Glutamic Acid: pKa Value Explained

pKa value indicates how strong the acid is. The lower the value is the stronger the acid is. Glutamic Acid’s pKa value is 2.19, which is relatively low.

Glutamic Acid

The human body has 20 amino acids and that includes 11 non-essential amino acids (NEAAs) like glutamic acid. This is non-essential because it’s not required in food, drinks, and supplements. In other words, the body produces this amino acid. It’s important to learn the basics about different amino acids like glutamic acid pKa, which is related to the amino acid’s acidity like the pH level. This amino acid isn’t well-known so many people don’t know much about this building block of protein. Like the other amino acids, glutamic acid has important roles so the body is able to function properly. 

The pKa is a figure that shows how strong a particular acid is. In other words, the stronger the figure is the stronger the acid is. This amino acid’s value is about 2.2. These are very technical terms but they’re important to fully understand how amino acids work. It’s also critical since there are different kinds of amino acids. For example, you’ll want to know the basics like how acidic the acid this. This, in turn, can provide a better understanding of the form and function of the amino acid. You don’t have to become Dr. Science but it’s helpful to know some details like the pH and pKa values.

What Is Glutamic Acid pKa?

While there is a grand total of 20 amino acids the two types are essential and non-essential. These terms can be confusing because it might seem like one type is more important than the other. That’s not how it works.

The essential amino acids (EAAs) are ones that humans have to get from food, drinks, and supplements. The reason is the body is unable to produce them. That’s different from the non-essential amino acids (NEEAs). They include glutamic acid and others. Glutamic acid is actually produced from different amino acids.

You can also get this amino acid from different foods. They include fish, chicken, eggs, and dairy. There are some high-protein plants that also contain glutamic acid. They include:

  • Soy
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Walnuts

Another key feature you should know about glutamic acid is the pKa number. This indicates how strong the acid is. The lower the value is the stronger the acid is. Glutamic Acid’s pKa value is 2.19. So, it’s relatively low compared to other acids.

One of the main benefits of this particular amino acid is its function as a neurotransmitter. This helps to send signals between the body and brain. More specifically a neuron gives off the substance to other neurons in the area.

This allows electricity to move from one cell to the other. This happens throughout the whole central nervous system (CNS). This system includes the brain and spinal cord. It’s critical for messages to be sent from the brain to various body parts. The body can also send messages to the brain when needed.

Amino acid supplements with glutamic acid can benefit people who have different disorders that affect their brain and spinal cord. This is one of the reasons you might need to get more of the amino acid that your body produces.

Top Benefits of Glutamic Acid

Since your body already produces this amino acid you might be wondering why you need more. One of the main reasons is sometimes people have health conditions that cause a deficiency. When that happens, you should consider foods high in glutamic acid or dietary supplements.

For example, the amino acid is important for converting fats and sugars into energy. It also might help to achieve lower blood pressure

Yet another benefit of this amino acid is to remove ammonia from the body. In fact, it’s a critical process for removing it from the human brain.

Another key function of glutamic acid is to help with the prostate gland. Some scientists believe that the amino acid might be critical for the gland to work properly throughout the body. 

However, as always, the best source of this and other amino acids is whole foods. Supplements are another option but the best source of any nutrients is always food.

On the other hand, you should also be careful not to take too many of amino acid supplements. The reason it can cause various unwanted side effects like headaches and others that affect your CNS. This helps to explain why some nutritionists have question marks about the effectiveness of supplements with amino acid.

As always, it’s important to schedule a doctor’s appointment if you think you have low levels of glutamic acid or other amino acids. Keep in mind that these are the building blocks of protein. So, if you have an amino acid deficiency this will affect your body’s proteins as well.

A doctor will likely order different blood tests to check your body’s level of glutamic acid. He/She also might require you to tweak your diet so you get more of the amino acid in your diet. This could include food and/or supplements to get the best results.

Foods High in Glutamic Acid

1. Eggs

This is one of the superfoods that’s also super-versatile. You can cook it in various ways like fried, boiled, baked, poached, and so on. It’s also high in many nutrients like protein and good fats/cholesterol. In fact, while many people think the egg yolk is high cholesterol it’s the good kind.

2. Cheese

If you’re a fan of cheese then you’ll be pleased to learn that types like parmesan are high in glutamic acid. This is a plus since it gives you the chance to enjoy more of the dairy product. There are different forms and types of cheese you can add to your diet.

3. Seaweed

This food is another good option and especially for snacks. You can enjoy it cooked or dried.

4. Meat

Here’s another good source of glutamic acid. Many of today’s diets focus on clean/lean sources of protein like chicken and fish. You can also get different amino acids from red meat like pork and beef but should reduce your intake due to the saturated fat.

5. Seeds

Seeds are not only high in this amino acid but also other nutrients like vitamins, fat, and fiber. Today many diets suggest eating some seeds and/or nuts during the week. It’s a filling snack and also provides lots of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Make sure to research which ones are highest in glutamic acid to get the best results.

6. Soy

This is one of the best plant-based sources of amino acid. If you have a soy allergy, you’ll want to skip this food. However, otherwise, this is an excellent source of glutamic acid and is good for overall health as well. 

It’s chock-full of various nutrients like protein, Vitamin Bs, and fiber. You can also find various forms like tofu, soy milk, soy flour, and miso soup after learning glutamic acid pKa.

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