glutamate toxicity

by Lee Anne

Hi Wray, I'm still reading your site daily. I'm a little confused though about something. I've read where you suggest extremely high doses of L-Glutamine, yet you warn that oestrogen dominance can cause glutamate toxicity.

I researched L-Glutamine and found that it turns into glutamate in our system and that people sensitive to MSG should avoid it.

Can you please explain. Maybe I'm just missing something here.
Thanks again for your wonderful advice. Sorry I have so many questions.

Comments for glutamate toxicity

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Sep 28, 2013
glutamate toxicity
by: Wray

Hi Lee Anne Good heavens you have been reading the site! Glutamine is one of the most important amino acids, precursor to both glutamate and GABA. It's also one of the three precursors to glutathione our most important intracellular antioxidant. It's the main source of energy for the muscles and enterocytes lining the gut. And the main source of energy for our immune cells. A lack of glutamine leads to muscle wasting, a weakened immune system and damage to the gut lining. It's a complicated pathway between the glutamate-GABA-glutamine amino acids. Which are all neurotransmitters too. Briefly glutamine is used to make both glutamate and GABA. Glutamate is our excitatory neurotransmitter, and GABA is our calming neurotransmitter. Once glutamate has done it's job, it's converted to glutamine, which can then be used the make GABA. So you have this switch from excitatory to calming going on all the time. It's when the switch gets stuck on the glutamate cycle that trouble starts. Oestrogen can cause it to get stuck. This is where progesterone, and the other calming aminos like taurine and glycine, can help. Progesterone activates the GABA receptors, in other words gets them going again. To complicate matters, whenever glutamate or GABA are formed, ammonia is released. This either diffuses through the cell membrane, or is converted by enzymes into the aminos alanine and leucine. A build up of ammonia is toxic to the brain, so enough enzymes and cofactors are essential. There's a good explanation here. This is interesting, showing the importance of glutamine, see here and here. This is excellent as it shows the glutamine>glutamate>GABA pathway, with all the enzymes involved and the cofactors needed. This article here might be the source of the info you read about avoiding too much glutamine. One thing Blaycock fails to point out is that glutamine is also the precursor to GABA, our calming neurotransmitter. He doesn't mention GABA at all, and yet it's an integral part of the pathway. Continued below

Sep 28, 2013
glutamate toxicity Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Lee Anne The body comprises opposing systems, the whole point being to attain homeostasis. So you get excitatory/calming systems, catabolic/anabolic systems, then the minerals oppose each other, i.e. copper/zinc, magnesium/calcium. And the hormones oppose each other. The one we're all so familiar with is the oestrogen/progesterone opposition. So if one of these systems is overloaded with only one substance, the only solution is to give an overabundance of the other, until a balance is found, then reduce it. For instance calcium, so many women take it for their bones. They probably eat dairy too which has high calcium and low magnesium. So the excess calcium is not only affecting their arteries and hearts, but leaving them jittery, anxious, nervous, and tense with difficulty sleeping and blood glucose problems. Calcium is an excitatory mineral, magnesium is calming. So the only solution here is to take large doses of magnesium until things have calmed down, then reduce it. The same goes for progesterone/oestrogen. Take care Wray

May 11, 2017
by: Anonymous

Hi I don't know why but I can only see half the page of this article.

Anyone else have this?

Apr 19, 2018
How do I fix this issue?
by: Lauren

I believe I am having issues with this "excitatory" issue. I workout a lot and I took L-glutamine to supplement a few weeks ago. I am also on 100 mg of progesterone (troche).

Ever since I took l-glutamine I havent been sleeping well. Now I've realized if I dont take my progesterone I can sleep, but now it's almost as if my progesterone is the excitatory problem. I have had terrible insomnia for the past few weeks and I'm feeling terrible.

I appreciate any help on this!

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