Glutamine: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

Amino acids are a key building block related to protein. Glutamine is one of the richest amino acids in the body (mostly skeletal muscle).

Cottage Cheese


Glutamine (also referred to as L-glutamine) is widely sourced in supplements (helps to increase muscle mass) and natural foods. Be aware that a regular intake of glutamine can lead to side effects.

A rich intake of glutamine can offer the body a variety of benefits, including:

  • Protein synthesis
  • Digestion
  • Brain function
  • Immune system


Health Benefits of Glutamine

Here are several of the major benefits associated with glutamine:


Immune System

The immune system needs a constant supply of premium fuel to ensure it is able to run efficiently; glutamine is certainly able to help with the fueling process. Surgery, bodily injuries, medications, extensive exercise, and chronic stress can lead to an increase in the hormone cortisol in the body. This higher concentration of cortisol can deplete the body of its glutamine supply.

Antibodies like lymphocytes that play a key role in enhancing immunity needs a certain level of glutamine in the system to flourish. So, a glutamine count that starts to diminish can result in a compromised immune system, which increases the risk of infections.

Increase the intake of glutamine when the count is low is certain to help with strengthening the immune system. This helps to improve wound health and recovery time, prevent illness, and help the seriously ill.


Uses for Glutamine

A supplementary intake of glutamine is able to assist with a variety of health complaints, as well as enhance performance when exercising.

Health complaints that benefit from glutamine include:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Depression
  • Anxiety/Stress
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Sleeplessness

Elsewhere, glutamine can help with certain types of medical treatment, including the unfavorable effects related to chemotherapy. Additionally, this amino acid is able to help promote the health of someone who has undergone surgery or experienced traumatic injuries.


Bowel Protection

A painful and chronic disorder related to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can have a negative impact on virtually all areas of the digestive tract. A regular intake of glutamine is said to give bowel protection by lining the digestive tract and maintaining the intestinal mucosa. A greater intake can help with intestinal permeability, which relates to an illness related to IBD. Rather than food particles staying inside the digestive tract, they have the ability to pass into bloodstream via the intestines. Although the effectiveness of glutamine can vary, this supplement is often restricted to helping patients in remission.


Sources of Glutamine

Preferred food sources of glutamine consist of:

  • Raw spinach
  • Egg whites
  • Peanuts
  • Raw parsley
  • Cabbage
  • Poultry
  • Milk
  • Barley
  • Pork
  • Cottage cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Beef


Glutamine Supplements

Glutamine supplement are available to purchase via web-based stores specializing in diet and weight-loss supplements and in natural-food stores.


Non-scientific Benefits

Glutamine is said to help with treating diarrhea, reducing the risk of certain cancers, improving gut health, and healing stomach ulcers. A sports person often favors glutamine since it is believed high intensity exercise can deplete the natural glutamine stores. A protein shake (with active ingredients including glutamine) are believed to speed up the process of building and maintaining muscle mass, preventing muscle wastage, and hastening the after exercise recovery times.



Glutamine is regarded as a safe supplement, but there is slight concern that extra dosages of glutamine in combination with prescription medication (anti-seizure medicine or chemotherapy drugs) can lead to negative results. Also, this amino acid is said to be harmful to those with health complaints like epilepsy, mania, and liver disease.

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