What is Disodium Guanylate? Is it beneficial for health

MSG of Monosodium glutamate is a food additive you all have heard of. This article is focussed on another food additive i.e. disodium guanylate 

Disodium Guanylate is a very common food additive that is used in food additives. The main used food products of DSG are potato chips, soups, and dairy products. 

Its usage is so high, that we must be eating it some or other way. The article here will discuss the health issues related to it.  

What is Disodium guanylate 

Disodium guanylate is a very commonly used food additive. Technically it is a salt that is derived from guanosine monophosphate (GMP).

GMP is a nucleotide, which is important molecules in DNA structure. DSG is made from the fermented tapioca starch. Alternatively, it is also made from yeast, mushroom, and seaweed. Dried mushroom consists of this additive naturally. 


Disodium guanylate is paired with Monosodium glutamate (MSG) or any other glutamate. Disodium guanylate is rarely found and expensive to produce. 

Glutamates are proteins that are found in tomatoes and cheese naturally. Our brain also comprises it and uses this as a neurotransmitter. 

Table salt provides taste in various foods. The compounds like glutamates enhance the taste. Disodium guanylate increases the salt’s intensity and it helps in using less salt for the same taste. 

Disodium guanylate & MSG can together be used to increase food flavor. Actually , the combination of MSG & Disodium guanylate is eight times stronger than the MSG alone.  

In simple words, MSG & Disodium guanylate can be combined to create more taste in less.  Research has shown that sodium content in fermented sausages was replaced with potassium chloride. That results in poor texture and flavor. But MSG & other 

In one study, the sodium content in fermented sausages was replaced with potassium chloride, resulting in unappealing qualities like poor texture and flavor. However, after MSG and very delicious. 

Its is used as an MSG replacement

Disodium guanylate enhances the MSG effect where disodium guanylate is paired with disodium inosinate to replace MSG. 

Disodium inosinate is a flavored inosinic acid which can be mixed with disodium guanylate. These nucleotides are referred to as “I+G” in the food industry. 

What foods contain disodium guanylate

Disodium guanylate is used in various foods, actually processed ones. These are 

  1. prepackaged cereals, 
  2. sauces, 
  3. canned soups, 
  4. instant noodles, 
  5. snack foods, 
  6. pasta products, 
  7. spice blends, 
  8. cured meats,
  9. energy drinks, 
  10. Fishes and mushrooms
  11. and canned vegetables

To check whether food has Disodium guanylate or not. The packet of food writes “yeast extract” or “natural flavors” in the ingredient list.

Safety of disodium glutamate

Disodium glutamate is considered safe by the various Food approval organizations like the United States and the European Food Safety Authority. 

Still, the excess of Disodium glutamate consumption could be dangerous. There is not much research available for it. 

Effects on Appetite and Fullness

If you are doubting the consumption of food with Disodium glutamate as harmful, then you must read this carefully. Disodium glutamate can show increased feelings of fullness and may stimulate the appetite.

Disodium glutamate can increase appetite in old people by improving the taste sensations. Old people tend to decrease their taste and smell sensations. Better sensations can help in more eating. As because of less taste sensation, old people eat less, and this can increase the risk of malnutrition and other health complications. 

A study done in Jan 2018 has proved that Disodium glutamate added in carrot soup improves appetite and gives a satiating effect. More than 30 people were taken into observation and were fed with carrot soap. Carrot soup was mixed with Disodium glutamate. People who drink carrot soup with Disodium glutamate had a feeling of fullness and desire to eat less. 

It was concluded that Disodium glutamate can affect hormones to control a person’s appetite. Disodium glutamate has some potential benefits but the evidence of it is not much concrete. It is still used for food enhancers which do not provide much nutritional value but can help in health. 

It is advised to eat food with spices and herbs than choosing food with taste enhancers. Consume food that provides nutrition not taste. 

Adds to total sodium levels

Disodium glutamate adds sodium in the diet and helps in our health from various ways. MSG and Disodium glutamate are compared highly but 500 mg of sodium must be given to the body. Which is 500mg or one teaspoon. The human body needs 2500 mg of sodium daily. 

Processed food items like MSG, disodium guanylate is not the only source of sodium. Such food tasteners are used to replace salt. You should know that excessive salt can give us high blood pressure and other cardiac diseases.  

Research has shown that MSG can increase oxidative stress in the blood. If more than 5 gm of MSG is given to the body, then this can happen. Increase in Oxidative stress results in various heart problems. 

Who should avoid it? 

People who are allergic or sensitive to MSg can be harmed by disodium glutamate too. So these additives have many similarities. 

If you have taken disodium glutamate based food, then you may see such symptoms in yourself. 

  1. Headaches
  2. muscle tightness, 
  3. and flushing

Disodium glutamate is seen in food products by various names like glutamate, Ajinomoto, and glutamic acid. If it is consumed in excess, then you must keep it in the limit. 

 If a person has a history with kidney problems, then do not consume any disodium guanylate. There are guanylates present in Disodium glutamate that metabolize to purines. These purines can raise uric acid in your body. 

Final Words 

Disodium glutamate is a food additive that is used to increase flavor in any food. The intensity of salt and taste can be increased in less quantity of spices.  

If paired with MSG, these two compounds can be used to create umami. Umami is a basic taste that is described as meaty or savory. 

Research has been done less, but those which were successful have seen adverse effects on the people with history of kidney or heart problems. So people with such problems must avoid it. 

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