Has anyone tried of heard of Low Glutamate diet?

Messages
14,007
Likes
31,978
Location
Second star to the right ...
"This isn't a theory, it's fact."
Please, this is where I start feeling like a dart board. I never said "This isnt a theory, it's a fact" .... what I said was this wasn't a PET theory, it's something that made a real diff for me"..... see the direct quote below
But this isnt a pet theory for me. This is something that made a real diff in my health and ability to function,
Some say you can't always differentiate free glutamate from bound glutamate
As far as I know that's really misleading. One could almost said horseshite, if one were rude enough to question .... uh .... reputable publications. Glutamate is synthesized from glutamine, which goes thru a severl-step conversion in the Krebs, or Citric Acid, cycle where it's converted into an unbound ionic amino form ie, glutamate. MSG is the laboratory version of this, with the conversion created by bacteria or other methods, which then have the added benefit (sarcasm emoji) of toxic byproducts, added to the already neuro-toxic glutamate.
I'm saying like everything on PR, just because it works for one person does not mean it's a universal solution.
I wasnt trying to posit that. This thread was opened by @Nuno , with the question "Has Anyone tried or heard of low glutamtae diet."

Because I felt that I had some first hand, experiential info, not something quoted from a potentially biased or careless source (I've bumped into quite a few of them .... it's getting so that a girl just doesnt know WHO to trust anymore), I posted my experience. Then I postd some information about the many ways that corporate food producers have of sneaking the umami-stimulating MSG into every thing they make, sell, or dream of ...
like when I go to the doctor and they tell me what to do and it doesn't work and they get frustrated with me for their suggestion not working.
PLease dont compare me to Drs. Im not complaining because what worked for me didnt work for you, I'm just a little cranky from the potshots, however unintentional ....
Cronometer. Not sure if I've learned anything all that useful, other than some nutrient profiles.
I tried Cronometer, too, and gave up because it couldnt seem to deliver any info that actually helped me, so I feel your frustration.
From here - but no idea if that's a reliable source.
Science Direct is pretty good. I tend to take what it choses to publish with a lot fewer grains of salt then, say, Healthline, which is riddled with inaccuracies.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
4,365
Likes
7,951
Location
Alberta
Given the number of 'healthy' raw foods that contain relatively large amounts of glutamic acid, that's unlikely ...
I'm pretty sure that cornstarch has zero glutamic acid. I'm not sure that it has anything other than sugar molecules connected together.

I did respond strongly to Napa cabbage as well as broccoli and cauliflower ... unless it was cooked long enough, in which case it didn't trigger symptoms. That fits with its goitrogenic properties, rather than its glutamic acid content. For anyone with food sensitivities, do consider other mechanisms foods might have, rather than just assuming it's glutamate or some other single property. Figuring out why a food causes you problems might need significant experimentation, such as cooking longer or shorter, higher or lower temperature, trying cofactors or inhibitors. You can just avoid that food and related foods, but for some of us, that really limits our options for eating. :(

I recently started becoming very sensitive to something in meats. There are plenty of fairly common suspects for why some people have trouble with meats, but for me it seems to be the proline content. It took weeks of experimentation to figure that out. Aside from a very rare genetic disorder, I haven't read about anyone else having this sort of sensitivity to that common amino acid. I assume it's something ME related. So, don't just assume that because a food is known for a certain mechanism for problems, that it is the mechanism that is responsible for your symptoms. ME can screw anything up.

