The Health Benefits of Glutamine - Paula Owens, MS

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The Health Benefits of Glutamine

Glutamine Health Benefits - Paula Owens, MSGlutamine is the most abundant naturally occurring, nonessential amino acid in the human body, and one of the few amino acids that can directly cross the blood–brain barrier serving as fuel for the brain, muscles, intestinal lining and white blood cells. The most relevant glutamine producing tissue is muscle mass, which accounts for approximately 90% of all glutamine synthesized.

During times of stress caused by infection, trauma, wound healing, illness, surgery, inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal permeability (leaky gut) or intense exercise, your body cannot produce all of the glutamine it requires.

Supplemental L-glutamine enhances muscle cell volume, which improves nitrogen retention, muscle growth, protein synthesis and recovery. Glutamine also stimulates the release of human growth hormone (hGH). Large amounts of glutamine are lost every time you exercise intensely or compete in your favorite sport. As a derivative of protein, L-glutamine functions as an important building block for glucosamine synthesis, which plays a key role in helping your tissue remodel and cartilage regenerate. 

Glutamine is the #1 nutrient used by small intestinal cells.

Health Benefits of L-Glutamine

— Reduces and controls cravings for alcohol, sugar and carbohydrates. Mix together: two teaspoons L-glutamine powder, 1/4 teaspoon raw cacao, 1 cup water and 1 scoop of collagen peptide powder to nix cravings.

— Natural and effective treatment for alcohol withdrawal, decreased desire to drink alcohol, and protection against alcohol toxicity
— Reduces bowel inflammation due to food allergies
— Controls hypoglycemia, effective for diabetes, aiding in glucose utilization and balancing blood sugar
— Removes excess ammonia (a waste product) from the body
— Reduces gastrointestinal inflammation and repairs leaky gut. Healing for a healthy mucosal gut lining and as a natural healing remedy for digestive distress, an inflamed gut, leaky gut syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and peptic ulcers. A study published in the Lancet found that supplementing with glutamine decreased intestinal permeability (one teaspoon 2-3x daily for 30 days). It protects the stomach by offsetting gastric damage from H. Pylori that causes stomach ulcers.
— Promotes strong immunity. Helpful for chronic viral infections and most autoimmune diseases. Those with Hashimoto’s and other autoimmune are often deficient in glutamine.
— Crosses the blood brain barrier protecting the brain from infection
— An alternative brain fuel, beneficial for memory and concentration
— Essential to building and supporting glutathione, the master antioxidant
— Positively alters gut microbiotia of obese and overweight individuals to resemble that of lean individuals. [Journal Nutrition]
— Prevents cortisol-induced muscle catabolism during sustained exercise and provides positive nitrogen balance. L-glutamine stimulates protein re-synthesis, muscle repair and improves recovery after intense exercise. It also supports growth hormone production (take after intense workouts and before bedtime to increase release of growth hormone).
— Beneficial for injuries, wound healing, and recovery post-surgery
— Supports healthy detoxification and repairs damaged tissue for those undergoing radiation or chemotherapy cancer treatment
— Beneficial for those suffering from depression, schizophrenia and mental retardation used under the professional guidance of a physician
— Aids in fighting fatigue and increasing energy
— Glutamine has been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of diarrhea. For this reason, glutamine supplementation has been shown to be very effective in individuals with ulcerative colitis, Celiac disease, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Food Sources of Glutamine: Cabbage, grass-fed pasture-raised beef, venison, turkey, wild-caught salmon, cottage cheese, bone broth and asparagus

Supplementation is available in both powder and capsule form. My preference is the powder form over the capsules as you’d have to consume 12-20 capsules to equate one teaspoon of the powder. I like the L-glutamine powder from Biotics Research, always the highest quality. Dose between 500 – 1,500 mg up to 3x daily.

Higher doses may be required depending on your individual needs. I always recommend starting with a smaller dose and increase gradually as necessary. Glutamine can be taken between meals as instance brain fuel and energy. To prevent glutamine build-up in the body, supplement with B vitamins especially vitamin B12, folate and B6.

Safety: Glutamine is well tolerated by most, but some people don’t do well with it and are unable to metabolize it effectively. They become irritable, anxious or insomniac. These individuals are typically poor methylators and often deficient in zinc, magnesium, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folate. This reaction is rare, but can happen if you are supplementing with heavy doses while deficient in the important B vitamins. There is controversy about whether it should be supplemented long term for those with active cancer, so please consult with your practitioner. “Glutamine should not be taken when mania has been a problem as it converts to glutamate. Interestingly, it can help with bipolar depression, probably for the same reason. Dosing must be very careful, however, to avoid triggering mania.” – Julia Ross

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