Gold Member Badge


  • You're all caught up!

Allergy to MSG in Beer

author image Diane Marks
Diane Marks started her writing career in 2010 and has been in health care administration for more than 30 years. She holds a registered nurse license from Citizens General Hospital School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts in health care education from California University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in health administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Allergy to MSG in Beer
Group of young adults drinking beer. Photo Credit: Digital Vision/Photodisc/Getty Images

Drinking beer that contains MSG, or monosodium glutamate, can trigger symptoms that resemble an allergic reaction, but is actually an intolerance. Allergy symptoms and food intolerance symptoms are similar and are easily confused for each other. If you develop adverse reactions after drinking beer that contains MSG, you may have intolerance to the MSG, the histamine or the yeast in the beverage. Make an appointment with your doctor to determine the exact cause of your symptoms.

Video of the Day

Allergy Vs. Intolerance

An allergy and intolerance are confusing conditions that resemble one another but have very different causes. An allergic reaction is an immune system reaction to a substance that the immune system accidentally identifies as dangerous. Intolerance is not caused by an immune system reaction, but rather an inability to digest certain ingredients, proteins or sugars found in some foods, according to the American College of Gastroenterology. Beer contains various ingredients that can trigger common food intolerance symptoms.

MSG Intolerance

MSG is a food additive that helps enhance the flavor in foods and is mostly found in Chinese cuisine. Symptoms that develop from MSG intolerance are caused by a chemical reaction that MSG causes in some people’s bodies. reports that the most common symptoms of an adverse reaction to MSG include flushing, sweating, headaches, facial pressure, numbness, chest pain, nausea, numbness in the face neck and other parts of the body and bodily weakness. Symptoms can appear within 15 minutes of ingesting MSG or may take up to a few hours before symptoms develop.

Histamine Intolerance

Beer contains histamine, a chemical that is naturally found in some foods and in the body. Histamine is used by the body to protect against infectious diseases, but too much histamine causes inflammation in soft tissues. Histamine is the primary chemical that causes most allergic reaction symptoms. If you’re sensitive to histamine, drinking beer can cause similar symptom to develop that are similar to an allergy. Symptoms include a rapid heart rate, flushing skin, wheezing and fainting.

Yeast Allergy and Intolerance

Drinking beer can cause adverse reactions if you have a yeast allergy or intolerance. Yeast is the primary ingredient used during the fermentation process of making beer. If you’re allergic to yeast, drinking even a small amount of beer can trigger mild to severe symptoms, depending on the severity of your allergy. Yeast intolerance will mainly cause digestive symptoms, such as bloating, gas, diarrhea and stomach pain.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
Lose Weight. Feel Great! Change your life with MyPlate by LIVESTRONG.COM
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.


Demand Media