Nutrición: Síndrome de Restaurante Chino

Hace mucho que no escuchaba sobre este síndrome, hasta cuando una conocida me mencionó que mientras estaba comiendo comida china en un chifa nuevo para ella, presento una seria de síntomas como ardor en el pecho, hinchazón de los labios, palpitaciones en el pecho y se sintió mareada.  A raíz de ello, dejo de comer y luego de unos minutos las molestias disminuyeron.

Lo que me describió fue exactamente lo que se conoce como Síndrome de Restaurante Chino o también llamado síndrome de glutamato monosódico. Este síndrome aparece luego de haber consumido comida china y debido a que el glutamato monosódico  (E-621) es un aditivo, potenciador de sabor, empleado en gran cantidad en restaurantes chinos, se sospecha que es el responsable de las molestias.

Hasta la fecha no hay estudios que hayan comprobado la conexión entre el glutamato monosódico  y los síntomas que refieren las personas afectadas. Es por eso que el uso de este aditivo es libre. Sin embargo, lo que si se conoce es que hay personas que pueden ser sensibles y el consumo incluso en pequeñas cantidades de ese aditivo puede desarrollar un síntomas como los listados líneas abajo.

  • Enrojecimiento de la piel
  • Dolor en el pecho
  • Dolor de cabeza
  • Adormecimiento
  • Ardor en la boca, pecho o brazo.
  • Sensación de presión facial o hinchazón
  • Sudoración excesiva

Aquellas personas que han presentado este síndrome sería conveniente que consuman con moderación salsas de soja y productos precocinados, ya que muchos de ellos pueden contener ese aditivo. Así también, se puede identificar en el etiquetado con el nombre de glutamato monosódico,  aditivo E-621, GMS, sal china, ajinomoto, entre otros.

Para terminar, gran parte de los afectados presentan síntomas leves y se recuperan sin tratamiento, mientras que otras pueden presentar reacciones que pueden ser potencialmente mortales, ante problemas en la respiración o palpitaciones muy fuertes en el pecho es mejor acudir a emergencia.

Alexandra Marquez Hinojosa
Licenciada en Nutrición y Dietética de la UPC. Se dedica a la consultoría nutricional desde hace 5 años. Ama prevenir enfermedades crónicas a través de la nutrición. Tiene gran interés por la sostenibilidad lo que la llevo a tener la especialidad en Responsabilidad Social y Sostenibilidad (ESAN). Miembro de Save Food, iniciativa mundial en contra del desperdicio de alimentos.

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