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Glutamic Acid

Glutamic acid is synthesized from several amino acids, and when an amino group is added to glutamic acid, it forms the important amino acid glutamine. Glutamic acid is one of the two amino acids that have a net negative charge, making it a very polar molecule. Glutamic acid has been linked to epileptic seizures, is a neurotransmitter, is important in the metabolism of sugars and fats, and aids in transporting potassium into the cerebrospinal fluid. Glutamic acid is present in a wide variety of foods and is responsible for one of the five basic tastes of the human sense of taste (umami). Glutamic acid is often used as a food additive and flavor enhancer in the form of its sodium salt, monosodium glutamate (MSG). Measurement of glutamic acid is included in the Amino Acids, Plasma and Amino Acids, Urine tests along with 23 other amino acids as well as in Neurotransmitter Profile.

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Glutamic acid (Glu/E), also known as glutamate, is an amino acid with various biological roles in the human body.

Protein synthesis: Glutamic acid is one of the 20 amino acids used by the body to synthesize proteins. It is incorporated into proteins in response to specific genetic instructions.

Neurotransmitter: Glutamic acid is the most abundant neurotransmitter in the brain and central nervous system, where it plays a critical role in regulating brain activity. It is responsible for facilitating the transmission of nerve impulses and for promoting the growth and development of new nerve cells.

Metabolism: Glutamic acid is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and other amino acids. It helps convert glucose into energy and can be used to synthesize other amino acids, such as proline and arginine.

Antioxidant: Glutamic acid has been shown to have antioxidant properties, which means it can help protect the body against cellular damage caused by free radicals.

Immune system support: Glutamic acid plays a role in the immune system by helping to stimulate the production of antibodies and by supporting the activity of immune cells.

Acid-base balance: Glutamic acid is a component of the body's buffering system, which helps maintain the proper pH balance in the blood and other fluids.

Overall, glutamic acid is an important amino acid with multiple roles in the body. Its functions range from supporting the growth and function of nerve cells to contributing to the body's immune system and metabolism.

Glutamic acid is found in a wide variety of foods, both plant-based and animal-based. Some of the best dietary sources of glutamic acid include:

Meat and poultry: Beef, pork, chicken, and turkey are all good sources of glutamic acid.

Seafood: Fish, shellfish, and seaweed are all high in glutamic acid.

Dairy products: Cheese, milk, and yogurt are all good sources of glutamic acid.

Vegetables: Tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, and broccoli are all vegetables that contain glutamic acid.

Grains: Wheat, oats, and corn are all high in glutamic acid.

Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds are all good sources of glutamic acid.

In addition to its physiological functions, glutamic acid is widely used in the food industry as a flavor enhancer due to its ability to enhance the savory taste of foods. It is often used in processed foods, such as soups, snacks, and condiments, and is commonly known as monosodium glutamate (MSG).

While glutamic acid is generally considered safe for consumption in food, some people may be sensitive to it and experience symptoms such as headaches, flushing, and sweating. However, there is no evidence to suggest that consuming glutamic acid in moderate amounts is harmful to most people.

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