Glutamine – A Building Block for a Healthy Body
An in-depth look at the popular amino acid
What do cancer treatment, extreme sports and stress all have in common? They all deplete the glutamine in your body compromising your immune system and your health.
Glutamine, or L-glutamine, is the most abundant amino acid in your body comprising as much as 61% of your skeletal tissue. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and vital to human health. And your body needs this particular amino acid in large amounts.
- Your immune cells gobble up glutamine as fuel.
- Your body can use the glutamine in the muscles to synthesize protein and build muscle mass.
- Your brain uses it to help you think, feel, and move through life.
- Your small intestines are dependent on glutamine to support the regeneration and repair of cells lining the intestinal wall. 
Essentially, glutamine is required for muscle growth, brain health, and the integrity of your gut, which profoundly impacts your immune system. Increased glutamine levels are thought to allow more of your body’s processes to run as scheduled, even in times of injury, overwork, or stress.
Under ideal circumstances your body can produce all the glutamine you need from what you eat. But few people eat in a way that provides the necessary glutamine. Additionally, cancer treatment, physical trauma due to injury or surgery, prolonged physical exertion and even heavy stress can drastically reduce the amount of glutamine in your body.
Low levels of glutamine in your body especially impact your digestive system. Normally, your gut should serve your body as the primary defense against disease. But without the glutamine it needs, your gut can become a gateway for infections and autoimmune diseases.
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Have you ever wondered why there’s been such a sharp rise in allergies and autoimmune diseases in recent years? Millions of Americans suffer with leaky gut syndrome today. And we now know that leaky gut syndrome is the primary culprit behind almost all of these autoimmune diseases., Some of these autoimmune diseases include:
- Alopecia areata
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Polymyalgia rheumatic
- Multiple sclerosis
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Raynaud’s syndrome
- And others
Inflammation in the cells of the intestines results in abnormally large gaps in the lining of the intestines. These gaps allow the gut to “leak” toxins into the bloodstream that your body would normally eliminate. We could compare this to your septic system leaking sewage into your drinking water! No wonder you get sick!
Glutamine is the primary fuel source for cells in your small intestine. So it comes as no surprise that glutamine has been shown to repair leaky gut syndrome in clinical studies. In fact, if you have any kind of inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s, colitis, diverticulosis, diverticulitis, Hashimoto’s, or issues associated with leaky gut syndrome, supplementing with glutamine may be one of the best things you can do for your health.
Other Benefits of Glutamine
As mentioned above, injuries, surgery, cancer treatment (chemotherapy), extreme physical exertion, and plain old stress can deplete your body’s level of glutamine. Following any of these episodes, your body is more susceptible to disease and infection. If you’re experiencing any of these traumas to the body, a glutamine supplement may help you get your health back on track.
Burn victims and cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy are especially finding relief through supplementation with glutamine.
Many athletes and bodybuilders supplement with glutamine because it promotes speedy recovery, and enhances muscle repair and growth. Glutamine also assists in the release of Human Growth Hormone (HGH), which increases the metabolism and reduces fat.
Glutamine can also improve brain function and calm anxiety and stress. The importance of glutamine in the brain is seen from the fact that glutamine is 10 to 15 times more prevalent in the brain than in the blood. Taking glutamine may be the ticket to sharpening your focus, alertness and memory. .
Increase Your Glutamine Intake Naturally
Notice that we’re talking about eating right before we talk about supplementation. Too many people think they can continue poor eating habits and simply take a pill or supplement to offset their bad habits. That’s like building a nice house on a bad foundation. So let’s start with really healthy foods.
The recommended minimum daily allowance of glutamine is 10g. Under certain circumstances higher doses up to 40g per day are taken.
Glutamine is abundant in animal proteins: meats, fish, and dairy as well as many vegetables. Some great sources of glutamine include: