L-glutamic acid is the same compound called glutamic acid or glutamate. It is one of the 20 amino acids present in your body. Your body naturally makes its glutamic acid by itself. This makes it a non-essential amino acid. ‘Non-essential’ does not mean that you don’t need it. It only means that it is not essential for you to get L-glutamic acid from your diet. Your body makes as much glutamic acid as you need daily. It has a lot of benefits for the brain and cognitive health. Surprisingly too, it has environmental benefits. Who would have thought that an amino acid can have environmental uses as well?
Glutamic acid (glutamate) is different from glutamine. They are both amino acids but they are not the same. They are different amino acids. Glutamic acid is an amazing chemical. It is involved in proper cognitive function. Glutamic acid has a major influence on the part of your brain that creates memories. This means that without glutamic acid, you probably would not be able to learn any new thing. Do you think that’s all? No, there’s more. Experts have found out that glutamic acid dictates to some parts of your brain what they should do. We will show you what you need to know about this amazing amino acid called glutamate.
What You Should Know About L-Glutamic Acid
The first thing you should know about this compound is that it is an amino acid. What is an amino acid? An amino acid, in simple terms, is the building block of proteins. There are 20 such building blocks and glutamate is one of them.
The 20 amino acids present in your body have varying properties. Their functions are also different. Do you know that glutamic acid makes as much as 5-10 percent of all the amino acids in your body? They are that abundant.
Of the 20 amino acids, 9 are essential while 11 are non-essential. Glutamate is one of the 9 non-essential amino acids. Like we mentioned earlier, this means that you do not have to get glutamic acid from your food.
Of the 11 non-essential amino acids, 7 are called ‘conditionally essential’. Glutamate is one of these 7. What this means is that there are certain conditions where it is essential to get glutamic acid from your diet.
In what conditions can glutamic acid become essential? It may become essential in the following conditions:
- Extreme stress
- Chronic Fatigue
- Hyper-catabolic state
As much as your body makes glutamic acid by itself, you can also find it in certain food sources. Several dietary supplements contain glutamic acid.
Anyway, you don’t have to get glutamic acid from food or take supplements. However, it can become necessary at times when it is ‘conditionally essential’. In such situations, your health care provider will advise you on what to do.
But then, if you ever need to get glutamic acid from your diet, there are a lot of excellent food sources. They include the following:
- Dairy products
There are also some excellent plant sources of glutamic acid.
If you need to take glutamic acid supplements, you have nothing to fear. They are generally safe and well-tolerated by most people. The only time you should be careful is if you have any chronic health conditions like liver or kidney disease.
But also, be careful never to take beyond the recommended dosage. Glutamic acid stimulates the brain in such a way that excessive doses can cause epilepsy and other neurological conditions. It is better to stay away from glutamic acid supplements if you have any disorder of the nervous system.
The Role That Glutamic Acid Plays in Your Body
The most prominent role of glutamic acid in your body is perhaps that of an excitatory neurotransmitter. It increases the firing of the neurons in your central nervous system (CNS). This encompasses your brain and your spinal cord.
Your body can transform glutamic acid into GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid). GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. The cells of your body cannot function properly without glutamic acid.
More so, glutamate is one of the very few substances that have to ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. So, it crosses from your blood into your brain. Here, it helps to support the functions of your brain.
Glutamic acid turns out to be the primary ‘food’ of your brain. When it gets to your brain, it combines with all the excess ammonia in your brain to form glutamine.
Ammonia is a metabolic waste product that is toxic to your brain. By using it to form glutamine, glutamic acid helps to detoxify your brain. This makes it a potent antioxidant for your brain.
Glutamate is involved in the creation of memories. Experts have shown that glutamic acid boosts intelligence. You need it to learn any new thing.
What’s more, glutamic acid also improves mental alertness, clear thinking, and mood. This explains why it is employed in treating conditions like Parkinson’s, mental retardation, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and schizophrenia.
Medical Uses of Glutamic Acid (Glutamate)
Aside from its use in treating mental and cognitive disorders, glutamate is used medically for the following:
1. Boosts the immune system
Glutathione is one of the products of glutamic acid in your body. The compound, glutathione, is an abundant antioxidant in your body. It is counted among the most effective antioxidants. It removes free radicals from your body, and thus, helps to boost your immune system.
2. Protects heart function
Some experts say that you can use glutamic acid to preserve the heart of those who already have heart disease. How does it do this? Monosodium glutamate injection, which is also a product of glutamate, can preserve heart function during an episode of a heart attack.
The injection is usually given intravenously. It also helps to relieve the chest pain that usually accompanies coronary heart disease.
3. Prostate Health
Glutamic acid is very crucial for prostate health. It facilitates the proper function of the prostate gland in men. The concentration of glutamic acid in the prostate fluid is naturally high. Experts say that glutamic acid supplements may help to ease the symptoms of prostate gland enlargement.
Other medical uses of Glutamic Acid
- Treats muscular dystrophy
- Treatment of alcoholism
- Muscle detoxification
L-glutamic acid plays a lot of important roles in your body. Meanwhile, it also has a lot of amazing medical uses. And as for the environment, glutamic acid is used as a natural non-toxic pesticide.