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Dr. Rakesh Jain Gives an Update on Glutamate

June 05, 2020

In this podcast, Psych Congress Steering Committee member Rakesh Jain, MD, MPH, speaks with general psychiatrist Abbey Strauss, MD, MSW, about the history, chemistry, and potential use of the neurotransmitter glutamate.

The podcast is part of the free "The Experts Speak" podcast series produced by the Florida Psychiatric Society. The series was started by Dr. Strauss in 2008.

Dr. Jain is Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Texas Tech University School of Medicine, Austin.



Submitted byadriennesamuels on June 05, 2020

Thank you for the terrific post.

Dr. Jain touched on the role of glutamate as an excitotoxin, leaving that subject with the comment that what might be termed “excessive” amounts of glutamate need to be present before glutamate turns excitotoxic. Please be aware that since 1957, when the method of manufacture of glutamate used in MSG was changed from a slow and costly extraction process to a process of bacterial fermentation where glutamate is grown by genetically modified bacteria that excrete glutamate through their cell walls, there has been more than sufficient glutamate in processed food to be excitotoxic when more than one ingredient is ingested at time.

Possibly a minor point. John Olney coined the term excitotoxin in either a 1969 or 1970 paper 50 years ago, and did extensive work demonstrating that glutamate fed to infant animals is excitotoxic.

The paper “Dose dependent toxicity of glutamic acid: A review” may be of interest.
(Samuels A. (2020) Dose dependent toxicity of glutamic acid: a review, International Journal of Food Properties, 23:1, 412-419, DOI: 10.1080/10942912.2020Tha.1733016)

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