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Glutamate or glutamic acid is also known as L-glutamine which is one of the most abundant amino acids in the body. The brain and muscles have the highest concentrations.

Glutamate is a nonessential amino acid and Glutamine is a conditional amino acid

What Glutamate do in the body?

Glutamate is a neurotransmitter the body uses to produce  GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid)  which is released by nerve cells in the brain.

Glutamine sends signals stimulating nerve cells in the central nervous system helping maintain the digestive system, cardiac function and circulatory system all in good health. Supporting proper neurological functioning, and it has an important role associated with improvements in mood, learning, concentration, and memory.

Excessive levels lead to neurological and mental diseases

GABA is produced in the brain from glutamate

Food sources high in glutamate

Glutamate gives its food “umami” taste, the fifth basic taste.

Soy Sauce
Grape Juice
Tomato Juice

Fermented food dishes such as sauerkraut or kimchee supply glutamine

High cooking heats can break down glutamine, so it is best if these vegetables are consumed raw in order to maximize their glutamine content

We don’t usually need to take up any more glutamate than what we consume in our food.

Additional Reading:

Function and Importance of Glutamate for Savory Foods

8 Important Roles of Glutamate + Why It’s Bad in Excess

About Glutamate Toxicity

Glutamate in Food

L-Glutamine And Digestion


Glutamate as a neurotransmitter in the brain: review of physiology and pathology.

Glutamate receptor antibodies in neurological diseases

Glutamate, T cells and multiple sclerosis.

Disorders of glutamate metabolism.

Central Role of Glutamate Metabolism in the Maintenance of Nitrogen Homeostasis in Normal and Hyperammonemic Brain.

Glutamate in peripheral organs: Biology and pharmacology 

Is glutamine a conditionally essential amino acid? 

Louise Burton-Payne

Passionate about feeding my body a plant-based vegan food to benefit my health, save the planet and protect animals.

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