Glutamine, an amino acid, is potent and found throughout the body. In fact, it is considered the most abundant of all amino acids. Glutamine is converted into energy by the intestinal cells, helps with muscle recovery, detoxifies the liver, and improves immunity. Most importantly, glutamine is used by the body to heal the gut and promote health. Learn more about the benefits of glutamine and how it can help you.

Your body produces glutamine naturally. In addition to this, glutamine is found in a variety of foods, including milk, corn, wheat, and peanuts. A glutamine deficiency is rare and typically caused by a genetic disorder rather than inadequate intake. 

Many individuals use glutamine supplements to provide a number of health benefits, including relieving inflammation, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.

Foods Rich in Glutamine

Glutamine is found in various foods. Animal products have the highest glutamine levels; however, certain plant-based foods are also rich in glutamine. Some of the top food sources of glutamine include:

Foods rich in Glutamine

  • Beans
  • Beef
  • Beets
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Chicken
  • Corn
  • Dairy Products
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Leafy Green Vegetables
  • Milk
  • Miso 
  • Tofu
  • White Rice

All foods that contain protein will typically have glutamine; therefore, if you focus on getting the recommended .36 grams of protein per pound of body weight, you will most probably get the glutamine needed for improved gut health. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds, you will need to consume around 43 grams of protein each day.

It is estimated that most Americans consume approximately 3 to 6 grams of glutamine in their diet. If you do not eat a lot of glutamine-rich foods, it may be necessary to take a glutamine supplement. However, it is important to speak with your doctor to ensure you are healthy enough for glutamine supplementation.

Glutamine Supplements

Benefits of Whey Protein for Weight Loss Adding a glutamine supplement can help improve your digestive health. Glutamine supplements contain glutamine in its active form, making it easy for the body to utilize. Because the body makes glutamine, the risk of a side effect is minimized; however, long-term supplementation and high quantities of this potent amino acid can result in some unpleasant side effects.

If you take a glutamine supplement for an extended period of time, the way your body uses and distributes glutamine and other amino acids can change. This can result in increased risk of gastrointestinal or other health issues. If you notice changes in your skin color, blood in your urine, a rash, dizziness, low back pain, or a fast heartbeat, contact your functional medicine doctor immediately. 

When you first begin taking a supplement, you may experience mild side effects like a change in bowel movements, upset digestive system, or a cough. Studies have also found that individuals with kidney or liver disease should not take glutamine supplements as they can worsen symptoms.

Benefits of Glutamine

Glutamine Strengthens the Immune System

immune systemGlutamine is used as energy in the immune system, including your white blood cells. The antioxidant properties of this amino acid bolster the immune system, reduce inflammation, stimulate the release of human growth hormone, and help rid the body of free radicals.

If you do not have enough glutamine in your body, your body will begin to break down your protein stores like your muscle. When protein stores are broken down, they release glutamine which can then be used by the immune system. 

Glutamine Improves Intestinal Health

Most of your immune system is contained within the gastrointestinal tract. Trillions of bacteria reside in the intestines. These bacteria control your immunity and impact your gut health. Glutamine is used by intestinal cells as an energy source. 

Glutamine also helps to maintain the epithelium in the gastrointestinal tract. The epithelium is the barrier located within the intestines that prevent toxins and harmful bacteria from entering the rest of the body. If you do not consume an ample amount of protein, which may reduce the amount of glutamine in the intestines, a leaky gut may occur.

Glutamine Reduces Inflammation

Glutamine has been shown to block two types of pro-inflammatory mediators, thus reducing intestinal inflammation. Inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract reduces immunity, increases the risk of leaky gut, and a variety of autoimmune conditions like fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and pernicious anemia. 

Glutamine Helps Athletes

Athletes who compete in extreme conditions like exceptionally hot temperatures are at an increased risk of developing reduced intestinal permeability (leaky gut syndrome). Glutamine supplementation along with increased protein consumption can support gut health and minimize the risk of developing the leaky gut syndrome.

Ready to Heal Your Gastrointestinal Tract?

If you are suffering from gastrointestinal problems like inflammatory bowel disease, IBS, leaky gut, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, or malabsorption issues, glutamine supplementation may be the answer that you are looking for. Glutamine works by reducing intestinal inflammation and healing the tight junctions in the gastrointestinal tract. Additionally, glutamine triggers the immune system to increase mucus production in the gastrointestinal tract to ensure proper digestion.

Glutamine is an essential amino acid that is vital to gut health, reduced inflammation, and improved immune health. Glutamine supplementation may help with a number of health issues. If you are suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory disease, or leaky gut syndrome, you can heal your gut with glutamine supplementation. GI issues

Gastrointestinal issues are very unpleasant. When your gastrointestinal system is not functioning properly, the foods you eat will not be properly digested, you may begin to experience nutritional deficiencies, systemic inflammation can occur, and you will experience gastrointestinal distress like nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and vomiting. 

Our integrative medicine doctors understand how important a healthy diet is and how nutritional deficiencies can impact your health. Working alongside you, our team of specialists will identify the root cause of your gut problems. Then they will utilize the latest conventional medical practices, lifestyle modifications, and nutritional supplementation to improve gut health.