Glutamic acid (glutamate) is an amino acid used by the body to build proteins. Glutamate is the most common excitatory (stimulating) neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.
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.
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.
Most food sources of protein supply glutamic acid, so only a person deficient in protein would become deficient in glutamic acid.1
Glutamic acid is generally free of side effects for the vast majority of people who take it; however, people with kidney or liver disease should not consume high intakes of amino acids without consulting a healthcare professional. Because 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.
Last Review: 07-01-2014
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