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Forms of Glutamate

Forms of Glutamate – Bound vs. Free


Glutamate is one of the naturally occurring amino acids in the body. In fact, 40% of this is being produced by our body every day. It is present in all parts of the body and is kept in the brain, muscles and tissues. The brain has a very high content of glutamate than any of the other amino acids. It acts as a major neurotransmitter and responsible for brain metabolism.


This also abounds in nature as well. There are foods that are rich in this type of amino acid. Protein rich foods like meat, fish, milk, ripe tomatoes and other vegetables contain this naturally. This naturally occurring form from these foods is bound and when consumed by humans pose no risks on health.

This neurotransmitter is related to Balance D, Daxitrol, Kavinace, and TravaCor.


There is the so-called free form wherein glutamate is produced as in the case of MSG through fermentation and some manufacturing processes. This free form is said to have harmful effects on humans as this already contain contaminants that are rapidly absorbed in the body. Unlike the bound form, it is slowly absorbed by the muscles and tissues and is put to good use before toxicity levels arise in the blood stream.


The use of unbound form or the free form as in the case of MSG is still under debate. There are reported cases of harmful effects like asthma attacks, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath, depression, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, acid reflux and pancreatic failure among others. It also causes exitotoxicity, where death of brain cells occur because of cascading reaction, that is, a rapid firing of impulses triggering death of brain cells. It is said that children under 5 years old are at most risk. Studies also revealed that increased levels of glutamate causes autism and other neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis.


These make glutamate both essential and toxic. Hence, it is best to take everything in moderation.

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