Fibromyalgia: glutamate and aspartame may increase pain

Glutamate and aspartame may enhance the action of the neurotransmitter glutamate

Glutamate and aspartame in the diet act as excitatory neurotransmitters. They can amplify pain signals transmitted by glutamate, the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter in the nervous system. (See Part 1. )

It is by acting on a glutamate receptor that aspartate aspartate promotes the transmission of the pain signal.

Glutamate and aspartate are in the diet in bound and free form .

The related forms include complete protein sources such as meat, which amino acids are released slowly into the circulation during the digestive process.

The free forms are in the diet as food additives (such as monosodium glutamate [MSG], hydrolyzed protein, isolates / concentrates protein, yeast extract, aspartame [a dipeptide phenylalanine and aspartate]) as well as in specific foods such as soy sauce, fish sauces and aged cheeses such as cheddar and parmesan cheese.

Results of a clinical trial of withdrawal and reintroduction

The researcher and her colleagues conducted a study, which we reported with 57 people with fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome that consisted of eliminating all sources of free forms of these amino acids (glutamate and aspartate) from the diet during a month. Thirty-seven of them maintained this diet for 4 weeks and 84% reported an improvement of more than 30% in their symptoms. Eight experienced a complete remission of all their symptoms.

With 37 participants who had an improvement of more than 30% in their symptoms, a randomized double-blind trial in which MSG or placebo was reintroduced was conducted. A significant return of symptoms with MSG suggests that the elimination of these food components was the reason for the relief of symptoms.

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