But you really can’t discuss glutamate without mentioning GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), another abundant neurotransmitter.
Glutamate is the main excitatory and GABA the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian cortex.1 As such, they have a complex, homeostatic relationship that brings balance to the level of brain activity.
Glutamate and GABA are integrally related in both form and function. Inhibitory neurotransmitters decrease the likelihood that a nerve impulse will fire; GABA normally inhibits brain activity, enabling you to relax.
Thus, when you’re low in GABA, your mind can essentially get stuck in the “on” position and you’ll find yourself anxious, overstimulated, and overwhelmed. This is not something only distinct to neurological conditions – everyone carries these neurotransmitters in their system and is subject to effects from unregulated levels.
Reducing glutamate naturally.
A number of studies have shown the positive impacts of nutraceuticals as part of an integrative medicine protocol in suppressing neurotoxic mechanisms.2
Recommended supplements: (maybe this could be a chart-type image?)
Beyond supplements, which should always be part of and not a substitute for a healthy lifestyle, you should also consider the benefits of:
For a list of foods to avoid see: https://www.webmd.com/diet/high-glutamate-foods#2
It’s important to remember that while controlling glutamate levels is important to brain health, always seek the advice of a physician before adding or changing any of your supplements especially if you are taking prescribed medications to treat a particular disorder. And let us know if we can provide additional information or schedule an appointment to discuss your individual concerns. We are here to help!
In hope and healing,
Dr. Suzanne Gazda
To better understand the science behind glutamate and our brain, see: https://www.suzannegazdamd.com/scientifically-speaking1/is-there-support-for-the-efficacy-of-memantine-in-ms
1 Petroff O. A. (2002). GABA and glutamate in the human brain. The Neuroscientist : a review journal bringing neurobiology, neurology and psychiatry, 8(6), 562–573. https://doi.org/10.1177/1073858402238515
2 Blaylock, R. L., & Maroon, J. (2012). Natural plant products and extracts that reduce immunoexcitotoxicity-associated neurodegeneration and promote repair within the central nervous system. Surgical neurology international, 3, 19. https://doi.org/10.4103/2152-7806.92935. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3307240/