By Dori Cranmore RN

There are 20 essential Amino Acids in our body. They are considered the building blocks of protein. The most abundant is L-Glutamine, produced in the muscles and distributed by the blood to wherever it is needed. Amazingly, around 60% of your skeletal muscle is made up of glutamine and by adding this amino acid it can aid protein synthesis and help naturally balance your pH levels. In times of stress, glutamine can help the immune system, gut function and provide fuel in the form of nitrogen and carbon, to many different cells in the body. Because there are so many functions in the body that need glutamine, it is needed in large amounts.

The top ten benefits of l-glutamine include (1) improving the gastrointestinal health, (2) helping heal ulcers and leaky gut by acting as a barrier from further damage, (3) Can promote muscle growth and decreases muscle wasting, (4) Helps improve IBS symptoms by balancing the mucus production, (5) Reported to help fight cancer, (6) May improve athletic performance and recovery from endurance exercise, (7) Helps curb cravings for sugar and alcohol (8) an essential neurotransmitter in the brain and helps with memory, focus and concentration, (9) Can help improve diabetes and blood sugar, (10) Can improve metabolism and cellular detoxification.

L-Glutamine supplements can help repair the damage done to the gut lining, and they can also help the cilia regrow. Glutamine is normally absorbed by our gut lining, but because celiac disease severely damages the gut lining, glutamine deficiencies are fairly common. A gluten free diet just doesn’t heal everyone’s celiac issues, so the good news is that other options exist. Studies show the degree of intestinal damage varies widely among people with celiac disease, so some may find their intestines heal completely in 2 years; some may learn that theirs haven’t after more than 5 years. The “Harvard Gazette” reports that taking extra glutamine could protect against gastric damage caused by H. pylori, the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers. With more than 70 million Americans suffering from digestive diseases, it’s apparent that we are lacking certain nutrients that support the digestive system.

Besides l-glutamine supplementation there are many food sources that provide it as well. Some include Bone Broth, meats and dairy, beans, raw spinach, red cabbage, Broccoli, wild caught fish, turkey and asparagus. It’s important to know that the majority of people don’t get enough L-glutamine from their food alone. Typically, the range of supplement use is between 2 to 5 grams of glutamine powder twice daily, and up to 10 grams daily for serious power athletes.

Although the effects of excess glutamine rarely cause problems, if you are taking L-glutamine long-term, it’s a good idea to also supplement with B vitamins. This especially applies to vitamin B12, which controls glutamine buildup in the body. Always take glutamine with cold or room temperature liquids or foods. Never add glutamine to hot beverages because heat destroys glutamine. Individuals with liver disease, kidney disease or Reye’s syndrome should not take extra glutamine.

For more information call 907-376-8327.

Information provided is for Educational purposes only and not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any diseases.