Why I take L-glutamine…………..

by lydia on June 17, 2010

Glutamine is the most abundant naturally occuring, non-essential amino acid in the human body and one of the few amino acids that directly cross the blood-brain barrier. In the body, it is found circulating in the blood as well as stored in the skeletal muscles. It becomes conditionally essential (requiring intake from food or supplements) in states of illness or injury.
In recent studies, glutamine-enriched diets have been linked with intestinal effects including maintenance of gut barrier function and cell differentiation. This may relate to the fact that the intestinal extraction rate of glutamine is higher than that for other amino acids, and is therefore thought to be the most viable option when attempting to alleviate conditions relating to the gastrointestinal tract. These conditions were discovered after comparing plasma concentration within the gut between glutamine-enriched and non-glutamine-enriched diets.’ (source)
If you have been following my blog, especially of late, I have been discussing healthy guts. I have been on my own journey this past year to heal my gut. Including real nourishing foods, ditching processed foods, making homemade mineral-rich soothing bone broths, consuming fermented foods, and removing gluten and grains. Along the way I read through the book, ‘Dangerous Grains; Why gluten cereal grains may be hazardous to your health’, by James Braly, M.D. In it I read some information that confirms what I have already shared, but takes it a little further.
L-glutamine, the most abundant amino acid in the blood, brain, and skeletal muscle, is a tasteless, nontoxic, conditionally essential amino acid that appears to be showing promise in the treatment of celiac disease. Research demonstrates that glutamine is the primary fuel for the lining of the small intestine and immune system.
When given in therapeutic doses (9-20 grams a day in divided doses), it also releases growth hormone and increases the production of a powerful, detoxifying, antioxidant enzyme called glutathione peroxidase. Glutamine also seems to protect the intestinal lining from the destructive action of alcohol, NSAIDS, and aspirin. It has been reported that glutamine is now the most popular anti-ulcer medication in Asia because it heals and helps prevent peptic ulcers. In a recent study in Japan, 92 percent of ulcer patients given 1,600 milligrams of glutamine a day showed complete healing of duodenal and peptic ulcers in four weeks. It is also currently being administered intravenously to patients for receiving major abdominal and bone marrow surgery, therapy for third degree burns, and chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer.
From our perspective, the single most promising benefits of glutamine is that, when inclueded in the diet, it may prevent and reverse villous atrophy, a leaky gut, and the malabsorption of nutrients so commonly seen in celiac disease and Crohn’s disease.
We would conjecture that glutamine’s primary value will not be to substitute a gluten-free diet, but to help accelerate healing when initially going off gluten and to lessen intestinal inflammation when gluten is inadvertently or intentionally reintroduced back into the diet.’
This was encouraging to me, because I have felt that my gut healing has been steady but slow. I am happy to have this in my arsenal of supplements to continue to heal my gut from years of gluten addiction, stress and antibiotics on and off. So this is the primary reason I am taking it, to help heal my gut. In her book, ‘Primal Body, Primal Mind’, Nora Gedgaudas also mentions a few helpful tidbits about the use of l-glutamine as well.  First, she basically states that in the case of wanting to take HCL supplementation to help with ulcers, gastritis or a current, acute reflux problem, you should first focus on healing the inflamed gastric and esophageal tissues, and taking l-glutamine would be of great benefit, prior to use of HCL. This was helpful to me, because I was taking HCL and apple cider vinegar with only small noticeable changes. It was good to know that maybe my approach wasn’t the best. Now I did’t have ulcers or extreme gastric issues, but they were significant enough that I was pretty regularly irritated by them.
Knowing that l-glutamine is the primary food for enterocytes (the cells of the small intestine), is helpful too, as the small intestine is where the nutrients get absorbed and if it is in disrepair due to the many factors I have already mentioned, then this is a crucial issue to get resolved. It also helps to regenerate gastrointestinal mucosa, which is important if you have had any kind of food allergy.
Additionally, glutamine serves other important functions, let’s look at how it helps with cravings for carbs.
Glutamine is an amino acid that your brain can use as an emergency substitute fuel when you haven’t eaten recently or have been eating too many carbs and your blood sugar level is too low. This glucose stand-in stops the impulse to run to the candy machine when it’s low blood sugar time. This, of course, saves your adrenals from overworking. L-glutamine can stop carb cravings and get you feeling steady and even within ten minutes (less if you open a capsule and place the contents under your tongue). So if blood sugar swings cause your carb cravings, you can supplement with 500-1500 mg. on awakening, in the midmorning and midafternoon.‘ (source)
Glutamine is also widely use as a body builder’s supplement for muscle growth. Finally, it’s used as an aid for recovery after surgery. ‘It is also known that glutamine has various effects in reducing healing time after operations. Hospital – stay times after abdominal surgery can be reduced by providing parenteral nutrition regimes containing high amounts of glutamine to patients. Clinical trials have revealed that patients on supplementation regimes containing glutamine have improved nitrogen balance, generation of cysteinyl-leukotriennes from polymorphonuclear neutrophil granulocytes, and improved lymphocyte recovery and intestinal permeability (in postoperative patients), in comparison to those that had no glutamine within their dietary regime, all without any side-effect.’ (source)
So, all that shared and now what? Well, I am certainly not a medical professional, I am just a researcher, passionate to heal my own ailments. I share all of this in the hopes it may help someone study further for themselves on such issues and find some resolutions to unresolved issues. My personal hope is to use it for a short time and see how it helps my gut healing and then go off of it, continuing on with healthy real nourishing eating habits, namely avoiding foods I know irritate me and eating plenty of proteins chockful with these essential amino acids. Food sources of l-glutamine include; beef, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, dairy products, and even trace amounts are found in fermented foods. As for the supplement, I just picked up a bottle of the powder form by Now, and take a teaspoon at a time letting it dissolve under my tongue. It actually tastes slightly sweet and is not gross at all.
(*Note* if you have manic depression/bipolar disorder do not use l-glutamine. If you currently have cancer, talk to your doctor first before supplementing with l-glutamine.)

