International Scientific Vocabulary gluten + amino + -ic
First Known Use: 1871
Medical Definition of GLUTAMIC ACID
: a crystalline amino acid C5H9NO4 that is widely distributed in plant and animal proteins and that acts throughout the central nervous system especially in the form of a salt or ester as a neurotransmitter which excites postsynaptic neurons—abbreviation Glu
One of the nonessential amino acids, closely related to glutamine. The two constitute a substantial fraction of the amino acids in many proteins (10–20% in many cases and up to 45% in some plant proteins). An important metabolic intermediate as well as a neurotransmitter molecule in the central nervous system, glutamic acid finds uses in medicine and biochemical research. Its sodium salt is the food flavour enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG).