The Benefits of L-Glutamine

in Blog, Health Supplements

L-Glutamine is a supplemental form of glutamine which is stored in the muscles and lungs.

Glutamine is the most common amino acid in the body and is one of the main brain fuels. It is also one of the main building blocks of both DNA and RNA and helps maintain a proper alkaline/acid balance in the body.

Glutamine works throughout your body to detoxify ammonia and other toxins and carry nitrogen throughout the body. When amino acids break down, they convert into nitrogen. Your body needs nitrogen to function properly but when the nitrogen just floats freely, it converts into ammonia which is toxic to brain and other tissues.

Nitrogen bonds with glutamic acid to form glutamine so in this way, nitrogen is transferred safely and productively throughout the body.

Since a healthy body creates its own glutamine, the only time that you need to supplement is when your body is undergoing trauma such as disease, stress, illness, dieting or intense exercising. In these situations, the body releases as much as one-third of its supply of glutamine into the bloodstream which will lead to loss of muscle mass.

This is one of the main benefits of L-Glutamine supplementation; it replaces what your body releases.

Benefits of L-Glutamine

Improved Brain Function

Because L-Glutamine can move readily through the blood/brain barrier, it serves many functions. It improves your intelligence, helps with your equilibrium, and increases your mental clarity.

By increasing amounts of Gamma-aminobutyrice acid (GABA), it helps sustain mental activity and function. Studies suggest that glutamine may also improve IQ and increase the ability to learn and may be helpful in treating mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and senility.

Dieters and Bodybuilders

As mentioned above, when your body is being stressed by dieting and increased exercise such as bodybuilding, it can release much of its glutamine into the bloodstream.

If you don’t replace it, you will not only NOT gain muscle, you can actually lose it.

Glutamine is also suspected to play a role in assisting the immune system, according to some research. It’s common for intense exercisers such as marathon runners to get a cold after an event and supplementing with glutamine has been shown to prevent this.

Recovering From Surgery and Illness

During times of extreme stress your body produces higher amounts of cortisol into your bloodstream and this lower stores of glutamine.

Since L-Glutamine is known to build muscle and promote healing, and is suspected to assist the immune system as well, clinical studies have shown that supplementing with L-Glutamine reduces the chance of infections and promotes healing after surgery or an illness.

It has also been shown to help reduce muscle wasted caused by long-term illnesses such as HIV/AIDS and is being tested to determine if it can assist with the symptoms of cancer and chemotherapy.

Benefits of L-Glutamine to the Digestive Tract

It has been scientifically proven that glutamine plays a role as the primary nutrient for the cells that line your digestive tract. Glutamine regulates the reproduction of the cells and provides them with the energy that they require to function.

There is some research that indicates that because it protects the lining of the GI tract, glutamine can be helpful in controlling the symptoms of such illnesses such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Dietary sources of glutamine include proteins such as pork, beef, chicken, turkey, milk products, raw spinach and cabbage. Since your body produces it naturally, you probably don’t need to supplement as long as you are eating a healthy diet and aren’t stressing your body.

If you are not eating plenty of these foods or if your body is being stressed either physically or emotionally, then you may not be experiencing the benefits of L-Glutamine and you should probably supplement.

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