Glutamic Acid : The amino acid that functions mainly include building muscle and supporting brain function.

Glutamic acid is an amino acid with acidic side chain and negative charge at neutral pH. It is non essential amino acid as it is synthesized  from a number of amino acids including ornithine and arginine. It helps with the transportation of potassium across the blood-brain barrier, although itself does not pass this barrier that easily.  Glutamic acid (glutamate) is an amino acid used by the body to build proteins. Under normal circumstances, humans are able to meet bodily glutamate requirements either from the diet or by making it from precursor molecules. Glutamate is the most common excitatory (stimulating) neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Although glutamine and glutamic acid have similar names, they are structurally different.

Glutamic acid may have protective effects on the heart muscle in people with heart disease. Intravenous injections of glutamic acid (as monosodium glutamate) have been shown to increase exercise tolerance and heart function in people with stable angina pectoris.

Functions of Glutamic Acid

  • Glutamic amino acid is important in the metabolism of sugars and fats, and aids in the transportation of potassium mto the spinal fluid and across the blood-brain barrier.  Although it does not pass the blood-brain barrier as readily as glutamine does, it is found at high levels in the blood and may infiltrate the brain in small amounts
  • Gamma Amino butyric acid (GABA): Glutamic acid gives rise to most important neurotransmitter GABA by the reaction which is catalyzed by glutamate decarboxylase. This neurotransmitter provides post synaptic inhibition in the central nervous system.
  • Glutamic acid can detoxify ammonia by picking up nitrogen atoms, in the process creating another amino acid, glutamine. The conversion of glutamic acid into glutamine is the only means by which ammonia in the brain can be detoxified.
  • Glutamic acid helps to correct personality disorders and is useful in treating childhood behavioral disorders. It is used in the treatment of epilepsy, mental retardation, muscular dystrophy, ulcers, and hypoglycemic coma, a complication of insulin treatment for diabetes.
  • It is a component of folate (folic acid), a B vitamin that helps the body break down amino acids.
  • It has also been found beneficial in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats.
  • Ammonium Ion: Glutamic acid enters the mitochondria and here it gives up its amino form and form ammonium ion which is then used for the urea synthesis.
  • Alpha-ketoglutaric Acid: It shows the alpha ketoacid of glutamic acid and it enters the citric acid cycle.
  • Because one of its salts is monosodium glutamate (MSG), glutamic acid should be avoided by anyone who is allergic to MSG.

Deficiency Symptoms of Glutamic Acid

Although the deficiency symptoms of Glutamic Acid is unknow but some may notice are dullness of brain, insomina.

Rich Food Sources of Glutamic Acid

  • Sources of glutamic acid include high-protein foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products .
  • Some protein-rich plant foods also supply glutamic acid.  Certain legumes, such as beans, and lentils, and leafy greens vegetable have high levels of glutamic acid.
  • kombu are excellent sources of glutamic acid
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10 thoughts on “Glutamic Acid : The amino acid that functions mainly include building muscle and supporting brain function.

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