l-Glutamine amino acid to repair intestinal lining – 500mg per capsule – 100 capsules
BENEFITS OF GASTRO HEALTH (ingredient: L-Glutamine) L-Glutamine USP 500mg per capsule
In my office, L- Glutamine in one of the most frequently prescribed supplements. This is not surprising since the importance of Glutamine is demonstrated by the fact that it is the most abundant amino acid in circulation.
The total body Glutamine levels are in the range of 100,000 mg. In a healthy person, the concentration of Glutamine in the blood is 3-4 times greater than all other amino acids. It is actively transported, & metabolized in nearly all tissue. Glutamine is a major fuel source & therefor energy source for the entire body. It is particularly concentrated in the brain, skeletal muscles, gut lining, lungs, heart, kidneys, & liver where it has multiple & critical functions.
During years of ordering blood tests to determine amino acid status, Glutamine is one of the amino acids most usually below normal. In most clients with either chronic illness or mood & cognitive symptoms it is rare to see normal levels.
WHERE CAN YOU GET L-GLUTAMINE?
We primarily obtain Glutamine from the conversion of Glutamic Acid from food, though some Glutamine is also in food. The average amount of Glutamine ingested daily in a healthy diet is from 5,000-8,000 mg. Those foods with the highest content are pork, poultry, eggs, & dairy proteins, wheat germ, oats & avocados. Or you can get it as a free form amino acid supplement like our GASTRO HEALTH supplement.
Much of the dietary Glutamine is derived from the salt form of Glutamic Acid ( Glutamate). This converts to Glutamine with the action of the enzyme Glutamine Synthetase. Proper functioning of this enzyme requires adequate presence of pyridoxal-5-phosphate ( the active form of vitamin B6), manganese, & other vitamin/mineral co-factors. If these are not present in sufficient quantities there can be a Glutamine deficiency even in the presence of adequate dietary protein. (make sure you’re on a good multi vitamin that includes these key nutrients like our FOUNDATION multi vitamin supplement.)
GLUTAMINE IMPROVES BRAIN FUNCTIONING
Glutamine, Glutamate, & GABA are all neurotransmitters which means they are chemical messengers in the brain without which the brain could not function. GABA is a calming neurotransmitter; Glutamate is a stimulating neurotransmitter, while Glutamine is a modulator of the inhibitory & excitatory activity of the other two.
Glutamine is highly concentrated in the brain, being 10-15 times more concentrated in the cerebro-spinal fluid than in the blood. It is an important fuel for the brain, & can provide adequate energy in the absence of glucose (the other major brain fuel). For this reason it is helpful with focus, concentration, memory, intellectual performance, alertness, attentiveness, improving mood, & eliminating brain fog & cloudiness. It is one of the first nutrients I suggest when any of these symptoms are present.
In animal studies an inhibitor of the synthesis of Glutamine produced convulsions, & Alzheimer’s or senile dementia-type changes in the brain.
Research suggests Glutamine may protect the brain cells in situations of decreased oxygen supply. It also helps in the brain to detoxify ammonia.
Those prone to mania need to be careful with high doses of Glutamine for it can trigger mania, as can any antidepressant substance.
STABILIZES BLOOD SUGAR & DECREASES ALCOHOL CRAVINGS
Glutamine does this by several mechanisms. When the blood sugar is low, Glutamine suppresses insulin to stop the further decline of the sugar levels. It also stimulates glycogen (a stored form of glucose) to be released to help increase the blood sugar to normal levels.
Further, Glutamine is a glycogenic amino acid which means it can convert to sugar for energy production, a process called gluconeogenesis. It is the most important such substance.
These blood sugar stabilizing effects may partially explain why it decreases alcohol cravings, as well as sugar cravings. In studies with alcoholics, 2000-3000 mg 3 times daily decreased the desire to drink, decreased anxiety, & improved sleep. It works best given between meals. Has been used for this purpose in daily doses from 6000-15,000 mg in 3 divided doses. Use upon arising, mid-morning & mid-afternoon between meals.
Giving Glutamine to rats decreased their voluntary alcohol consumption by 34%. When the Glutamine was stopped, their alcohol consumption returned to baseline levels.
Additionally, Glutamine supports pancreatic growth & function, increases the production of pancreatic enzymes, increases pancreatic weight, DNA, & protein content. This would also stabilize blood sugar & indirectly improve overall nutritional status.
MAINTAINS HEALTH /FUNCTIONING OF THE LINING OF THE GUT
Glutamine increases the growth & absorptive capacity & is the main fuel source for the cells lining the intestinal tract. It is critical for the maintenance of proper gut metabolism, structure & function. The cells lining the small intestines consume Glutamine at a voracious rate, using up to 30% of the circulatory pool. Glutamine deficiency results in hypoplasia of the intestinal absorptive lining & dysfunction of the intestinal immune system. It helps maintain normal Secretory IgA an immune substance in the gut.
Studies show that Glutamine helps promote healing of impaired gut mucosa , such as with ulcers, ulcerative colitis, & Crohn’s Disease. It enhances bowel function when there has been partial removal of the intestines & improves overall survival in gut originated severe infection.
