Glutamate Chart

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Going to try to summarize here…

Protiens contain the amnio acid, glutamate. When glutamate is “bound” to the protein or in whole form, it is rarely problematic, even for those highly sensitive to glutamate.  Glutamate often becomes problematic when the proteins are degraded and glutamate is “freed” from the protein chain.  There are numerous ways in which these proteins can be degraded but often times it is commercial processing (acid hydrolysis, fermentation, high heat extraction, lysing, pasteurization, etc) that will ultimately result in free glutamate. This processing makes certain foods problematic for those more sensitive to glutamate and/or those with already high intrinsic glutamate levels (high levels of glutamate produced by the body in response to immune activation, infection, etc).  Side note: according to Dr. Blaylock, consumption of free glutamate can also trigger microglial activation, which can result in additional intrinsic glutamate. So in brief, those sensitive to free glutamate (like my son) may need to avoid any high protein food that has endured a substantial amount of protein degradation. The real problem with glutamate comes when it is in excess, especially when you have high levels of intrinsic glutamate produced by the body. However, determining what “excess” means for an individual can be challenging. For us, the “bucket” concept can be applied to our glutamate levels.  We may be able to tolerate small amounts (maybe a surge as a result of yeast or a surge from a loose tooth, etc) but we will see a behavioral reaction when the “bucket” tips or overflows (maybe from consuming a food with free glutamate, or an active infection, etc.).

So how do we navigate this? We have personally had to rely heavily on symptoms and behavioral reactions as an indication of overall glutamate/inflammation and exposure to dietary sources of glutamate. Without a lab, it is hard to know exactly how much free glutamate will be found in a particular product due to different types of processing and/or how much of the individual ingredient is added to the packaged food. The way that we have found to balance this, is by consuming a variety of whole real foods and strictly avoiding gluten, dairy, soy and to a lesser extent, corn as they contain roughly 25+% of free glutamate. The total amount of free glutamate estimated in a whole food diet will be substantially lower than that of one consuming processed food.  However, as mentioned above, when whole foods naturally containing some amount of free glutamate are altered or processed, it may result in excess free glutamate. For example, mushrooms and tomatoes (naturally contain about 0.1% free glutamate) – most people can tolerate these without any reaction, but if they have undergone a substantial amount of degradation, if one eats excess amounts, or if one has a substantial amount of underlying intrinsic glutamate, they may not be able to tolerate them. Items like dried mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, tomato paste, etc. are examples of whole foods that will contain higher amounts of free glutamate because of the protein degradation and may cause a reaction for some.

There is very little scientific evidence to back my chart below, but this is closely how we have personally viewed glutamate levels based on behavioral reactions with our son.  Disclaimer*** reactions will very much be based on individual sensitivity. Not all sources are listed below but I will work to make it as comprehensive as possible.

Heck NoNopeNot likelyWe are cautious not to go overboard with these due to glutamate content
Amino acid chelates (citrate, aspartate, glutamate)Malt extract (malt syrup)AgarDried mushroomsPeas
AnnattoMalt flavoring(s)Agar-AgarDried PeasMushrooms
Aspartame (excitotoxin)Malted anythingBeet SugarSundried tomatoTomatoes
Aspartate (excitotoxin)Malted barley flourChlorellaTomato pasteBeef (claimed to have the highest amount found in animal protein)
Aspartic acid (excitotoxin)Malted barley/barley maltLiquid AminosCocoa PowderTurkey
AttaMaltodextrinDulseCured Meat (clean meat + salt)Roasted Nuts
Autolyzed anythingMatzo, matzo mealEpicorSmoked Meat (clean meat +salt)White Rice
Autolyzed yeastMeat flavorings (chicken, beef etc.)SeaweedGluten Free Noodles (one ingredient)Coconut Flour
Autolyzed yeast extractMilk powder/reduced fat milkKelp/kelp mealProcessed CornAlmond Flour
Barley (flakes, flour, malt, pearl)Modified food starchMisoRaw DairyPaleo Flours
Beet concentrateMonosodium glutamate (E 621)MolassesApple Cider VinegarMaple Syrup
BouillonMonoammonium glutamate (E 624)NoriWine  (unknown ingredients)Walnuts
Breading (bread stuffing)Monopotassium glutamate (E 622)Potato FlakesChocolate LiquorBroccoli (we don’t avoid going overboard with this one but are aware that it has very low levels)
Brewers yeastNatrium glutamateSoyCoconut AminosHomemade Low Glutamate Broth  (glutamate in the liquid form will allow for higher sustained levels)
“Broth”Natural flavor(s)Sea VegetablesProtease Cacao Nibs/Cacao Powder
Brown rice syrupNatural flavoring(s)Spirulina, Spirulina Powder“Clean” luncheon meat (meat/salt) Fresh Organic Corn
BulgurNutrasweet/aspartameBeet PowderRosemary Extract Coconut Sugar
Calcium caseinateNutritional yeastJerky Arrowroot Flour Cured Olives
Calcium glutamate (E 623)OligodextrinFermented Grains Potato Starch  Cured Capers
Carrageenan E 407) (or vegetable gum)Pea proteinFish Sauce Canned Items Bee Pollen
CaseinPectin (E 440)Grain Alchohol Cream of Tarter Dried Fruit
CaseinatePlant protein extract 1-cysteineTapioca flour/starch  Cashews, pistachios, peanuts (claimed to have some of the highest levels)
Citrate (E 330) amino acid chelateProtein fortified Baking Powder  Beans
Citric acidProtein powder Extracts  Oats
Chicken/pork/beef “base”Protein solids Regular Bacon/Cured meat  
Chicken/pork/beef “flavoring”Rice syrup Citrate  
ConditionerRye bread and flour   
Corn processedSeasoned salt   
Corn starchSeasoning(s)   
CollagenSeaweed extract   
Corn syrupSeitan   
Dehydrated eggSemolina   
Dehydrated proteinSmoke flavoring(s)   
DextroseSodium caseinate   
Disodium caseinateSoup base   
Disodium guanylateSoy extract   
Disodium inosinateSoy lecithin   
Dough conditioner(s)Soy protein   
DurumSoy protein concentrate   
Egg powderSoy protein isolate   
EinkornSoy sauce   
EmmerSoy sauce extract   
EnrichedSpelt   
Enzyme modified/containing enzymesSpice(s) as an ingredient   
Splenda (excitotoxin)   
FarinaSpice mixes that contain glutamate or MSG as an ingredient   
Farro/faroStock   
Fermented SoySweetn’low (excitotoxin)   
Fermented protein(s) (grains, sea veggies, lentils, etc)Tamari   
FlavorsTangle extract   
Flavor enhancerTextured protein   
Fortified vitamins/nutrients FuTriticale   
GelatinTofu   
Glutamate (E 620)Ultra-pasteurized   
Glutamic acid (E 620)Umami   
GlutenVegetable gum   
Graham flourVetsin   
Guar gum (most all “gums”)Vital gluten   
Hydrolyzed anything*Vinegar (malt, balsamic, white, wine)   
Hydrolyzed oat flourVitamin enriched   
Hydrolyzed plant proteinWheat (bran, flour, germ, starch)   
Hydrolyzed proteinYeast or autolyzed yeast   
Hydrolyzed vegetable proteinYeast food   
Hydrolyzed wheat protein IsolatesYeast extract   
KamutYeast nutrient   
Kombu/kombu extractWhey protein   
Lipolyzed butter fatWhey protein concentrate Whey protein isolate   
Low-no fatXanthum Gum (most all “gums”)   
Magnesium glutamate (E 625)   

You may enjoy this 60 Minutes video from the early 1990’s on MSG in our our food supply: