Glutamine, glutamate, and gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA are three essential amino acids for brain function. Together, these natural chemicals play numerous roles within the central nervous system, affecting everything from cell growth to mood.


1. Glutamate-Glutamine Cycle

To ensure an adequate supply of glutamate in the central nervous system, the body undergoes the glutamate-glutamine cycle. EAATs -- excitatory amino acid transporters -- remove glutamate from the synaptic gap, the divide between neurons that allows the transmission of impulses. The amino acids move into glial cells, which provide support and insulation between neurons. At that point, the enzyme glutamine synthetase converts glutamate to glutamine, which is then transferred back into neurons and converted to glutamate.

glutamine glutamate cycle theasis / Getty Images


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