In the supplement world, there are some people in the know (looking at you, calcium) and others, like glutamine, you may have heard of, but kinda-Sorta has no idea what they are. L-glutamine benefits such as immune health and voice healing are very attractive, but what is it?
First, you should know that glutamine is the supplement form of glutamine, which is the most abundant amino acid in your body. “Amino acids are what people often call the building blocks of the body because they are components of proteins that the body uses to build muscle, bone, and tissue,” he explains. Stacy J Stevensonfunctional medicine expert and author Vibrant Program: A Pioneering Program for Energy Access, Own your health and glow. Amino acids also help with a range of biochemical processes in your body, such as the functioning of the immune system, the brain, and digestion.
Most of the glutamine is stored in the muscles, followed by the lungs where much of this amino acid is made, according to Mount Sinai. Glutamine is a nonessential amino acid because “our body naturally makes it on its own,” he says Keri GanzRD, author small change diet. However, you can get glutamine from some foods, including chicken, fish, cabbage, spinach, dairy products, tofu, lentils, beans, nuts, and mushrooms, he says. Dana Ellis Hoeness, Ph.D., Master of Public Health, RD, Assistant Professor at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health and author A recipe for survival: What you can do to live a healthier, greener life.
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Yes, you can take glutamine if you want an extra boost of this nutrient, especially if you have a condition that lowers its levels such as injuries, inflammation, and chronic stress. “In medical care settings, it’s also used in patients with burns — it helps burns heal faster, Hoeness says. “We also use it in critically ill patients in the intensive care unit, as it has been shown to reduce complications.”
Interested in taking glutamine? Here’s what you need to know, including all the benefits you can get, the potential risks, and how to choose the best glutamine supplement.
Meet the experts: Keri Gans, RD, is the author of small change dietA book about making small adjustments in your life that will ultimately lead to long-term success.
Dana Ellis Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, is an inpatient clinical dietitian at RR-UCLA Medical Center with more than 10 years of experience and an assistant professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
Stacy Stevenson is a chiropractor and functional medicine expert.
What are the benefits of glutamine?
L-glutamine is used for a large number of different reasons. These are the main benefits.
It can help in wound healing.
This is important and is one of the “key benefits” of supplementation, Gans says. The way this works is a bit complicated, but basically when you have an injury, a burn or a surgical procedure, your body release The stress hormone cortisol. High levels of cortisol work against the body’s supply of glutamine.
Search Show that adding glutamine to a feeding tube in shock and critically ill patients reduces the risk of death. It has also been found to help people with severe burns recover faster, in 2019 review in the magazine Nutrition in clinical practice.
It may promote gut health.
L-glutamine may help support the gut microbiome and modulate inflammation, according to 2021 revision in Food science and human health. “It appears to help strengthen the intestinal wall, which may help with gut leaks and improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome,” Stephenson says.
May support immune health.
Glutamine is considered immune system fuel. While glucose is the main source of energy for your body, immune system cells such as lymphocytes and neutrophils use glutamine at a similar or higher rate as glucose.
“Because of its effective contribution to immune function, glutamine is a good supplement for anyone who is immunocompromised,” Stephenson says. It is often recommended as part of a Clinical Nutrition Supplement Program For people with weakened immunity.”
It appears to help fight extreme weight loss.
There have been several studies of people with HIV or AIDS who experienced severe weight loss due to their disease and took glutamine (along with other nutrients such as vitamins C and E). Search It was found that the supplement may help with weight gain and help the intestines better absorb nutrients.
May aid muscle recovery.
L-Glutamine was Lesson As a dietary supplement for athletes suffering from fatigue. “He showed some hope for recovery and performance,” Stephenson says.
but, 2019 review in the magazine Clinical Nutrition It was concluded that glutamine supplementation had no effect on athletes’ immune health, athletic performance, or body composition. More research is needed to find out what glutamine can do in this area.
It can resist the effects of stress.
“If you are under a lot of stress, including physical stress such as injury or illness, or intense physical work and emotional stress, your body may not be producing enough glutamine,” Stephenson says. “This in turn can affect your immunity, so it can be a valuable supplement for stress – it may help you feel better able to handle stress, and also help you avoid getting sick from the immune-suppressing effects of severe stress.”
a 2020 Nutrients study It found that taking a glutamine supplement may help protect against mild cognitive impairment caused by chronic stress. But it was done on mice, so more research is needed to see if it would do the same for humans.
Does glutamine cause any side effects?
In general, L-Glutamine is a “very safe” supplement, Hunnes says. However, she says, there is a chance that the following side effects may occur:
Keep in mind, according to Hunnes, that people with liver disease should not use l-glutamine because it can cause an altered mental state in these patients. “Also, it’s not recommended for people with bipolar disorder, people who are sensitive to MSG (monosodium glutamate), or those with seizure disorders — this can increase the likelihood of seizures,” she says.
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The jury is still out on whether glutamine is safe for cancer patients. While it may increase efficacy and Reduce the side effects of chemotherapy Such as gastroenteritis and diarrhea in people with colon cancerAnd the Research It also showed that glutamine may stimulate the growth of tumors. Therefore, cancer patients and those receiving chemotherapy should not add supplements without first consulting their physician.
How Much Glutamine Should You Take?
The suggested maximum dose is 40 grams per day, according to Hon. This dose, she adds, is “usually for people with burn, trauma, or surgical recovery needs.”
You can find glutamine in the following foods.
- pork meat
- raw parsley
- raw spinach
- Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, ricotta cheese and cottage cheese
How to choose an L-glutamine supplement?
Experts say that l-glutamine is not thought to be beneficial for healthy people. “It’s not dangerous per se, but it hasn’t shown any particular benefit over a healthy diet,” Hunnes says.
However, if you think you can use it, Stevenson recommends looking for a supplement that contains “l-glutamine” rather than “glutamine” just to make sure you’re getting the right shape. Remember: Dietary supplements are not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. “I always recommend going with a company you trust that uses third-party verification to monitor quality and purity,” she says.
L-glutamine supplements come in the form of powders, capsules, tablets, or liquids. Be careful not to add glutamine powders to hot drinks because heat destroys the amino acids. As always, check with your healthcare provider before starting a supplement to make sure it is safe and will not interact with any medications or supplements you have on hand.
Corinne Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual and relationship health, and lifestyle trends, with work emerging in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more. She earned her master’s degree from American University, lives on the beach, and hopes to own a cup of tea and a taco truck one day.
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