Cumin works for Wishful. That's a solution for him. Now any suggestion as to WHY it works for him is still just theory in my opinion.
I still don't have a good theory for why it worked, but it sure did work well for me. I've been shovelling snow for hours for each of the last few days, and while my muscles are sore (in a normal healthy fashion), I'm still PEM-free. More of that white stuff is coming down as I write this. *sigh* At least it's good exercise.
 

hapl808

Senior Member
Messages
652
Likes
1,793
I did respond strongly to Napa cabbage as well as broccoli and cauliflower ... unless it was cooked long enough, in which case it didn't trigger symptoms. That fits with its goitrogenic properties, rather than its glutamic acid content. For anyone with food sensitivities, do consider other mechanisms foods might have, rather than just assuming it's glutamate or some other single property. Figuring out why a food causes you problems might need significant experimentation, such as cooking longer or shorter, higher or lower temperature, trying cofactors or inhibitors. You can just avoid that food and related foods, but for some of us, that really limits our options for eating. :(
Yes, that's exactly the challenge I think. For me, one of the biggest frustrations on being more severe is being unable to do anything difficult on the computer or talk on the phone for longer periods. Yet lately my brain fog has improved a bit and I'm able to read for longer periods. Anything that stimulates my brain or puts it in a flow state causes a PEM style crash which almost always starts with burning acid reflux and then moves on to migraines, the poisoned feeling of exhaustion, etc.

I've tried changing around diet, but it's very hard to figure out as my reactions seem delayed, just like my PEM. A long phone call often causes worse symptoms two days afterward. This took me years to make the connection, as I thought it was diet. High histamine diets seem to make it worse, but low histamine doesn't make any of it go away.

In short, for most things I've figured out what makes it worse, but not what makes it better. Sometimes I have extreme reactions to things (full MSG puts me down for 4-5 days at a minimum but the last time I accidentally ingested it was a few years ago in a miso soup). When I eat gluten, my digestion is worse - but it's not great when I avoid it. When I eat low histamine my reflux is more manageable - but it doesn't go away. When I take supplements for reflux (DGL, marshmallow, slippery elm, mastic gum, melatonin, NAG, etc), my reflux is usually less severe - but the rest of the PEM crash still comes. When I take butterbur and ibuprofen and caffeine, my migraines are more manageable - but they don't go away.

Just a frustration that I know others are familiar with. Your cumin solution (which I've tried - and makes my crashes somewhat better, but doesn't stop it at all) is amazing because I've certainly tried a couple hundred supplements, but still have hope that I'll stumbled across a solution.
 
Messages
14,007
Likes
31,978
Location
Second star to the right ...
That fits with its goitrogenic properties, rather than its glutamic acid content.
Totally. Do you have any thyroid issues that you know of that cruciferous goitrogens might aggravate?
For anyone with food sensitivities, do consider other mechanisms foods might have, rather than just assuming it's glutamate or some other single property
Again agree. As I said above in a response to @hapl808 , I posted about my experiences because of @Nuno 's title on this thread, and because of my first hand experience with all this. It was a long slog, but cutting out anything remotely more than very moderate in glutamate really really helped me. Not the Holy Grail, but a pretty solid step forward, and one that gave me hope, which I'd pretty much abandoned....
There are plenty of fairly common suspects for why some people have trouble with meats, but for me it seems to be the proline content.
For some reason proline, lysine, and valine seem to aggravate some systems. I have absolutely no idea why. Beef is the worst offender, with lamb and pork the lesser evils.
I still don't have a good theory for why it worked, but it sure did work well for me.
I'm totally boggled by it, as you are, but for some reason, also heartened.

Who knows where a significant symptom modifier might come from ..... including something as mundane as a spice cabinet ....
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
4,365
Likes
7,951
Location
Alberta
In short, for most things I've figured out what makes it worse, but not what makes it better.
I know that oh so well myself. As you say, I've found things that make me worse than my baseline symptoms, but avoiding them doesn't do anything for that baseline. The occasional thing that does reduce symptoms usually only works the first few times I try it, then it stops working. However, over my 20 years of ME I have managed to find a grand total of four things that worked longer, and all of them eventually had permanent effects (full cure of those symptoms), so I'm a supporter of "keep on trying, because you might get lucky". Maybe the spice bottle right next to the one you chose to try is the right one for you, or maybe an exotic fruit in the produce section. There's always something else you could try.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
4,365
Likes
7,951
Location
Alberta
Do you have any thyroid issues that you know of that cruciferous goitrogens might aggravate?
Yes, my ME responded quite strongly to T2. Anything that would reduce my T2 would make me feel much worse, so I'm pretty sure that's the reason for my response to those veggies. Cumin stopped my need for extra T2, so I might not need to avoid them now, but there's a chance that goitrogens could restart that problem, and cruciferous veggies are just not appealing enough for even a tiny risk.

