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Jun 28th, 2011

Alertness & Memory – Part 2

Ammonia is created in the body by the breakdown of worn-out protein, a natural and continuous process of the body’s metabolism. Wherever protein is used – and that means everywhere in the body – ammonia is certain to be present.

The process your body employs to clear this ammonia is called the urea cycle – a metabolic pathway that converts ammonia to urea, which the body can harmlessly excrete in its urine. The first and most important stage of this pathway is the reaction of glutamic acid with ammonia. The two combine to produce the harmless chemical glutamic acid, much of the ammonia will remain unconverted. And the implications of this for the brain are frightening!

Come back tomorrow for part 3 – we’re heading somewhere!

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