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L-Glutamine is an amino acid which is a tiny building block of protein. As a conditionally essential amino acid, this means that the body can actually manufacture this using other amino acids gained from the diet. However, at times of stress and increased need for tissue repair, the body may need additional Glutamine.

It plays a role in the body for tissue repair and immune support, and has been shown in studies to help lessen the cravings for sugar, carbohydrates and alcohol. One study looking at weight loss showed a positive correlation between glutamine supplementation and a reduced waist circumference with better insulin control in obese volunteers[i]. Glutamine is also one of the few amino acids that can cross the blood brain barrier and an abundant supply of it is essential for proper neurotransmitter balance.

Despite its requirement for optimal nervous system health and calming GABA production, Glutamine is most commonly used nutritionally for supporting digestive health. It is a key element for the continual restoration of the delicate digestive tissue mucosal lining. Conditions referred to as 'Leaky Gut' whereby there is a disruption is the epithelial lining are often treated with glutamine given that it is the preferred fuel for enterocytes and colonocytes (cells of the digestive tissue)[ii]. Low concentrations of Glutamine also have also been seen to correlate to intestinal inflammation and diarrheal diseases[iii].

As well as digestive tissue healing, it also seems to play a role in general tissue healing for example following surgery or accidents. One study looking at hospitalisations for burns, showed a significantly decreased duration of hospital stay with an improvement in intestinal barrier function as well as reduced endotoxins for those in the glutamine supplementation group[iv].

Timing of taking L-Glutamine is important as it depends on the reason for supplementing with this amino acid. For example, used for digestive tissue repair or the calming effect of the neurotransmitter balance, then we would recommend it is taken away from foods.

Recommended For

Leaky Gut , Post Surgery Healing , Cravings

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