When you have a digestive illness, it essentially means that your delicate intestinal lining (the mucosa) is damaged, making it impossible to extract nutrients and other substances crucial for your body’s biological processes. The amino acid L-Glutamine is one of these substances. A protein building block, L-Glutamine is stored in muscle where it’s vital to tissue growth and repair. It’s involved in the formation of other amino acids and glucose (sugar), as well as the body’s adaptive response to stress and the optimal functioning of the immune and digestive systems.
The mucosa requires maintenance to protect and repair itself from the effects of stress, toxins, and a poor diet. When the mucosa breaks down, inflammation results and this is associated with a variety of chronic health conditions. Further, when illness, chronic or severe stress, inflammation, or food sensitivity/allergies cause the gut to fail at effectively breaking down food to acquire nutrients, deficiency results. A lack of sufficient glutamine in the gut creates a cycle of wear and tear on the mucosa.
Clinical research shows that L-Glutamine supplements can break that cycle by helping repair damage and potentially help the lining regrow. This connection between glutamine and intestinal maintenance has led researchers to examine its role in Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity.
L-Glutamine supplements are available in both pill and powder form. Proper dose is crucial to its effectiveness. It’s not recommended for children under age 10 or for people with certain health conditions, including kidney or liver disease. Consult with a holistic health practitioner to find out if L-Glutamine is right for you.
- Sevinc, E., Sevinc, N., Akar, H.H., et al., “Plasma glutamine and cystine are decreased and negatively correlated with endomysial antibody in children with celiac disease.” Asia Pac J. Clin Nutr (2016) 25:3, 452-456. Accessed 5 Mar 2018: http://apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/APJCN/25/3/452.pdf
- Larson, Shawn D. et al. “Molecular Mechanisms Contributing to Glutamine-Mediated Intestinal Cell Survival.” American journal of physiology. Gastrointestinal and liver physiology 293.6 (2007): G1262–G1271. PMC. Accessed: 5 Mar 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2432018/
- Ziegler, T.R., Bazargan, N. et al., “Glutamine and the Intestinal Tract.” Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care (2000, Sep) 3(5):355-62. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11151079
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