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

jul June 17, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Why, I believe I'll have to pick some of that stuff up! I've read recently about some of the benefits of supplementing with it in my weight training mag but your article was far more informative.

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Vicki Rusich June 22, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Really enjoyed this post.Thanks Again. Really Great.

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Lydia June 22, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Cool Jul!! ;)

Oh so glad you enjoyed the post Vicki!!! Thanks for letting me know!!

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Gary August 12, 2010 at 10:16 pm

How is the glutamine supplementation going? Did it heal your ailments?

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Mauro Daloia August 17, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Good job!

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lynn August 19, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Tried glutamine in the past for intestinal healtin, but reacted by falling asleep. Dont know if it was the brand of supplement or turn it into excess GABA or glutamate. Also learned some supplements are made from wheat and that might effects results. Found some without wheat source.
researched into conutrients , from website”THE WAY UP” I think it was called by Dr Slagle, lists some B vites helpful. She has an ebook on her website. It seems to be helping me this time.

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Lydia August 20, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Hi Lynn!
I did not experience sleepiness from taking L-glutamine. Good to know that some of these can contain wheat – that sure would make it less effective. Thanks for sharing your resources and experience!!

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Jenny November 17, 2010 at 9:29 am

This is such a good useful resource that you’ll be supplying and you provide it away for totally free. I really enjoy visiting internet sites that recognize the worth of giving a good quality resource for free.

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Jenny January 20, 2011 at 9:07 am

Hey, i¡¯m mostly an avid reader of magazines but every now and then I like to sit by my laptop and browse some quality blogs for interesting information. Thanks for making my sandwich and cup of coffee that more pleasant!

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Lynn January 22, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Still take the lGlutamine sometimes. Seem to react sometimes as though immune.
So if having pain like ate food that hurt intestines then will try the glutamine.
WIll also try for carb crave and see if that helps.
Thanks

Lynn D

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Parra February 8, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Lydia great research! I’m impressed and learned a thing or two I did not know about L-glutamine. I have something to tell you, l-glutamine can come in various blends of “nutritions”. Micronized L-glutamine is easier and quicker for your body to use. Also, Japan makes the best form of PURE L-GLUTAMINE, Japan seems to have some kind of pharmacutical edge on this substance, if you have ever seen some l-glutamine brands they say “Japanese”on it, and also “100%Pure” and “micronized”. This is what you need to look for.

Parra,

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Bharata February 11, 2011 at 1:10 am

Is this a typo?

“From our perspective, the single most promising benefits of glutamine is that, when removed from the diet, it may prevent and reverse villous atrophy, a leaky gut, and the malabsorption of nutrients so commonly seen in celiac disease and Crohn’s disease.”

