Aside from vitamins and minerals, some of the best nutrients for our bodies come from amino acids. Glutamine works wonders in our body, benefiting us in so many different ways. This little amino acid gets around our system and helps work wonders to keep us healthy.
What Is Glutamine?
Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid because our body can produce it naturally. But, that's only true for people in good health, who have the right building blocks for it, and get enough of it out of their diet.
Ideally, we eat plenty of glutamine to do all of its essential functions in the body and then a little bit more to help prevent problems.
The amino acid is one of the building blocks for proteins, many of which make up cellular walls and protective functions in our body. It's absolutely essential for our immune system. Glutamine actually comprises about 60% of all the amino acids in our body.
All foods that contain protein contain glutamine. But, different foods have different levels. Beef, eggs, corn, and rice have very high levels of glutamine. Vegetables generally have lower levels.
Why A Supplement Is A Safe Bet To Get Enough
As you start switching to a more vegetable-rich diet, it might be more challenging to get glutamine. Even though your body can produce it, you might need a little bit more than that.
This is where a supplement comes in. When you're choosing a glutamine supplement, you want to select l-glutamine, the form we can actually use. However, some manufacturers might not put that on the label.
Taking a low-dose supplement several times a day can help greatly boost your intake of glutamine.
Be sure to talk to your doctor before you start taking the supplement, as glutamine can interact with some medications, particularly anti-seizure medications, chemotherapy, and lactulose.
Glutamine Helps Your Immune System
Glutamine is essential to your immune system, helping to improve resistance to infection, particularly from injury and burns. Some studies show that glutamine supplementations can help reduce hospital stay and increase healing after major surgery. It's one of the primary amino acids comprising white blood cells, and having enough glutamine in your body allows your body to quickly and efficiently produce new cells.
How Glutamine Helps Your Stomach, Intestine, and Digestion
With about 70% of your immune system in your gut, helping support this can help keep you healthy. One way glutamine works is keeping the mucous membrane that protects your intestinal wall healthy and active. Glutamine may help reduce IBS symptoms and help heal leaky gut.
Your Brain Loves Glutamine
In your brain, glutamine is a major substrate, one of the chemicals necessary for building healthy neurotransmitters. GLutamine helps produce two of the brain's most important neurotransmitters: glutamic acid and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
Build Muscle With Glutamine
Glutamine in your brain stimulates the hypothalamic/pituitary axis to release muscle-building hormones, such as human growth hormone and testosterone. It only will allow the production of the additional hormones up to your normal physiological level. Taking extra glutamine may benefit other parts of your body, but it won't help you build muscle after your normal, healthy levels are reached.
How should you take glutamine?
If you think you might need more glutamine, you can purchase good supplements in the grocery store and online. Be sure to research the company and make sure the supplement has good research to back up and quality assurance is to make sure the company is practicing good manufacturing processes.
Typically, supplementation starts at approximately 5 grams per day. However, in the short term, less than two weeks, servings as high as 14 grams per day were tolerated by most people. To be safe, start at a lower dosage and increase slowly.
Although glutamine gets promoted as a muscle-building and strength-promoting amino acid, most research does not support excessive muscle building. However, glutamine does help your digestion and immune health significantly. If you give glutamine to try, choose a good supplement and pair it with a quality high vegetable diet.