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Glutamic Acid

Other name(s):

a-aminoglutaric acid, glutamate

Reported uses

Glutamic acid is an amino acid used to form proteins. In the body, it turns into glutamate. This is a chemical that helps nerve cells in the brain send and receive information from other cells. It may be involved in learning and memory. It may help people with hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid) or achlorhydria (no stomach acid).

Unsubstantiated claims

There may be benefits that haven't yet been proven through research.

Glutamic acid may:

  • Treat personality and childhood behavioral issues

  • Help treat epilepsy and muscular dystrophy

  • Treat intellectual disorders

  • Treat low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in people with diabetes

  • Prevent nerve damage in people having chemotherapy

Recommended intake

Amino acids (AAs) are available as single AAs or in AA combinations. They also come as part of multivitamins, proteins, and food supplements. The forms include tablets, fluids, and powders.

By eating enough protein in your diet, you get all of the amino acids you need.

There are no conditions that increase the need for glutamic acid.

Side effects, toxicity, and interactions

Using a single amino acid supplement may lead to negative nitrogen balance. This can lessen how well your metabolism works. It can make your kidneys work harder. In children, single amino acid supplements may cause growth problems.

You shouldn't take high doses of single amino acids for long periods of time.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding shouldn’t use glutamic acid supplements.

Don't take glutamic acid supplements if you:

  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding

  • Have maple syrup urine disease (MSUD)

  • Have cystinuria

If you take too much glutamic acid, you may get systemic acidosis.

Online Medical Reviewer: Brittany Poulson MDA RDN CD CDE
Online Medical Reviewer: Tara Novick BSN MSN
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2023
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