Myths and Facts About L-Glutamine

It is a common belief that L-Glutamine is only useful as a health supplement for those involved in extreme physical activities, such as body builders and weight lifters.

What you may not know is that L-Glutamine also provides numerous health benefits, completely unrelated to building muscle mass or improving recovery time after exercise.

We all know that essential amino acids are the building blocks of the human body. Glutamine, or more commonly known as L-Glutamine, is one of the most abundant free amino acids needed by the body to continue repairing and creating healthier cells.

As L-Glutamine is only considered as a semi-essential amino acid, this means that the body will be able to generate its own supply of glutamine that it needs. However, there are situations wherein the body will be unable to produce sufficient or higher levels;  this is where supplementation may be a good option.

L-Glutamine is Essential For Gut Health

It serves as a source of energy for the cells that line the intestines.  It is involved in a lot more metabolic processes compared to the other amino acids.

Medical experts tell us that L-Glutamine is able to pass through what is referred to as the “protective blood-brain barrier”; this is why this amino acid is sometimes referred to as ‘brain fuel’.  Glutamine also helps the body to recover from ammonia toxicity.

L-Glutamine plays an important role in controlling and maintaining the amino acid balance in the human body when it is subjected to severe stress levels.  Studies have shown that L-Glutamine appears to be essential for the brain to function normally.  It is also utilized by  white blood cells, supporting and contributing to normal immune system response.

Nitrogen is essential for keeping the balance in the body, but excessive nitrogen is toxic. L-Glutamine is responsible for controlling the nitrogen supply in the body.

L-Glutamine also helps in buffering poisonous wastes in the body such as ammonia. This amino acid aids in removing and flushing them out from the body.  The construction of DNA is dependent on sufficient amounts of this amino acid.

When subjected to stress that is associated with diseases, the body may break down its own muscle in order to produce higher amounts of glutamine (see more – what is glutamine ). When the body is deprived of glutamine for an extended period of time, it can result in excessive loss of muscle mass.

Aside from the known L-Glutamine benefits associated with body building or weight lifting, there are many other reasons  that this amino acid plays an important role in overall health.

L-Glutamine Benefits: Serious Illness, Surgery and Cancer

Gluatamine is key for healthy nervous system function, immune system response, colon health, metabolism, liver health and so much more:

• L-Glutamine supplementation is beneficial for individuals undergoing major surgery, after severe injuries, burns, chemotherapy. In the event of prolonged hospitalization,  glutamine may help to  prevent loss of muscle mass.

•  Patients who are receiving glutamine supplementation may experience a reduced risk for infection after surgery, major injury or major illness. Anecdotal evidence indicates these patients are sometimes released earlier from the hospital compared to patients who did not receive glutamine supplementation.

• L-Glutamine is important for liver health. It may be protective during chemotherapy, acetaminophen toxicity, as well as severe inflammatory injuries to the liver.

• L-Glutamine may improve the effectiveness of certain medications and  treatments; this is likely because improved gut health improves absorption.

L-Glutamine Benefits: Improving the Functions of the Digestive System

•  In Asia, specifically in Japan, L-Glutamine is said to be effective when used as an anti-ulcer medication;

•  The intestinal mucosa is absolutely dependent upon this amino acid;

•  The normal digestion and the metabolic functions of the bowels depend upon sufficient levels of  l-glutamine; (see also natural remedies for IBS)

• ‘Leaky Bowel Syndrome’– as well as a damaged mucosa — typically accompanies  glutamine deficiency.  Sufficient amounts of l-glutamine in the body will help to ensure a healthy colon and digestive tract;

• This amino acid  plays an important role in  electrolyte balance;

• L-Glutamine assists with healthy pH balance,  eliminating harmful acids from the body

L-Glutamine Improves Immune System Response

• Studies have revealed that L-Glutamine benefits include improving the activities of the immune system;

• IgA is an essential antibody which is produced by the B cells located in the intestinal epithelium. The IgA antibody helps to seek out and eliminate digestive pathogens. This process requires sufficient amounts of glutamine.

L-Glutamine Benefits: For the Nervous System and Brain

• L-Glutamine has been shown to improve the IQ of children who are suffering from certain kinds of mental illnesses;

• L-Glutamine is an essential amino acid, used by the brain as a precursor for manufacturing several essential neurotransmitters. When the lack of this essential amino acid occurs,  L-Glutamine supplementation may provide critical support.