"Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;...
and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man."
~James H. West

Lisa's Blog

What is glutamine and why is it beneficial

Lisa Cutforth - Friday, May 10, 2013

L-Glutamine is an amino acid and actually a pretty abundant one, it is used extensively by the body and readily available in the diet.  But time and time again I read about it's health merits and so I thought it was high time I did a blog post on the benefits of glutamine (L-glutamine)! 

Glutamine is most commonly known for or associated with "body building" and supplementation.  However, glutamine is much more relevant than that.  It is a key player in many important body roles and functions.

Despite being so abundant and accessible, in certain cases glutamine can become depleted from muscle stores and can become conditionally essential (which means we can no longer make it, we need to get it from our diet). It is relatively easy to get glutamine from your diet but in special cases I have often recommended the supplement in clinical practice for my clients.  For example clients with leaky gut or candida overgrowth, because of glutamine's role in gut repair.  I have also used it with my elite sports clients for it's role in increasing stamina and performance.  Glutamine is used by the muscles during exercise so replenishing it afterwards can help with muscle fatigue and muscle repair (and therefore muscle growth).

I was interested to read in a recent article in the Yonsei Medical Journal published on the National Centre for Biotechnology Information website that....

"Dietary supplementation with nutrients enhancing immune function is beneficial in patients with surgical and critical illness. Malnutrition and immune dysfunction are common features in hospitalized patients. Specific nutrients with immunological and pharmacological effects, when consumed in amounts above the daily requirement, are referred to as immune-enhancing nutrients or immunonutrients. Supplementation of immunonutrients is important especially for patients with immunodeficiency, virus or overwhelming infections accompanied by a state of malnutrition. Representative immunonutrients are arginine, omega-3 fatty acids, glutamine, nucleotides, beta-carotene, and/or branched-chain amino acids.  Even though immunonutrition has not been widely assimilated by clinicians other than nutritionists, immunonutrients including glutamine may exert beneficial influence on diverse patient populations.  In general, glutamine supplementation reduces the rate of infection, inflammation, length of hospital stay, and mortality, and improves gut barrier function and immune function, especially cell-mediated immunity in critically ill patients."

The research does caution that inappropriate use of immunonutrients may be potentially harmful, but certainly immunonutrition if used in close communication and information between clinicians and nutrition specialists could potentially be very effective, even life saving.  (In terms of safe supplementation, always do so under guidance by a nutrition specialist, but typically up to as much as 10mg orally has been found to be safe, however intravenous delivery has sometimes been reported to have negative effects on the liver.)

You can of course get L-Glutamine from your diet. Foods that are naturally rich in glutamine include: meat (like chicken and eggs), dairy (like yoghurt and ricotta cheese), vegetables (like spinach, cabbage and parsley, preferably raw forms). (Extra tip: If you are after optimal health always choose organic animal products.)

Source: Glutamine as an immunonutrient, HyeYoung Kim.Yonsei Med J. 2011 November 1; 52(6): 892–897. Published online 2011, October 20, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3220259/


Post has no comments.
Post a Comment

Captcha Image

Trackback Link
Post has no trackbacks.

Recent Posts


prostate cancer health for busy people what is healthy food 10 % principle fruit success and you nutritionist in brisbane foods in season, seasonal recipes quick eating solutions the tummy beast health pioneers image are frozen veggies any good cheap fruit and vegetables, what's in season in autumn in australia reasons to eat foods in season how to be happy diet diary of a nutritionist happiness workshop herbal toothpaste low calorie meal plan Dr Randy Pausch on Oprah sugar and adhd skipping meals 7 steps to detox what is a good breakfast celebrate life high cholesterol dance making time to relax new year's resolutions improve your memory muffins how to love exercise focus stress, keys to managing stress, benefits of stress four questions you must ask your doctor before taking medication obesity recipes for allergies the power to choose corporate wellness time management and healthy living calorie controlled diet have fun in the kitchen healthy cooking party brain health nutritionists diet diary weight loss natural toothpaste libido comfort foods health one step at a time food sensitivities healthy shopping Nina Simone nutritious should I eat organic veggies alzheimers weightloss seasonal quick and tasty recipes fun heart foundation tick explained Cancer nutritious cooking Happiness love food empty your mind music organic vegetables weight skip meals salad mobile phones and brain cancer, Dr Teo memory support your body immune system health with 10 % effort overindulge Laughter and stress Sensational breast cancer prevention diet diary wrong type of exercise, exercise and results energy breast cancer awareness simple 7 day detox plan life choices cholesterol lowering diet heart disease do i have to drink milk; where do i get calcium from; non dairy calcium sources anxiety delicious how to avoid injury during exercise healthy cooking demonstration addicted to chocolate what is movember cooking class in brisbane health relax performance dancing is chocolate bad for me gift how to get more of exercise fussy eaters soft drink and behaviour problems drugfree alternatives sensitivity to milk make stress work for you food allergies how to avoid doing the right thing and getting the wrong results dangers of multitasking while you eat fruit and vegetable shortage recipe great second hand books breakfast healthy fast food, healthy take away relationship with food sexy salads life lessons go for 2 and 5 Add new tag homocysteine ability to respond fresh start Egg allergy low cholesterol avoiding a choice recipies hunger and stress Alan Pease natural alternatives to drugs ask my doctor nutritionist benefits of strength training, why you should strength train pop-eye and spinach strength real food low calorie diet healthy wine, healthy beer, healthy alcohol options cooking with allergies benefits of sleeping assertiveness love, loneliness comfort eating which is better for you butter or margarine quick recipes leaky gut, gut health, symptoms of leaky gut muscle wasting feels good blood pressure maintain a healthy weight, underweight reducing coffee Lactose intolerance happiness course sustainable living, rural development, organic gardening, rampumps, biogas are grains healthy motivation life sexy salad soccer, role of team sports in longevity, role of exercise and community in longevity have more energy healthy shopping list soft drink and behavior problems to know and not do is not yet to know healthy cooking parties christmas lunch is sugar bad taking responsibility taking a break fun breast cancer awareness video hot guys 7 Tips to Lower Your Cholesterol and Protect Your Heart fresh ways to improve prostate health sugar and add I don't get hungry control getting fit mood allergies quizz indigestion how to check your breasts benefits to keeping a diet diary keep focused increasing energy childrens lunch boxes food intolerances how to say no detox best exercise Lisa's Diary immune boosting tips comfort pig Nutritional Therapist gluten intolerance I've Got Life fatigue trans fats nutrition