Do you mean to say, “when included in the diet”?

I hope so…

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lydia February 11, 2011 at 8:16 am

yes it sure is a typo, thanks for pointing it out!! fixing it now!

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Darko Tomich January 3, 2013 at 7:16 am

i dont know much about the science of it, but so far the glutamine i’ve tried, i didn’t see any of the results/affects of it. thought it would boost my immune system, i got sick a couple times while taking it. i didn’t recover any faster than normally, and didn’t see any out of the ordinary gains. most protien sups have 4-5 grams of glutamine in them, so why buy extra? the answers a no for me.

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Rose January 16, 2013 at 6:23 am

I recently read about l-glutamine and it’s healing affects on the GI tract. I have psoriasis and feel that it is from my gut being too permeable. I have tried every natural treatment that has helped other people, but none have helped me so far. I just ordered it in powder form, and will be trying it as soon as it arrives.

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Angel April 2, 2014 at 12:49 am

Hi Rose,

It’s crazy but my situation is fairly similar to yours! I also have GI issues and along with that I am also battling psoriasis as well. I have tried several different remedies for both issues and have had no luck. How did the glutamine work for you?

Recently, I started researching glutamine and the benefits it may offer those with GI issues such as IBS, gastritis, etc. I actually just started a powdered-form supplement from GNC called GNC Preventative Nutrition- Healthy Digestion Formula. It has a good amount of glutamine in it as well as pro/prebiotics. Unfortunately, I currently have nothing to report on it because I just recently started it yesterday.

Send good wishes your way in hopes that you have found something that has worked for you.

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Ashley February 14, 2013 at 8:07 pm

This was a well-thought article. Thank you! I wanted to suggest – and maybe you’re already doing this, as I see the date on this article – spacing your paragraphs out more frequently.

It’s difficult on the eyes/brain to read long chunks of paragraphs, especially online.

Thanks again for sharing your journey!

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Varun Singh July 15, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Very informative. I had ordered L-Glutamine a few days ago and received it just today. Reading your article has raised my expectations from it.

Thanks

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Becky August 11, 2013 at 8:24 am

I have been reading about L-Glutamine to heal my gut. I too have Celiac and although I feel much better, my digestive tract is still not normal.

I have been taking the powder form and try really hard to take it on an empty stomach. Those who have not experienced good results might need to try this. My question is, does it need to be taken 1 hour before meals, or 30 minutes? How long after a meal is it considered an empty stomach?

Are you still taking it? How long before you felt your gut was healed?

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Jessica September 19, 2013 at 10:45 pm

Thank you for sharing your information. I found it very informative. My doctor prescribed Fresh Air Fare brand glutamine powder 3 times a day when she recommended I also go gluten free. It worked fantastically for me. I still use it on occasion when I’ve been glutened. Or drained from a work out. I now plan to use it as a recovery tool after an upcoming surgery. Actually I think I’ll go ahead and start early. It sure won’t hurt anything. :)

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Marta March 2, 2014 at 9:49 pm

Is this safe to take while breastfeeding?

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FaerieDogMother May 20, 2014 at 4:55 am

Hi, I too research and have become confused about the quality of this supplement. Some are made from human hair, some from GMO soy. Some are fermented, some synthetic, some have fillers/additives or are victims of impure processing and hence, toxins/chemicals. The question remains – what is the best type and brand(s) for the healthiest and most absorbable L-glutamine available? Have you done any more reading on this?
Below is link one brand that seems to hit all the right spots. Their verbage is this: AjiPure™ L-glutamine is 100% vegetable based and naturally fermented. This is not cheap synthetic glutamine or the kind fermented from human hair. Many other cheaper brands claim they have pharmaceutical quality glutamine, but it is most likely the cheaper synthetic kind so that they can increase their profits. Kosher, Vegetarian, Hypoallergenic, Non- GMO, Gluten Free, BSE/TSE Free. Suitable for vegetarians.

LINK: http://www.rxwhey.com/ajipure-l-glutamine-powder/

NUTRABIO is another brand that looked ok to me.

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FaerieDogMother May 20, 2014 at 4:56 am

Here’s my link for healthy pets naturally: http://www.HealMyPet.com

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kevin July 19, 2014 at 1:18 pm

Hello

Please advise if I can use l-glutamine capsules by solgar and does it causes any side effects

Can it be taken with antidepressant like venlafaxine?

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