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Glutamic Acid Video No. 1
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First isolated in 1865, glutamic acid is an amino acid that functions as an important metabolic intermediate. In animals, glutamic acid is a nonessential amino acid. It can be synthesized from oxoglutaric acid, formed in the metabolism of carbohydrates, so does not require direct dietary sources. It is widely distributed in plants and some plant proteins yield as much as 45% of their weight as glutamic acid.

Much of this content probably results from the presence of a related substance, glutamine, first isolated in 1932 from wheat proteins. Glutamine is the monoamide of glutamic acid, and an abundant constituent of proteins. When a protein is hydrolyzed, glutamine is converted to glutamic acid.

Glutamine is important for the cellular metabolism of animals. It's the only amino acid capable of readily crossing the blood-brain barrier and, with glutamic acid, is thought to account for about 80% of the amino nitrogen (-NH2) of brain tissue.

A salt of glutamic acid, monosodium glutamate (MSG), is sometimes used as a condiment for flavoring foods.


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