Document Detail

Understanding safety of glutamate in food and brain.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18341218     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Glutamate is ubiquitous in nature and is present in all living organisms. It is the principal excitatory neurotransmitter in central nervous system. Glutamate is being used as food additive for enhancing flavour for over last 1200 years imparting a unique taste known as "umami" in Japanese. It is being marketed for about last 100 years. The taste of umami is now recognized as the fifth basic taste. Many of the foods used in cooking for enhancing flavour contain high amount of glutamate. Breast milk has the highest concentration of glutamate amongst all amino acids. Glutamate in high doses as gavage or parenteral injection have been reported to produce neurodegeneration in infant rodents. The neurodegeneration was not produced when gluamate was given with food. The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives, based on enumerable scientific evidence, has declared that, "glutamate as an additive in food" is not an health hazard to human being. Glutamate is used as signaling molecule not only in neuronal but also in non-neuronal tissues. Excessive accumulation of glutamate in the synaptic cleft has been associated with excitotoxicty and glutamate is implicated in number of neurological disorders. Excessive accumulation could be attributed to increase release, failure of transport system for uptake mechanism, neuronal injury due to hypoxia-ischemia, trauma and associated metabolic failures. The role blood brain barrier, vesicular glutamate and sodium dependent excitatory amino acid transporters in glutamate homeostasis are emphasized in the review.
H N Mallick
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Indian journal of physiology and pharmacology     Volume:  51     ISSN:  0019-5499     ISO Abbreviation:  Indian J. Physiol. Pharmacol.     Publication Date:    2007 Jul-Sep
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-03-17     Completed Date:  2008-05-05     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0374707     Medline TA:  Indian J Physiol Pharmacol     Country:  India    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  216-34     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Physiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.
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MeSH Terms
Blood-Brain Barrier / metabolism*
Food Additives / metabolism*,  pharmacokinetics,  toxicity
Glutamic Acid / metabolism*,  pharmacokinetics,  toxicity
Milk, Human / metabolism
Nerve Degeneration / chemically induced,  physiopathology
Species Specificity
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Food Additives; 56-86-0/Glutamic Acid

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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