What is glutamine?
Glutamine is an essential amino acid that is found naturally in our body. The body requires glutamine when we are injured or ill, but there are some other incredible other benefits.
What are the benefits of glutamine?
It can improve our immune system. Our immune cells need glutamine as it's energy source and a deficiency can lead to a weakened immune response. Glutamine has also been shown to reduce the length and severity of illnesses and infections.
It can improve our gut health. The cells that line our gut need glutamine as their energy source and a deficiency can lead to inflammation and damage to the gut lining, also known as, 'leaky gut.' Supplementation with glutamine can help repair the gut barrier and reduce the risk of infections related to the gut.
It can help in muscle growth and recovery. Our muscle tissues are composed of glutamine and after intense exercise glutamine is released by our muscles into the bloodstream to be used by other tissues. Glutamine supplementation can reduce soreness and improve muscle recovery after exercise.
Are there any side effects?
Always make sure to check with your doctor before starting any supplement.
Although glutamine is safe, some side effects may include:
- Stomach cramps
- Allergic reactions
- Glutamine may interact with some medications, particularly those that affect the immune system. It is important to speak with a healthcare professional before taking glutamine if you are on medication.
- Glutamine may not be recommended for people with certain medical conditions, such as liver disease, kidney disease, or autoimmune disorders.
What is the recommended dose?
It can vary depending on the condition, but here are some general recommendations.
General health and immune support: 2-5 grams daily
Athletes and those engaging in intense exercise: 5-10 grams per day, usually post-exercise
Critically ill patients: 0.5-2 grams per kilogram of body weight per day; under the supervision of a healthcare provider
Gut health: 2-5 grams per day
Are there any contraindications?
Some potential contraindications include:
Pregnancy and breastfeeding: there is not enough research to support it's safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding
Autoimmune disorders: since glutamine can stimulate the immune system, it generally is not recommended for disorders, such as, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
Kidney or liver disease: glutamine can add strain to our kidney or liver
Certain medications: make sure to speak with your healthcare provider as it can interact with some medications
Allergies: if you are allergic to glutamine, please avoid! Symptoms after taking glutamine might include, itching, hives and difficulty breathing.