Chinese Restaurant Syndrome

Below you will find more information about Chinese Restaurant Syndrome from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Chinese Restaurant Syndrome it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Chinese Restaurant Syndrome and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Chinese Restaurant Syndrome comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.


The Chinese restaurant syndrome is a collection of ailments experienced by a person due to the lack of Vitamin B6. Some of these ailments include flushing, sweating, headache and pressure on the face or mouth. Most people believe that this syndrome is caused by monosodium glutamate (MSG), but scientific research has found no link between the two.

Historical Background

The term Chinese restaurant syndrome was coined during the 1960s when some people complained about headache, drowsiness and chest pains after eating in a Chinese restaurant. Most Chinese as well as Japanese restaurants use MSG as a flavor enhancer for their dishes, thus people came to believe that the ailments they have experienced are caused by the flavoring.

Symptoms and Signs

Apart from the common pains mentioned above, people with Chinese restaurant syndrome also suffer from more serious symptoms such as chest pains, palpitations and swelling of the throat. However, CRS can be treated by consuming sufficient amount of Vitamin B6.


Recent studies have found out that MSG is not in any way related to the Chinese restaurant syndrome. It is the lack of Vitamin B6 that causes the symptoms. However, MSG, when taken in large doses, can be a neurotoxin which can lead to the overexciting of the brain synapses.

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