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glutamic-acid

Posted on 09. Jan, 2011 by .

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Glutamic acid is a nonessential amino acid, which means that it is manufactured from other amino acids in the liver; it does not have to be obtained directly through the diet.

Glutamic acid is interconverted to glutamine, which is known to be a very important amino acid in preventing ammonia intoxication, and is also a brain-active neurotransmitter substance. Adults may ingest 20 to 35 mg per day of this amino acid without any apparent ill effects. In general, glutamine has been used therapeutically rather than glutamate in the management of certain types of problems such as alcoholism, liver problems, and certain biochemical problems.

Metabolism of glutamic acid can result in the formation of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is known to be an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. Deficiencies of GABA can result in excess activity of certain regions of the brain and seizures or behavioral hyperactivity. Dietary glutamic acid does not have a significant effect on GABA in the nervous system.

Method of Action

Aspartate and glutamate participate within the neurotransmitter family of substances. This family also includes acetylcholine, noradrenaline, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Glutamate is one of the most important excitatory transmitters in the central nervous system in lower animals and may also be important in humans. Aspartate has been considered to be a neurotransmitter, whereas GABA and glycine are thought to be major inhibitory transmitters. Excitatory transmitters such as aspartate lead to depolarization of the nerves; on the other hand, inhibitory transmitters cause hyperpolarization, apparently by increasing the permeability within the nerve of potassium and chloride.

Glutamate and aspartate are also very important in the tricarboxylic acid cycle (Kreb’s cycle), from which most of the energy is produced by metabolism. Their reaction in this pathway is by what is called the malate-aspartate shuttle for the transportation of energy into the mitochondria.

WARNINGS

Supplementation with purified glutamic acid on an empty stomach of 3 grams or more has resulted in intestinal disturbances.Anyone suffering from kidney or liver disease should NOT take this supplement without first discussing it with their medical health practitioner.

Overdosage, toxicity and cautions for glutamic acid

No major side effects or toxicity have been reported in generally healthy adults, but high doses have presented symptoms such as headaches and neurological problems.

The flavor-enhancing substance monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of glutamic acid and can produce a condition called “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” which is associated with muscle cramping, abdominal spasms, and gastric distress. Generally, Caucasians are more susceptible to this condition in that they are unable to convert glutamate to glutamine as efficiently as Orientals. Higher levels of vitamin B-6 intake have been found useful for preventing “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” due to enhanced conversion of glutamate to glutamine in those who are susceptible to this problem.

Glutamic acid, also called glutamate, is an excitatory neurotransmitter that increases the firing of neurons in the central nervous system. It is a major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain and spinal caord. It is converted into either glutamine or Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA), two other amino acids that help pass messages to the brain.

Glutamic Acid is important in the metabolism of sugars and fats, and aids in the transportation of potassium into the spinal fluid and across 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. The brain can use glutamic acid as fuel.

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. Because one of its salts is monosodium glutamate (MSG), glutamic acid should be avoided by anyone who is allergic to MSG.

Important glutamic acid facts

* Glutamic acid can attach itself to nitrogen atoms in the process of forming glutamine, and this action also detoxifies the body of ammonia. This action is the only way in which the brain can be detoxified from ammonia
* The brain can use glutamic acid as fuel
* There are high concentrations of glutamic acid (glutamate) in various parts of the brain
* Glutamic acid (or glutamate) is an excitory amino acid neurotransmitter and actually stimulates over 70% of the synapes in the brain
* Glutamic acid (or glutamate) is converted into GABA if all of its co-factor nutrients are available

Glutamic acid and health

* Brain and mental health – glutamic acid helps to correct personality disorders and is useful in treating childhood behavioral disorders. It is used in the treatment of neurological conditions, epilepsy, mental retardation, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease
* Hypoglycaemic coma – glutamic acid is considered a remedy for hypoglycaemic coma (a complication of insulin treatment for diabetes)
* Heart disorders – 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
* Benign prostate hyperplasia – the fluid produced by the prostate gland contains significant amounts of glutamic acid, and this amino acid may play a role in normal function of the prostate. Studies have shown a reduction in symptoms with supplementation of glutamic acid (together with alanine and glycine)

How to Use It

Healthy people do not need to take glutamic acid as a supplement; for those who do use this amino acid, appropriate amounts should be determined with the consultation of a physician.

Where to Find It

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.
Possible Deficiencies

Glutamic acid works best with

* Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
* Vitamin H (Folic Acid)
* Magnesium
* Manganese
* Potassium
* Zinc
* Arginine
* Aspartic Acid
* Glycine
* Proline
* Taurine

thank you and references
http://www.springboard4health.com/notebook/proteins_glutamic.html
http://www.evitamins.com/encyclopedia/assets/nutritional-supplement/glutamic-acid/how-it-works
http://www.vitaminstuff.com/amino-acid-glutamic-acid.html
http://www.vitalhealthzone.com/nutrition/amino-acids/glutamic_acid.html

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