Beef is the worst offender, with lamb and pork the lesser evils.
Beef and lamb were unexpectedly safe for me because their CLAs were countering the proline sensitivity. Sadly, that mechanism stopped working, so those meats are not safe for me anymore. :(:(:( Pork was bad for me because it had a similar amount of proline but no CLAs. Chicken was as bad as pork, but now I seem to tolerate it a bit better. It's still an ongoing experiment.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
4,365
Likes
7,951
Location
Alberta
Is there a reliable explanation for glutamate sensitivity? The common explanation is that glutamate affects neurons, but our brains produce lots of glutamate locally, and a typical human body contains ~2 kg of glutamate, so a few extra mg of glutamate in a meal shouldn't have a noticeable effect on neurons. Maybe it's the concentration in a specific location, such as the mouth or gut which triggers something. Maybe some people have a microbe that produces a potent chemical from glutamate. I've never had a problem with it, so I haven't dug into the research, but maybe someone here who is sensitive has already found the answer. Just curious.
 
Messages
14,007
Likes
31,978
Location
Second star to the right ...
The common explanation is that glutamate affects neurons, but our brains produce lots of glutamate locally, and a typical human body contains ~2 kg of glutamate,
In excessive amounts, glutamate doesn't just affect neurons, it kills them. It literally excites them til they're exhausted, and die.

If your system is thrown out of whack, either by an illness or over-medication with psychotropic drugs, glutamine, which normally synthezizes in the brain to either GAB or glutamate, synthesizes only to glutamate, for reasons I dont recall or may never have known.

Our brains don't actually produce glutamate locally. It's synthesized in the CNS from glutamine, as part of the glutamate/glutamine/glutamic acid cycle, by glutaminase, either in glial cells or presynaptic neurons.
Maybe some people have a microbe that produces a potent chemical from glutamate.
That's an interesting hypothesis. Or maybe they produce a chemical that slants the conversion of glutamine to glutamate, and sidesteps GABA, creating the crippling headaches and panic/anxiety, insomnia, hives, etc ....
I've never had a problem with it, so I haven't dug into the research, but maybe someone here who is sensitive has already found the answer
A nice thought.
Right there with you. I'd love the answers to all of the above.

For now, I'm just grateful that I short-circuited the issue, tho it wasnt fun. But it was less fun before I was able to .....
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
4,365
Likes
7,951
Location
Alberta
Our brains don't actually produce glutamate locally.
Glutamate is also produced in mitochondria from proline, and glutamate can be converted into proline. Any of those processes being dysfunctional could cause too much glutamate in the wrong place. It's at least possible that glutamate sensitivity is due to not enough of the glutamate -> proline enzymes. Another possibility is that there's some sort of sensor that responds to glutamate in the gastrointestinal tract which in turn affects these mechanisms that maintain proper levels of glutamate in brain cells. Complex. :grumpy:
 
Messages
14,007
Likes
31,978
Location
Second star to the right ...
glutamate can be converted into proline
Making it even more confusing, proline can be converted into glutamate as well.
Another possibility is that there's some sort of sensor that responds to glutamate in the gastrointestinal tract which in turn affects these mechanisms that maintain proper levels of glutamate in brain cells. Complex. :grumpy:
The gastro tract is home to a huge number of GABA receptors as well, as is the CNS, the entire enteric nervous system, the liver, the lungs, the kidneys.... on and on ... none of this responds to the question of why a previously normally-functioning GABA/ Glutamate system sudden swings wildly out of whack, producing things like excessive reactions to anything glutamate, like MSG, hydrolized whatever, enzymed whatever,

Is it just the lack of GABA transaminase? An excess of glutamate dehydogenase? Too much proline? Too little? Impeded proline conversion? A screw up in the Krebs cycle? Not enough of the glutamate/proline enzyme P5CS (pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthetase)? Too much of it?


