The neurotransmitter section of the Nutrition Genome Report looks at the GAD1 gene and other genes connected to probiotics, B6, B2, taurine, magnesium, lithium, choline, vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D and progesterone (for women) for glutamate levels. The GAD1 gene is connected to the conversion of excess glutamate to GABA. People who have numerous gene variants in GAD1 and other genes may have a slower conversion of glutamate to GABA, and therefore may be more susceptible to the neurodegenerative damage from excess glutamate depending on other glutamate related genes.

Glutamate is excitatory while GABA is calming. In the right amounts, glutamate helps focus, cognitive function, and productivity. Too much, however, can be damaging. If your mind is racing at night and it keeps you from sleeping or you have had too much coffee, you have experienced high glutamate and low GABA. The reason that sugar and caffeine addiction is so high for many people is due to the excitatory feeling of glutamate, and at healthy levels, it can increase learning, cognition, and memory (think coffee while working or studying). However, glutamate levels that are too high with low amounts of GABA and B6 are excitatory to cells, leading to digestive and neurodegenerative disorders. There is also a potentially higher chance of anxiety/panic attacks from antibiotics if FUT2 gene function is compromised.

There are numerous glutamate receptors in all organs and tissues. The entire GI tract, from the esophagus to the colon, has numerous glutamate receptors. The entire electrical conducting system of the heart is replete with glutamate receptors. The lungs, the ovaries, all the reproductive systems and sperm itself, adrenal glands, bones and even calcification are all controlled by glutamate receptors. They act and operate exactly like the glutamate receptors in the brain. This is why glutamate has been linked to so many neurodegenerative disorders.

The diagram below shows you how women and men can become more susceptible to elevated glutamate levels and what you can do to lower it to help reduce the probability of neurodegenerative disease.

 

 

Sources

  1. Tourette’s Syndrome: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20625961
  2. ADHD and OCD: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4425334/
  3. ALS and Huntington’s Disease: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2842587/
  4. Heart Attack/Stroke: http://www.anaturalcure.com/stroke-heart-failure-blaylock-july-09-2/
  5. Seizures: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7970002
  6. Parkinson’s:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8732541
  7. Alzheimer’s Disease: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3481041/
  8. Estrogen, Progesterone and Glutamate: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20980684
  9. Low Estrogen and Alzheimer’s Disease: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3058507/
  10. Multiple Sclerosis: https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2009/04/4227/glutamate-identified-predictor-disease-
progression-multiple-sclerosis
  11. ADHD: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3966039/
  12. Hypertension. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3628354/
  13. Exercise and glutamate: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23377269
  14. Iron and copper high in air pollution: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3628354/