Hayes KC and Gershoff SN
Bibliographic source:
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 26: 803-813.
Reference Type:
SIDS for L-Glutamic acid
Report date:

Materials and methods

Test guideline
no guideline followed

Test material

Specific details on test material used for the study:
Test material equivalent to submission substance identity:

Test animals

other: Charles River CD

Administration / exposure

Route of administration:
oral: feed
Duration of treatment / exposure:
5 weeks
Frequency of treatment:
Doses / concentrations
Dose / conc.:
174 000 mg/kg diet
nominal in diet
No. of animals per sex per dose:
Control animals:
Details on study design:
[group 1] 100 g basal diet plus 20 g glucose;
[group 2] 100 g basal diet plus 20 g MSG;
[group 3] 100 g basal diet plus 40 g MSG;
[group 4] 100 g basal diet plus 17.4 g L-glutamic acid, the amount of glutamic acid in 20 g MSG;
[group 5] 100 g basal diet plus 1.5 g Na2S04, 1.5 g Na2CO3, 2 g NaHCO3, 2 g NaCl, 3 g glycine, 2.5 g L-alanine, 2.5 g L-glutamic acid, 1.3 g ammonium citrate, and 2.3 g L-serine (These supplements provided approximately the same quantity of sodium and nonessential amino acid nitrogen found in 20 g MSG).


Observations and clinical examinations performed and frequency:
Weekly body weights, daily water consumption during the last 2 weeks, and the pH of the pooled urine samples from each group were recorded.After a 5-week period, the rats were fasted overnight and then fed ad libitum for 90 minutes prior to decapitation. Postprandial blood samples were collected from the neck for plasma glutamate determination.Organs of interest were weighed and brains and testes were fixed in 10% buffered formalin for histologic examination of hematoxylin- and eosin-stained sections. Serial frozen sections of formalin-fixed brain were also stained with the Fink and Heimer silver stain for degenerating axons.

Results and discussion

Results of examinations

no mortality observed
Body weight and weight changes:
no effects observed
Description (incidence and severity):
Average terminal body and brain weights were less than those of the control groups.
Description (incidence and severity):
Food intake was decreased in the four treatment groups.
Description (incidence and severity):
Rats fed free glutamic acid in group 4 had lower plasma glutamate than rats fed diets containing the same amount of glutamic acid as MSG.
Neuropathological findings:
no effects observed
Description (incidence and severity):
No specific endocrine or neurological defects were seen.
Description (incidence and severity):
The weights of adrenal glands and testes, expressed per 100 g body wt, were increased by supplements of either MSG or L-glutamic acid.The group fed L-glutamic acid consumed more water than the control group fed a similar amount of glucose.

Effect levels

Key result
Dose descriptor:
Effect level:
174 000 mg/kg diet

Applicant's summary and conclusion

L-glutamic acid did not show specific endocrine or neurological defects.