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- Why glutamine is good for you
- Important glutamine facts
- Groups at risk of glutamine deficiency
- Symptoms of glutamine deficiency
- Glutamine and health
- Glutamine in foods
- Glutamine recommended daily intake (RDI)
- Glutamine works best with
- Overdosage, toxicity and cautions for glutamine
Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid and is found in large amounts in the muscles of the body. Since Glutamine passes easily through the blood-brain barrier, it is also known as an excellent brain fuel.
Glutamine is converted to glutamic acid in the brain, which is essential for proper brain function, and increases the amount of GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid), which is required for brain functioning and mental activity. Glutamine is a source of fuel for cells lining the intestines and it is also used by white blood cells, so is important for immune function.
- Glutamine is the most abundant free amino acid found in the bloodstream and the muscles of the body
- Glutamine is used in the muscles for the synthesis of muscle proteins, and is of used to treat muscle wasting that occurs after illness or post-operative care
- Glutamine is also used in the body to balance the acid/alkaline level
- Glutamine is part of the building blocks of RNA and DNA
- Glutamine decreases the craving for sweets and sugar, which is beneficial to people wishing to lose weight
- L-glutamine supplements more closely resemble the glutamine in the body than D-glutamine supplements
Deficiency is rare, but can occur in the following individuals:
- People on low protein diets - people who are not eating enough protein foods may not get enough glutamine in their diet
- Vegans / vegetarian - people who are on a strict vegetarian diet may suffer from a glutamine deficiency if their diet is deficient in protein
- Weight loss associated with terminal illness - can reduce the levels of glutamine in the body
People in these groups at risk of glutamine deficiency should talk to a medical professional about glutamine supplementation BEFORE trying it.
No information given.
- Alcoholics – glutamine supplements have been recommended for preventing debilitating effects of alcohol on the brain and to reducing alcohol cravings - a finding supported in clinical trials
- Crohn's disease - people with stomach problems associated with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis may theoretically benefit from glutamine - more clinical studies are required to prove this
- Ulcers - preliminary studies have shown that supplements of glutamine may protect against aspirin-induced gastric lesions and enhance healing of painful peptic ulcers
Talk to a medical professional about glutamine supplements BEFORE taking them
Many plant and animal substances contain glutamine, but it is easily destroyed by cooking. If eaten raw, spinach and parsley are good sources. Other glutamine-rich sources are:
|RDA||No information available|
|TOLERABLE UPPER LIMIT||500-3000mg|
|TOXIC LEVELS||No information available|
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
- Vitamin H (Folic Acid)
- Aspartic Acid
Glutamine should not be taken by the following groups:
- people with cirrhosis of the liver
- people with kidney problems
- patients with Reye's syndrome, or any type of disorder that can result in an accumulation of ammonia in the blood.
For the above groups, taking supplemental glutamine may only cause further damage to the body.
- Osiecki H, Meeke F, Smith J, The Encyclopaedia of Clinical Nutrition - Volume 1: The Nervous System, BioConceps Publishing QLD 2004