What is the China Restaurant Syndrome?

It was planned to have a nice evening in a Chinese restaurant. He finished differently than expected - with pressure on his head, tight chest, headache. These and other symptoms can occur in the so-called China Restaurant Syndrome (or "hot dog headache"). Behind this is usually an intolerance to glutamate. Among other things, soy sauce is the causative agent. The incubation time can be 10 to 30 minutes. In the worst case, the symptoms can last for a few hours.

Typical symptoms

China Restaurant Syndrome can cause the following symptoms:

  • dry mouth
  • a headache
  • palpitation
  • nausea
  • body aches
  • reddened skin and heat sensations
  • Facial muscle rigidity
  • Itching in the throat

Flavor enhancer glutamate

Glutamate, the salt of glutamic acid, is a seasoning (food additive) that is used most frequently in Asian restaurants, but also in ready meals or fast foods. This flavor enhancer (eg, sodium glutamate) can cause food intolerance or allergy to sensitive people.

Glutamate occurs naturally in many foods. The "free" glutamate is industrially produced as tasteless salt from sugary substances. Only in connection with certain dishes it unfolds a (wrong) "flavor", or may also superimpose the natural taste of a food.

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