L-glutamine is the most plentiful amino acid in the body. It’s involved in protein synthesis and serves as fuel for the immune system. Most people benefit from taking glutamine when their immune system is weakened or for healing a major wound like a burn or after surgery.
Though l-glutamine is found in food and supplements, it’s unnecessary to take supplemental l-glutamine because it’s a non-essential amino acid. That means that your body can make it on its own.
Glutamine also used to be a major mainstay for bodybuilders and athletes for building muscle and reducing recovery times. But taking this supplement has since been abandoned because there’s no solid research backing this up today. Here is what you need to know about l-glutamine.
What Is Glutamine?
Glutamine is an amino acid. Amino acids are molecules that play many roles in the body.
Their main purpose is to serve as building blocks for proteins.
Proteins are crucial to the organs. They also serve other functions, such as transporting substances in the blood and fighting off harmful viruses and bacteria.
Like many other amino acids, it exists in two different forms: L-glutamine and D-glutamine.
They are almost identical but have a slightly different molecular arrangement.
The form found in foods and supplements is L-glutamine. Some supplements list it as L-glutamine, but others simply use the broader term glutamine.
While L-glutamine is used to make proteins and perform other functions, D-glutamine appears to be relatively unimportant in living organisms.
L-glutamine can be produced naturally in your body. In fact, it is the most abundant amino acid in the blood and other body fluids.
However, there are times when the glutamine needs of your body are greater than its ability to produce it.
Therefore, it’s considered a conditionally essential amino acid, meaning that it must be obtained from the diet under certain conditions, such as injury or illness.
Also, glutamine is an important molecule for the immune system and intestinal health.
Food Source to getting L-Glutamine
Good sources of L-glutamine can be found in certain foods, including:
It Is Important for the Immune System
Glutamine is important for the immune system as it helps it to function optimally. People who are critically ill or who have experienced severe physical trauma have low glutamine levels due to either a reduction in skeletal glutamine production or cells using up the body’s stored glutamine more rapidly due to the trauma.
For that reason, supplementing with l-glutamine could help improve immune system function and speed recovery. Specifically for burn patients, supplementing with glutamine can help maintain healthy immune function, improve wound healing.
Muscle Building, Fat Loss, and Recovery
Much to the bodybuilding community’s dismay, l-glutamine does not offer the muscle-building and fat loss benefits it was once believed to provide. Though scientists continue to look into these claims, the existing research doesn’t support them.
For instance, one study examined the effects of glutamine supplementation combined with resistance training in young adults, ages 18 to 24, and found that there were no significant differences between the group who took glutamine and the placebo group. Both groups experienced similar muscle and strength gains.
It Plays a Role in Intestinal Health
Glutamine’s immune system benefits are related to its role in intestinal health.
In the human body, the intestines are considered the largest portion of the immune system.
This is because of the many intestinal cells with immune functions, as well as the trillions of bacteria that live in your intestines and impact your immune health.
Glutamine is an important energy source for intestinal and immune cells.
It also helps maintain the barrier between the inside of your intestines and the rest of your body, thereby protecting against a leaky gut.
This prevents harmful bacteria or toxins from moving from your intestines into the rest of your body.
Some of the reasons a person might experience L-glutamine deficiency are:
- shock or extreme stress
- major infections
- intense exercise
- immune disorders, such as HIV or AIDS
- lack of L-glutamine in the diet
Dosage of L-Glutamine
Since glutamine is an amino acid that is naturally produced in the body and found in many foods, there is no concern that it’s harmful in normal quantities.
It has been estimated that a typical diet may contain 3 to 6 grams per day, although this amount could vary based on the types and quantities of foods consumed
Benefits of L-Glutamine
L-Glutamine contains Levo-Glutamine, an amino acid.
It helps improve the :
- immune system
- maintains healthy gut functioning
- improves muscle mass and exercise performance
- It is also useful in balancing various physiological functions during times of stress.
Side Effects of L GLUTAMINE
- Stomach pain