Glutamic Acid (Glutamate) L-Glutamic Acid GLU

Formula: C5H9NO4
Molecular weight: 147.13

Glutamate is a key molecule in the citric acid cycle and cellular metabolism.

Glutamate is a principal excitatory neurotransmitter. GABA is synthesized from glutamate. GABA (a non-standard amino acid) is a principal inhibitory neurotransmitter.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) patients have elevated levels of glutamate in serum and spinal fluid. Lab studies have shown that neurons are killed when exposed to elevated glutamate for long time periods.

There is also a controversy over whether monosodium glutamate (MSG) is an excitotoxin because it could cause a spike of blood plasma levels of glutamic acid. There is also a concern of the possible combined effect of glutamic acid with two other excitotoxins: aspartic acid and aspartame.