- Powerful amino acid supports intestinal and digestive health.
- Helps maintain healthy brain function, heart health, and muscle mass.
- Promotes healthy metabolism and detoxifies the liver.
- Supports overall immune function and cell health.
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid (building block of protein) in the body. While Glutamine is technically considered a non-essential amino acid (meaning the body can produce it under normal circumstances), its recently been reclassified as a conditionally-essential amino acid, meaning the body has proven to need extra glutamine to cope with inflammation and stress.
Its easy to understand why glutamine is essential when you review its many vital functions. Glutamine supports brain function, intestinal health, digestion, lean muscle mass, tissue health , and elimination of toxins in the body. Sound like a lot? Theres more. Glutamine is also the chief fuel source for immune cells (like macrophages and lymphocytes) and also for the cells that line the intestines and help regulate healthy pH balance.
By maintaining healthy immune cell function, glutamine is an all-star amino acid for the immune system. As the chief fuel source, glutamine protects and enables immune cells to multiply and fight bad guys more effectively.
Glutamine handily helps increase glutathione reserves, which in turn promotes healthy metabolism and liver function. Glutamine specifically operates as a nitrogen transport, converting excess ammonia to harmless urea.
Skeletal muscle, or the muscle all along the bones that allows for movement, contains 60 percent of the bodys total glutamine stores and is responsible for distributing glutamine to the rest of the body. Since glutamine is extracted from muscles rapidly during exercise to fuel cells, keeping a high supply of glutamine in the muscles during and after exercise or other physical stresses helps to maintain muscle rejuvenation. Glutamine also supports the body in synthesizing protein and building muscle mass. This is particularly helpful for aging muscles!
Muscles may store the most glutamine, but the gastrointestinal tract uses the most Glutamine on a daily basis. Glutamine supports healthy intestinal function, supports a healthy lining the intestines, and promotes overall gut health and immune function. Irritation of the gut by stress, unhealthy foods, prescription drugs, and unfriendly organisms can make for what is now known as a leaky gut. Leaky gut allows large food molecules to cross from the intestine into the bloodstream. These undigested molecules provoke immune system attacks, leading to further food allergies and even autoimmune disease.
Glutamine has proven helpful in supporting overall stomach health. One study conducted by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found glutamine significantly helpful in maintaining healthy gastric function. The same research team has also shown that glutamine promotes over all cell health and stimulates detoxification.
- Glutamine should be taken with cold or room tempurature liquids.
- Heat destroys glutamine, so do not add it to hot liquids or foods that will be cooked.
- Those with kidney disease, liver disease, or Reye syndrome should not take Glutamine.
- Though glutamine is generally regarded as safe (GRAS), there are a few disorders and sensitivities currently up for debate that may interact negatively with glutamine. Here are some debated interactions to consider:
- Because glutamine can be metabolized to ammonia, taking glutamine supplements may worsen hepatic encephalopathy, a condition which adversely affects brain function and is caused by various liver disorders. For this same reason, glutamine may also antagonize the anti-ammonia effects of lactulose, which is used to treat constipation and some liver diseases.
- Due to its nature as a precursor of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, glutamine may negatively affect people with mania, hypomania, and/or bipolar disorder. In addition, glutamine may lower the seizure threshold for some.
- Members who are sensitive to monosodium glutamate (MSG) may want to avoid taking glutamine, as glutamine can be converted to glutamate in the body.
- Those taking epilepsy medications should be advised that glutamine may antagonize the anticonvulsant effects of such medications.