Glutamic Acid

What is Glutamic Acid

Chemical Name: (2S)-2-aminopentanedioic acid

Molecular Weight: 147.1

Structrual Formula:

Nitrogen Content: 9.52%

Glutamic Acid (13, 14)

  • Glutamic acid or glutamate is one of the 20 most common natural amino acids. As its name indicates, it is acidic, with a carboxylic acid component to its side chain
  • Glutamic acid, a non-essential amino acid and is synthesized from a number of amino acids including ornithine and arginine
  • Glutamic acid is critical for proper cell function
  • The sodium salt of glutamic acid, monosodium glutamate (MSG) is responsible for one of the five basic tastes of the human sense of taste (umami), and MSG is extensively used as a food additive

Glutamic Acid and Improvement of Tolerance of Vincristine (183)

Glutamic acid as “Brain food” (180)

  • as an excitatory neurotransmitter and as a precursor for the synthesis of GABA in GABAergic neurons
  • GABA is the most widespread neurotransmitter in brain function
  • Glutamate activates both ionotropic and metabotropic glutamate receptors
  • Free glutamic acid cannot cross the blood-brain barrier in appreciable quantities; instead it is converted into L-glutamine, which the brain uses for fuel and protein synthesis
  • It is conjectured that glutamate is involved in cognitive functions like learning and memory in the brain
  • excessive amounts may cause neuronal damage associated in diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, lathyrism, and Alzheimer’s disease

Glutamic acid and heart (181)

  • 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

Glutamic acid and Craving of sugar (6,141,182)

  • Glutamic acis has also been used with success in the treatment of hypoglycemia
  • providing an alternate source of fuel for the brain
  • symptoms resulting from drops in blood sugar levels have been decreased, as well as cravings for sugar


  • Adults may ingest 20 to 35 mg per day of this amino acid without any apparent ill effects

Toxicity and symptoms of high intake (61)

  • High dosages of glutamic acid may include symptoms such as headaches and neurological problems
  • Although no major side effects are reported on supplementation of this nutrient, people with kidney or liver disease should not consume high intakes of amino acids without first consulting a medical professional
  • People suffering from personality disorders as well as child behavior disorders may find benefit from this nutrient
  • over stimulation of glutamate receptors is thought to be a possible cause of certain neurological diseases (e.g., amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [Lou Gehrig’s disease] and epilepsy )
  • people with a neurological disease should consult of physician before supplementing with glutamate
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG), the form of glutamic acid that is used as a flavor enhancer, has been reported in anecdotal studies to have a number of different adverse effects (including headache, fatigue, and depression ). However, controlled trials have failed to confirm that MSG causes these side effects, and the safety of this compound remains controversial

Glutamic Acid and Food

  • Glutamic acid can be found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products and some protein-rich plant foods


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