Glutamic Acid Structural Formula Symbol Benifits and Uses

Amino acids are important substances found in the human body and are to be the main components of proteins. There are essential and non-essential amino acids, such as glutamic acid, which has the ability to be synthesized from other amino acids present in the human body and also has an important function in the development of life.

Glutamic Acid Structural Formula

What is glutamic acid?

The glutamic acid is part of the 20 essential amino acids that make up proteins of the human body. It is an important stimulant of the immune system, has a fundamental role in the synthesis of amino acids, and is a stimulant of the central nervous system.

  • Glutamic acid characteristics
  • Structure
  • Formula
  • Nomenclature
  • Glutamic Acid Physical Properties
  • Chemical properties
  • Obtaining
  • What is it for
  • Glutamic acid foods
  • How is it taken
  • Glutamic acid benefits
  • Risks

Glutamic acid characteristics

As a substance, it was identified in 1866 by Karl Heinrich Ritthausen, a chemist of German nationality. In 1908, its brown crystals were identified by Kikunae Ikeda, a researcher from Japan who later named it umami. Among its main features are the following:

  • It is also known by the name L-glutamic.
  • It is not considered an essential nutrient because humans can synthesize it from other compounds, however, its importance is very relevant for the body.
  • It is part of the group of amino acids known as acids.
  • It is one of the amino acids that have the highest metabolic activity.
  • It is found in abundant quantities within the human body.
  • It is also an important amino acid for living beings of plant and animal origin.
  • It is one of the amino acids that can be found more abundant in the body.


The molecular structure of this acid is defined as HOOC-CH (NH 2) – (CH 2) 2 -COOH, including two carboxyl groups -COOH and an amino group – NH 2. When glutamic acid is in the solid state of its molecule it adopts an electrically neutral form creating a structure as follows: – OOC-CH (NH + 3) – (CH 2) 2 -COOH.

molecular structure


The chemical formula of glutamic acid is shown below:

5 H 9 O 4 N


As for its nomenclature, its systematic name (IUPAC) is used, which is: 2-amino pentane dioic acid.

Glutamic Acid Physical Properties

Among its most important physical properties are the following:

  • When it is in its free form it has a specific and very unique flavor which is known by the name umami.
  • It has a density of density 1460 kg / m3; 1.46 g / cm3.
  • Its molar mass is 147.13 g / mol.
  • Its melting point is 472.15 K (199 ° C).
  • It is soluble when it is in the presence of water.
  • It has the appearance of a crystalline powder color white.

Chemical properties

Its main chemical properties are as follows:

  • The presence of acidic and basic groups gives amino acids typical acid-base properties.
  • It has a negative charge at physiological pH.
  • It has an acidity of 1.9; 3.1; 10.5 for its alpha-carboxyl, gamma-carboxyl, and alpha-amino groups.


The main source of glutamic acid is the human body itself since it can be easily synthesized in many of the tissues that make up the body. Another process by which this acid can be obtained is through fermentation, a process that involves the cultivation of a microorganism in a liquid medium that has a just pH to be able to cause the acid to be produced and accumulate.

What is it for?

Glutamic acid is very important and has a lot of relevant uses. Among them are mentioned the following:

  • It is necessary so that the human body can carry out a good exchange of energy between the body tissues.
  • It has a fundamental function in the synthesis of proteins and helps the process of anabolic metabolism, a process that occurs in the muscles.
  • It regulates the acid-base balance that occurs in the kidney as well as regulates the production of urea in the liver.
  • It helps transport nitrogen within the different organs of the human body.
  • It is an important stimulant of the body’s immune system so it has an active role in preventing infections.
  • It is a stimulating neurotransmitter that, together with vitamin B6, achieves a calming and sedative action.
  • It is commercially manufactured as a food additive that is used to improve the taste of foods.
  • It works well as a dietary supplement for older adults with senile dementia as it helps the brain control ammonia levels.
  • It is also used in the beauty field as it is an ingredient in the fragrances of hair conditioners, and in moisturizing creams and works very well as an antioxidant for the skin. It has the ability to repair hair and skin which makes it an essential ingredient in the creation of cosmetics.

foods Containing Glutamic acid 

There is a wide variety of foods that can provide good amounts of glutamic acid. It may be that it is part of the proteins that are part of a certain food or it may be in a free form in it. It can be found in milk, Parmesan cheese, chicken, beef, salmon, breast milk, peanuts, tomatoes, sesame, pistachios, asparagus, wheat and their derivatives, and peas.

How is it taken?

Glutamic acid should be indicated by a doctor before consumption and it should always be gradual and controlled. In general, it is consumed by athletes in doses of approximately 5 to 10 grams per day.

Glutamic acid benefits

Glutamic acid has great benefits for the human body, in addition to reinforcing all the functions of amino acids. It is used as a type of dietary supplement that can help people who suffer from senile dementia and those who suffer from lack of concentration.

It is very useful in patients suffering from prostate problems and is even a good treatment for cases of sexual impotence.

It favors the healing of ulcers, maintains an adequate permeability in the intestine preventing it from becoming atrophied, and is like medicine, it improves fatigue levels by reducing them, relieves depression, and is used as a treatment in alcoholism.

It has the power to help repair the lining of the intestines when they have suffered some damage, it gives nutrients to the bloodstream and eliminates free radicals that may be present in the body.

It is also used as a treatment for heart disease when people suffer from high blood pressure and diabetes. Provides good protection against cataracts and various types of blindness.

It is ideal for repairing muscles, especially when doing long and strenuous exercise routines. Improves the human body’s ability to cope with bacterial infections.


The risks of consuming glutamic acid have been under discussion since 1968 when there was a great controversy over its use.

An American doctor reported having felt a series of negative symptoms that included weakness, palpitations, and numbness after having ingested the product in a Chinese restaurant.

As of this moment, the defenders of the product mentioned that there was no proof that this was true, however, several researchers managed to prove that its use in inappropriate amounts could cause damage to the pancreas, a reduction in the functions of the kidneys, alterations in the epithelial tissues and brain damage.

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