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Importance of Glutamine

Jun 19, 2017 / By Bodyfuelz
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Glory of Glutamine
Glutamine is an important amino acid and 60% of your muscle is made up of glutamine.  Though your body can make enough glutamine, during times of stress or prolonged exercise, your body requires more glutamine than it makes. Most of the glutamine is stored in the muscle followed by the lungs.

Why is Glutamine good for you?

  • Digestion - It is the major fuel source for cells of the small intestine and it has been proven to be helpful in treating various digestive problems [1]
  • Immunity – Produces an antibody (IgA) that protects the body from bacterial and viral attacks [2]
  • Detoxification – Supports detoxification by cleansing the body from high levels of ammonia and converts them to amino acids and amino sugars [3]
  • Memory and focus – Helps in the production of neurotransmitter (GABA) that helps in focus and concentration  [4]

Some of the natural sources of Glutamine are:

The dietary sources of glutamine includes protein rich foods like beef, chicken, fish, dairy products, eggs, vegetables like beans, beets, cabbage, spinach, carrots, parsley and can also be found in wheat, papaya and celery. But this may constitute only 4-8% of your body’s requirement and hence a supplement form is required in some situations.

The need for supplements

Generally, the body makes glutamine but in some cases like illness or prolonged levels of exercise, the body can take few days to even months to bring the glutamine to the normal level[5]. When the glutamine levels are depleted, there is a reduction in strength and stamina. Therefore athletes and sports persons need to take supplements to maintain the glutamine levels.

Benefit to the athlete

Glutamine is needed throughout your body for optimal performance. Your small intestines require the most glutamine in your body and your immune system also needs it because glutamine levels deplete during workouts. Bodybuilders are more susceptible to illnesses - which is why L-Glutamine supplementation is so important.

References:

  • Glutamine and the preservation of gut integrity
  • van der Hulst, R.R.W.J. et al. The Lancet , Volume 341 , Issue 8857 , 1363 - 1365
  • Omasa, T., Ishimoto, M., Higashiyama, K. et al. Cytotechnology (1992) 8: 75. doi:10.1007/BF02540032
  • Nissim, Itzhak, Charles Cattano, and Zhiping Lin. "Acid-base regulation of hepatic glutamine metabolism and ureagenesis: study with 15N." Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 3.7 (1993): 1416-1427.
  • Albrecht, Jan, et al. "Roles of glutamine in neurotransmission." Neuron glia biology 6.04 (2010): 263-276.
  • Rowbottom, D.G., Keast, D. & Morton, A.R. Sports Med (1996) 21: 80. doi:10.2165/00007256-199621020-00002

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