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Glutamine (L-Glutamine)

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More information about Glutamine (L-Glutamine)

Glutamine (L-Glutamine) is the most common and abundant amino acid that is found in the skeletal muscle that is used for the biosynthesis of proteins. During intense training, Glutamine is depleted due to the need for muscle growth. This subsequently decreases strength, stamina and recovery times. Typically, Glutamine is non-essential and conditionally essential (meaning that your body can make sufficient levels), however, during some instances of high strain such as high intensity workouts, the demand increases and your body struggles to provide enough.

This is why Glutamine is a great addition to any workout stack as it promotes muscle growth and retention.

Overview Information

Glutamine is an amino acid (a building block for proteins), found naturally in the body.

Glutamine is taken by mouth to counter some of the side effects of medical treatments. For example, it is used for side effects of cancer chemotherapy or HIV treatment including diarrhea. It is also used to reduce other side effects of cancer chemotherapy such as nerve pain, swelling inside the mouth (mucositis), loss of some white blood cells, and muscle and joint pains caused by the cancer drug Taxol. Additionally, glutamine is used for improving recovery after bone marrow transplant or bowel surgery, and preventing infections in critically ill people or people undergoing surgery or following burns.

Some people take glutamine by mouth for digestive system conditions such as problems absorbing nutrients because of HIV or having part of their intestines removed. It is also used by mouth in children and adults with sickle cell disease.

People who have HIV (AIDS) sometimes take glutamine by mouth to prevent weight loss (HIV wasting).

Glutamine is given intravenously (by IV) for improving recovery after bone marrow transplant, surgery or burns. It is also used to prevent side effects of cancer chemotherapy such as pain and swelling inside the mouth (mucositis) and for preventing infections in critically ill people. In very small newborns, glutamine is used to prevent death or illness.

Glutamine is commercially available as capsules or in packets as a powder form. There are two prescription glutamine products approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Endari (Emmaus Medical, Inc) and NutreStore (Emmaus Medical, Inc). Glutamine for commercial use is made by a fermentation process using bacteria that produce glutamine.

How does it work?

Glutamine is the most abundant free amino acid in the body. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Glutamine is produced in the muscles and is distributed by the blood to the organs that need it. Glutamine might help gut function, the immune system, and other essential processes in the body, especially in times of stress. It is also important for providing "fuel" (nitrogen and carbon) to many different cells in the body. Glutamine is needed to make other chemicals in the body such as other amino acids and glucose (sugar).

After surgery or traumatic injury, nitrogen is necessary to repair the wounds and keep the vital organs functioning. About one third of this nitrogen comes from glutamine.

If the body uses more glutamine than the muscles can make (i.e., during times of stress), muscle wasting can occur. This can occur in people with HIV/AIDS. Taking glutamine supplements might keep the glutamine stores up.

Some types of chemotherapy can reduce the levels of glutamine in the body. Glutamine treatment is thought to help prevent chemotherapy-related damage by maintaining the life of the affected tissues.

Other benefits of Glutamine include:

  • Increased bicarbonate stores
  • Reduced muscle catabolism
  • Assisted muscle growth
  • Boosted immune system
  • Gastrointestinal health
  • Quicker recovery
  • Longer time to exhaustion
  • Increased growth hormones
  • Helps maintain health during stress