The most prevalent amino acid in our body is glutamine. Amino acids are important because they are the basic building blocks for proteins which are important in cellular repair, muscle growth, replication of DNA, and in tissue integrity. Overall, amino acids are crucial in growth, repair, and in enzyme functioning.
Glutamine is made in the body and has the greatest influence in the gastrointestinal tract, immune system, and our nervous system. As with most nutrient, it can become depleted due to stress, environmental factors, food intolerances, sensitivities, allergies, and occasionally a genetic disposition.
So how does glutamine help the gut?
Glutamine is an important nutrient which has an affinity to the gastrointestinal tract. It is in essence food for the cells of the small and large intestines. Glutamine is crucial in the repair of compromised cells which have become hyperpermeable due to damage to the tight junctions which hold them tightly together. This is important because tight fitting cells allow for good digestion of food while keeping out harmful elements such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, preservatives, chemicals and more. Glutamine keeps the cells tightly aligned and allows for decreased intestinal hyperperbeability (Rao & Bischoff)
Glutamine also allows for the maintenance of the mucus lining of the gastrointestinal tract which further reduces intestinal hyperpermeability. When intestinal hyperpermeability exists, food elements make their way into the blood and rather than being digested, they interact with immune elements which can cause immune reactions and inflammation (Rao & Bischoff)
Intestinal hyperpermeability is commonly known as “leaky gut,” and is a critical component in several gastrointestinal cases such as irritable bowel syndrome, irritable bowel disease, gastroesophageal reflux, diarrhea, constipation and more. Glutamine is often used to help aid in the healing of these conditions.
If you are dealing with any of the conditions above, book an appointment and let our doctors help you!
Glutamine’s benefits for the immune system
Glutamine aids the immune system in allowing for the integrity of the gastrointestinal tract. This is important because the gastrointestinal tract is a primary area where immune systems reside in the body. Glutamine has also been shown to aid in the development and proliferation of white blood cells and macrophages which help the body fight infections and in developing antibodies. It is also a wonderful promoter of collagen formation when used in healing wounds (Cruzat et. al & Glutamine).
Glutamine aids the nerves
There is some research which indicates glutamine may be beneficial for the nervous system when aiming to prevent neuropathy which is induced by conventional treatments (Gaurav).
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1) Glutamine. Natural Medicines Database. Updated May 1, 2020.
2) Rao R, Samak G. Role of Glutamine in Protection of Intestinal Epithelial Tight Junctions. J Epithel Biol Pharmacol. 2012;5(Suppl 1-M7):47-54. doi:10.2174/1875044301205010047
3) Bischoff SC, Barbara G, Buurman W, et al. Intestinal permeability–a new target for disease prevention and therapy. BMC Gastroenterol. 2014;14:189. Published 2014 Nov 18. doi:10.1186/s12876-014-0189-7
4) Cruzat V, Macedo Rogero M, Noel Keane K, Curi R, Newsholme P. Glutamine: Metabolism and Immune Function, Supplementation and Clinical Translation. Nutrients. 2018;10(11):1564. Published 2018 Oct 23. doi:10.3390/nu10111564
5) Gaurav K, Goel RK, Shukla M, Pandey M. Glutamine: A novel approach to chemotherapy-induced toxicity. Indian J Med Paediatr Oncol. 2012;33(1):13-20. doi:10.4103/0971-5851.96962
All information presented is for your educational purposes only. This is by no means given as medical advice. It is important to seek advice from your physician or other qualified health practitioner regarding any medical concerns you may have, prior to the implementation and use of diet, lifestyle change, supplements, or any other health related protocols.