Certain bacteria, fungi, & parasites can also impair the intestinal lining disrupting the optimal intestinal barrier functioning, & causing increased intestinal permeability ( the leaky gut syndrome). With increased permeability there can be increased allergy reactions to foods, & increased predisposition to autoimmune problems.
Also, the bacteria which live in the GI tract can cross the disrupted mucosal barrier to infect other organs in a process called bacterial translocation, so Glutamine can help prevent this serious process.
IMPORTANT FOR MUSCLE FUNCTION & METABOLISM
The intracellular concentration of Glutamine in muscle is a regulator of muscle protein synthesis or muscle building & supports muscle glycogen accumulation. When there is Glutamine depletion, there is a breakdown in muscle. Studies indicate Glutamine counteracts steroid-induced muscle atrophy.
Skeletal muscle is the largest organ in the body accounting for approximately 30-40% of total body mass. A 150 pound male would ideally have about 60,000 mg of Glutamine in these muscles. Free stores of Glutamine in muscles exceed those of any other amino acids( alanine & glycine are the other major muscle amino acids).
Surgical & injury trauma , infections, burns, stress, cancer, acidosis, & most major illnesses dramatically deplete & alter the production & inter-organ flow of Glutamine causing movement of Glutamine out of the muscle , altering intestinal Glutamine metabolism, & also decreasing Glutamine blood levels. Under these circumstances the net Glutamine consumption exceeds the production & there is a decrease in muscle protein synthesis. This contributes to the muscle wasting in severe illness & trauma. Research has shown a statistically significant correlation between survival in severely infected patients & the muscle intracellular Glutamine concentration. Supplying Glutamine helps the metabolic processes associated with recovery.
HELPS WITH WOUND HEALING
The cells of connective tissue in the body use Glutamine for protein & nucleic acid synthesis & also for 30% of energy needs. These cells are called fibroblasts. Glutamine is required for their proliferation & is therefore critical in wound metabolism & healing.
HELPS MAINTAIN ACID/ALKALINE BALANCE
This is done by the production & metabolism of Glutamine in the kidneys. The more severe the acidosis is as in uncontrolled diabetes, starvation, kidneys disorders, decreased oxygen in the body, fluid & electrolyte loss, the greater the rate of Glutamine metabolism in the kidneys. When controlling acidosis the kidneys consume enormous amounts of Glutamine & deplete muscle & other stores. In acidotic conditions there is low Glutamine, low alanine & an increased production of ammonia.
In studies 2000 mg Glutamine produced a quick increase in plasma bicarbonate (which elevates alkaline reserve) & an increase in growth hormone.
IS CRITICAL IN PROTEIN METABOLISM
Glutamine is used in the liver & kidney to make urea & ammonia which are normal breakdown products of protein, which are then excreted. Glutamine participates in the detoxification of the ammonia.
Excessive Glutamine can elevate rather than decrease ammonia levels, as it should do. Such excessive dose would be in the range of 40,000 mg for a 150 pound person-way above any recommended amount.
- Glutamine is important for the synthesis of glutathione( an essential anti-oxidant) in the liver.
• Adequate Glutamine helps to protect the lungs from toxic insult.
• Glutamine is needed for RNA (Genetic messenger material) synthesis
• Essential for the synthesis of Vitamin B3 .
Studies using high dose Glutamine have failed to demonstrate toxicity. However Glutamine should be avoided in cases of acute liver failure & kidney failure.
The usual dose recommended in my office is 4000-5000 mg anywhere from 1-3 times daily between meals & not later than 3pm.
Bottom Line Benefits:
1. Irritable bowel syndrome – If you suffer from this syndrome that is associated with diarrhea and poor digestion, l- glutamine can help. The supplement works by repairing the gastrointestinal lining, and improving nutrient absorption.
2. If you have diabetes, l-glutamine is used to effectively aid in glucose utilization by keeping blood sugar levels normal. L- Glutamine health benefits include reducing insulin resistance in those who have a diet high in fats.
3. Depression and mood swings. Another of the l-glutamine health benefits is increasing a more positive outlook and removing toxic ammonia wastes from brain tissues.
4. One of the top muscle building supplements is l-glutamine. For those training in endurance sports, L-Glutamine supplementation may provide improved protein synthesis and improved muscle gain.
5. L-Glutamine health benefits can be used for arthritis treatment by repairing the damaged cartilage tissues contributed to age-related joint degeneration.
6. Arthritis remedy? An added benefits is increased energy and immune system support, which can help with arthritis (an autoimmune problem)
7. Autoimmune diseases that cause the immune system to attack its own tissues and cells may be improved with l- glutamine supplementation.
8. Because L-Glutamine can cross the blood and brain barriers, it has been used to benefit Schizophrenia patients. Brain activity is improved and ammonia by-products from the brain are removed. Improves IQ and the stabilizing of brain impulses and aid in the healing of brain tissue.
9. One of the side-effects of cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy, can damage healthy tissue as well as the cancer sites. If it is taken along with the radiation, L-Glutamine amino acids can reduce the damaging effects of the radiation on healthy tissue.
10. Harmful ammonia is a by-product from the body that can lead to serious health conditions. L Glutamine helps in removing this harmful by product from the body.
Side effects of l-glutamine: It should be noted that individuals who have any form of liver or kidney conditions, or Reye’s disease, should not take L-Glutamine supplements due to the possibility of adverse side effects.