Both are amino acids. In general amino acids are critical to life. They are the building blocks of proteins, which are nothing more than linear chains of amino acids. Twenty-two amino acids form the polypeptides that are known as the “essential” and “nonessential” amino acids. The essential amino acids cannot be created from other compounds but must be taken in as food by humans.
Glutamic Acid, which is the most abundant amino acid in the body, provides many health benefits in it’s naturally occurring state including:
- Increasing Protein synthesis which is needed for muscle development
- Increasing nitrogen retention
- Decreasing muscle breakdown
- Enhancing immune functions
Protein also plays a critical role in metabolism, in that it helps to keep blood sugar levels stable. This is particularly important for weight management, as erratic blood sugar levels can lead to weight gain, metabolic syndrome, and Type II Diabetes.
Aspartate is a metabolite that participates in gluconeogenesis, a process that results in the generation of glucose (blood sugar) from non-carbohydrates. It is one of the two main mechanisms humans have for keeping blood sugar levels from dropping too low (hypoglycemia). Gluconeogenesis occurs during periods of fasting, starvation, low-carbohydrate dieting and/or intense exercise. At these times it is needed to restore blood sugar levels.
Like so many other health-promoting components of nature, when Glutamic and Aspartic Acids are genetically modified, by separating and isolating them from their natural state, and then subjecting them to various chemical and heating processes, they become toxic. (For detailed information on this topic, read my other blog posts: Baby Formula: MSG, Excitatory Neurotoxins & HFCS!!!, Regulating Our Glutamate Intake, and An Intro to MSG: The Nutritional Truth. In this genetically modified form they become MSG and Aspartame or Splenda respectively.
Peptide Guide – What are Amino Acids? Properties, Types, Benefits (http://www.peptideguide.com/amino-acids/)
The Medical Biochemistry Page – Gluconeogenesis: Synthesis of New Glucose (http://themedicalbiochemistrypage.org/gluconeogenesis.html
Livestrong – Glutamic Acid (http://www.livestrong.com/glutamic-acid/)
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