Psychoactive Probiotics! – 2024 Update for Glutamate

While Glutamate is not usually associated with being Psychoactive, it plays an important role

Excessive GABA may be associated with Huntington’s disease, epilepsy, and certain types of encephalopathies. Insufficient GABA may be associated with Anxiety Disorders, Epilepsy, Sleep Disorders, Mood Disorders, Substance Use Disorders, Movement Disorders, Neuropathic Pain and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Excessive Dopamine may be associated with: Mania or Hypomania, Psychosis, Substance Use Disorders, Hyperactivity and Impulsivity, Tics and Tourette Syndrome, Sleep Disorders, Huntington’s Disease and Excessive Reward Seeking Behavior. Insufficient dopamine may be associated with: Parkinson’s Disease, Depression, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Drug Addiction and Substance Use Disorders, Restless Legs Syndrome, Schizophrenia and Huntington’s Disease.

Excessive Glutamate may be associated with: Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Neurodegenerative Diseases, Epilepsy, Migraine, Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE), Schizophrenia, Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder and Trauma and Neuroinflammation. Insufficient Glutamate may be associated with Cognitive Impairment and Memory Disorders, Depression, Schizophrenia, Pain Disorders, Huntington’s Disease, Epilepsy, Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Sleep Disorders.

From Basolateral amygdala and stress-induced hyperexcitability affect motivated behaviors and addiction [2017]

Dietary Sources:

  • Protein-Rich Foods: Glutamate is naturally present in protein-containing foods. Foods high in protein, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products (especially aged cheeses), and legumes, contain significant amounts of glutamate.
  • Fermented Foods: Fermented foods contain glutamate due to the fermentation process, during which glutamate-producing bacteria break down proteins into amino acids. Examples include soy sauce, miso, tempeh, fermented vegetables (e.g., sauerkraut, kimchi), fermented dairy products (e.g., yogurt), and aged cheeses (e.g., Parmesan, Roquefort).
  • Seaweed: Certain types of seaweed, such as kombu (kelp), nori, and wakame, are rich sources of glutamate.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes and tomato-based products (e.g., tomato sauce, tomato paste) contain glutamate, contributing to their savory flavor.
  • Mushrooms: Some varieties of mushrooms, such as shiitake mushrooms, are naturally high in glutamate.


From Chat-GPT:

  • Lactobacillus species: Various species within the Lactobacillus genus are known to produce glutamate during fermentation. Examples include Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Lactobacillus fermentum. These bacteria are commonly used in the fermentation of foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, and certain dairy products.
  • Bacillus subtilis: Bacillus subtilis is a Gram-positive bacterium known for its ability to produce glutamate. It is used in the fermentation of soybeans to produce traditional Japanese seasonings such as miso and soy sauce.
  • Corynebacterium glutamicum: This bacterium is widely used in industrial fermentation for the large-scale production of glutamate and glutamate-derived compounds. Corynebacterium glutamicum is a key organism in the production of monosodium glutamate (MSG), a food additive used to enhance flavor.
  • Streptococcus species: Some species of Streptococcus bacteria are capable of producing glutamate during fermentation. Streptococcus thermophilus, for example, is commonly used in the fermentation of yogurt and certain cheeses.
  • Propionibacterium freudenreichii: This bacterium is involved in the fermentation of Swiss cheese, where it produces various flavor compounds, including glutamate.