Maintaining glutamate homeostasis in incidences of heavy drug use, both prescription and recreational, requires activation of proline biosynthesis, which might help clarify things like tolerance withdrawal, at least to a certain extent, and how the GABA/glutamate balance goes so badly out of whack, even in people who dont do drugs. recreationally or otherwise.

It's all frustratingly mysterious and confusing, at least without a PhD in biochemistry ..... and apparently, even with one, based on all the studies and research I've read, which often tend to be bafflingly inconclusive and remarkable opaque.

It's at least possible that glutamate sensitivity is due to not enough of the glutamate -> proline enzymes.
I dont think so, but not able to explain why I think that right now. Am starting to really wonder if I'm ever going to get full brain function back ....


If I can clarify any of this later, after a little lie down and maybe a little more weak coffee, ah'll be bahhck .... don't wait standing up :rolleyes::rolleyes: :xeyes::xeyes: :pem: ....
 
Messages
14,007
Likes
31,978
Location
Second star to the right ...
I'm pretty sure that cornstarch has zero glutamic acid. I'm not sure that it has anything other than sugar molecules connected together.
It's definitely a source of manufactured free glutamate, tho in low enough quantities to only be problematic for people who are very sensitive to glutamate. Clearly, you aren't, or you would have known by now ....
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
4,365
Likes
7,951
Location
Alberta
It's definitely a source of manufactured free glutamate,
I found this (which listed cornstarch): "The following are ingredients suspected of containing or creating sufficient processed free glutamic acid to serve as MfG-reaction triggers in HIGHLY SENSITIVE people:" 'Suspected' is not 'definitely'.

Hmmm, I did find that cornstarch does have some amino acids in it, but ~1% that of wheat flour, so yes, it would probably take an extreme sensitivity to be a problem. Darn, it even has some proline. Tapioca starch has less (and less of almost everything else except arginine).
 
Messages
14,007
Likes
31,978
Location
Second star to the right ...
I found this (which listed cornstarch): "The following are ingredients suspected of containing or creating sufficient processed free glutamic acid to serve as MfG-reaction triggers in HIGHLY SENSITIVE people:" 'Suspected' is not 'definitely'.
If you're going to contradict my quote, it would nice if you posted the whole quote, not just the part that gives you the widest latitude in your response.

Here's exactly what I said about corn starch:
It's definitely a source of manufactured free glutamate, tho in low enough quantities to only be problematic for people who are very sensitive to glutamate. Clearly, you aren't, or you would have known by now ....
100 gms of corn starch contains just under 2 gms of glutamic acid, about 1.8 gms, which makes it a definite source of glutamate after processing, altho as I stated in that part of my post that you didnt quote, " .... tho in low enough quantities to only be problematic for people who are very sensitive to glutamate ...." or MSG, which your source refers to as MANFACTURED FREE GLUTAMATE, OR MFG rather than MSG.


Same thing, different shirt ....
 
Messages
14,007
Likes
31,978
Location
Second star to the right ...
Google popped this up: "Proline is oxidized to glutamate in the mitochondria"
We seem to have a problem with semantics. I never said that there wasnt any glutamate in the mitochondria, only that glutamate didnt exist independently, or endogenously, in the mitochondria, but is transported there from surrounding cytoplasm across the mito pathway by GCs anAGCs.. .... so it's not surprizing that it could be converted from proline within the mito as well. See my quote below

PS ... Glutamate isnt produced in the mitochondria, it's transported from cytoplasm across the mitochondrial membrane by GCs and AGCs
 
Messages
14,007
Likes
31,978
Location
Second star to the right ...
Is there a reliable explanation for glutamate sensitivity?
There needs to be a delicate, careful balance between GABA and glutamate. Both perform critical tasks, with GABA limiting the excess neuronal stimulation that glutamate produces in the performance of its basic tasks. Otherwise glutamate continues to prod and stimulate neurons til they die of exhaustion.


When something upsets that balance and there isn't enough GABA to perform it's basic tasks while also limiting the action of glutamate, I would imagine that adding even more glutamate to the mix would most likely produce pretty much the results reported by people sensitive to glutamate and/or MSG, which as you know is a glutamate salt.

EDIT .... typos, the bane of my existence .... and I just had to go back and correct a typo in this 'EDIT' line. Exhausting.
 
Last edited:

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
4,365
Likes
7,951
Location
Alberta
I would imagine that adding even more glutamate to the mix would most likely produce pretty much the results reported by people sensitive to glutamate and/or MSG, which as you know is a glutamate salt.
Yes, adding enough glutamate to the body would probably do that, but the critical point is 'enough'. A quick search found this: https://www.karger.com/Article/Fulltext/494782

"
Abstract
The non-essential amino acid glutamate participates in numerous metabolic pathways in the body. It also performs important physiologic functions, which include a sensory role as one of the basic tastes (as monosodium glutamate [MSG]), and a role in neuronal function as the dominant excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Its pleasant taste (as MSG) has led to its inclusion as a flavoring agent in foods for centuries. Glutamate’s neurotransmitter role was discovered only in the last 60 years. Its inclusion in foods has necessitated its safety evaluation, which has raised concerns about its transfer into the blood ultimately increasing brain glutamate levels, thereby causing functional disruptions because it is a neurotransmitter. This concern, originally raised almost 50 years ago, has led to an extensive series of scientific studies to examine this issue, conducted primarily in rodents, non-human primates, and humans. The key findings have been that (a) the ingestion of MSG in the diet does not produce appreciable increases in glutamate concentrations in blood, except when given experimentally in amounts vastly in excess of normal intake levels; and (b) the blood-brain barrier effectively restricts the passage of glutamate from the blood into the brain, such that brain glutamate levels only rise when blood glutamate concentrations are raised experimentally via non-physiologic means. These and related discoveries explain why the ingestion of MSG in the diet does not lead to an increase in brain glutamate concentrations, and thus does not produce functional disruptions in brain. This article briefly summarizes key experimental findings that evaluate whether MSG in the diet poses a threat to brain function."


I'll let you wade through that if you're interested. I still think it's more likely that there's some other mechanism that produces an extreme response to small amounts of glutamine somewhere in the body. I did think of a simple experiment: apply some MSG to your skin (paper skin patch or whatever) and see whether that triggers any symptoms. Maybe the trigger mechanism is in the gastrointestinal tract.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
4,365
Likes
7,951
Location
Alberta
I wondered why I hadn't checked the protein content of cornstarch. I figured that out: around 15 years ago when I wanted to avoid tryptophan, I checked the label, which said "0" for proteins. That was before I learned that manufacturers are allowed to round down to zero. That how they can sell little packets of sugar as "zero calorie sweetener" when it would be only slightly lower calories than regular sugar if it was sold in larger portions. Sneaky scam.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
4,365
Likes
7,951
Location
Alberta
This article might be of interest for glutamate sensitivity: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/01/220113111410.htm

"Originally termed enteroendrocrine cells because of their ability to secrete hormones, specialized neuropod cells can communicate with neurons via rapid synaptic connections and are distributed throughout the lining of the upper gut. In addition to producing relatively slow-acting hormone signals, the Bohórquez research team has shown that these cells also produce fast-acting neurotransmitter signals that reach the vagus nerve and then the brain within milliseconds."

The research was about sensing sugar, but maybe some of these these cells respond to glutamate too. It's the kind of thing I envisioned as "some other mechanism that produces an extreme response to small amounts of glutamine somewhere in the body."

My suggested skin patch experiment might support it, assuming that glutamine will reach the bloodstream from skin absorption. Another experiment would be small amounts of glutamine in the mouth, then thoroughly rinsed out.

This doesn't suggest a treatment, but research into how it works might lead to one.