Glutamic acid, structurally different from glutamine, is a non-essential amino acid. Glutamic acid (glutamate) is an amino acid used by the body to build proteins. Under normal circumstances, humans are able to meet bodily glutamate requirements either from the diet or by making it from precursor molecules. Glutamate is the most common excitatory (stimulating) neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Although glutamine and glutamic acid have similar names, they are structurally different.
More than 50% of the amino acid composition of the brain is derived from Glutamic Acid and its derivatives providing fuel for the brain. Glutamic Acid acts as carrier for potassium across the brain blood barrier. Glutamic Acid is instrumental in the metabolism of other amino acids as well as sugars and fats. Glutamic Acid also shows promise in the feature treatment of neurological conditions, ulcers, hypoglycemic coma, muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, Parkinson's, and mental retardation.
Preliminary studies suggest that glutamic acid plays a beneficial role in prostate health. The fluid produced by the prostate gland contains significant amounts of glutamic acid, and this amino acid may play a role in normal function of the prostate. In one study, symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) were improved in a group of 45 men taking 780 mg of glutamic acid per day for two weeks and then 390 mg for the next two and a half months in combination with equal amounts of the amino acids, alanine and glycine, an effect also reported by other researchers.
Glutamic acid may have protective effects on the heart muscle in people with heart disease. Intravenous injections of glutamic acid have been shown to increase exercise tolerance and heart function in people with stable angina pectoris.
Although Glutamic Acid is abundant in protein rich foods, higher-than-normal levels of glutamic acid have demonstrated favorable health results where the prostate, the heart, the liver, and even mental function and genetics are concerned. So, while we don't need to take supplemental glutamic acid, glutamic acid therapy continues to be studied to fully understand its benefits for the human body. High-protein foods like meats, poultry, fish, and eggs are good sources of glutamic acid.