Glutamic Acid (Plasma)

Optimal Result: 24 - 214 µmol/L, or 2.40 - 21.40 µmol/dL.

Glutamic acid (or Glutamate) is a major mediator of excitatory signals in the brain and is involved in most aspects of normal brain function including cognition, memory and learning.

- Glutamic acid is a non-essential amino acid.
- Glutamic acid is also referred to as glutamate.
- It is used in the biosynthesis of proteins.
- Glutamic acid functions as an excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and is important in removing ammonia from the brain.
- Glutamic acid is the most common excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.
- It also regulates appetite, cognition/learning/memory, increases gut motility, improves libido and decreases sleep

How does Glutamic acid end up in urine?

Some neurotransmitters are produced in the brain and transported across the blood-brain barrier into blood, and others are produced in the periphery (e.g., norepinephrine and epinephrine). Nephrons, the functional units of the kidney, filter circulating neurotransmitters or their precursors from the blood into urine. For some neurotransmitters, such as glutamate, urinary measurements correlate with levels in the central nervous system.

What does it mean if your Glutamic Acid (Plasma) result is too low?

Low glutamic acid levels indicate ammonia toxicity, with symptoms including headache, irritability, and fatigue, especially if high glutamine. Low protein, high complex carbohydrate and B6, á-KG and BCAA’s suggested to correct ammonia toxicity.

Disorders possibly related to low glutamate in urine:
- Agitation
- Chronic fatigue
- Depression
- Insomnia
- Lethargy
- Migraines

Other possible symptoms:

- Fatigue
- Poor brain function
- Poor memory

What does it mean if your Glutamic Acid (Plasma) result is too high?

The brain’s major excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate (also known as glutamic acid) functions as the on switch in the brain. Glutamate regulates appetite, thinking (cognition), increases gut motility, optimizes learning, modulates memory, improves libido, decreases sleep and contributes to oxidative stress. Chronic stress maintains high levels of glutamate in the brain which may lead to excitotoxicity and even neuronal damage. Research shows that urinary glutamate levels are high in patients with celiac disease and with hyperthyroidism.

Clinically, high glutamate is suspected in anxiety, autism, bipolar disorder, depression, and impulsivity, inability to focus
(racing thoughts), obsessive compulsive disorder, panic attacks, sleep difficulties, and stroke. When glutamate is high, calming
GABA, L-theanine, and taurine may be beneficial to counter glutamate actions. Vitamin E and N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) may be
used to combat oxidative damage. Cofactor supplementation with vitamins B3 and B6, and magnesium and NAC may aid with
glutamate metabolism.

Disorders possibly related to high glutamate in urine:

- Anxiety
- Autism
- Bipolar disorder
- Celiac disease
- Depression
- Hyperthyroidism
- Insomnia
- Panic
- Stroke

Other possible symptoms:

- Neurotoxicity
- Stress, anxiety
- Low mood
- Sleep disturbances

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