Using Red Clover to Reduce Glutamate.


The isoflavones in red clover up regulate GOT which reduces the level of glutamate in the brain.

This is (unlike most of my suggestions!) a VERY affordable way to attempt to reduce glutamate levels with a bottle of 30 going for less than $10 on Amazon.

It might also be helpful for women in peri- and menopause. Not surprisingly, both estrogen and progesterone also help to lower glutamate levels. When they are low, glutamate can become even more problematic. It probably explains at least partially why women are more susceptible to these type of diseases.

Phytomedicine. 2008 Sep;15(9):676-82. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2008.04.007. Epub 2008 Jun 6.
The phytoestrogenic isoflavones from Trifolium pratense L. (Red clover) protects human cortical neurons from glutamate toxicity.

Occhiuto F1, Zangla G, Samperi S, Palumbo DR, Pino A, De Pasquale R, Circosta C.
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The endogenous steroid estrogen has been shown to affect neuronal growth, differentiation and survival. Genistein, daidzein and other isoflavones have been shown to mimic the pharmacological actions of the gonadal steroid estrogen with which they have structural similarities. Several studies have looked at the effect of isoflavones in the brain.

In the present study, human cortical cell line HCN 1-A maintained in culture was used to test the neuroprotective efficacy of a natural mixture of phytoestrogenic isoflavones (genistein, daidzein, biochanin A and formononetin) from Red clover against glutamate toxicity.

Neuronal viability was determined by MTT or trypan blue test and neuronal membrane damage was quantitatively measured by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH).

The results obtained indicate that exposure of HCN 1-A cell cultures to glutamate resulted in concentration-dependent decreases in neuron viability. Concentration of glutamate ranging from 0.01 to 5 mM was toxic to these cultures. A 24-h pretreatment with 0.5, 1 and 2 microg/ml isoflavones enriched fraction (IEF) significantly increased cell survival and significantly decreased cellular lactate dehydrogenase release from differentiated cortical neurons, indicating that neurons treated with isoflavones were protected from the cell death induced by glutamate exposure. Moreover, the pretreatment with IEF prevented the morphological disruption caused by glutamate as shown by microscopical inspection.

These findings indicate that IEF has a neuroprotective effect in human cortical neurons and that this effect might be resulted from his antioxidant and estrogenic actions.



[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Well-Known Member
I started using Red Clover after my hysterectomy when I wasn't allowed to use estrogen. It helped me through some horrible instant menopause symptoms at a young age. It also is supposed to help keep bone density good. I had a functional medicine doc at Mayo help me come up with it. I couldn't use black cohosh or soy.

I didn't know it helped glutamate, but it for sure calmed down things when hot flashes hit. It made them less intense. All my friends who have tried it have found it helpful. You may have to use as many as 4 pills at a time.


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