What Is Glutamine?

The chemical structure of glutamine.
Glutamine has been used to treat alcoholism.
Glutamine is often considered a "brain food" and a muscle mass enhancer.
Nuts contain glutamine and glutamic acid.
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  • Written By: Michael Pollick
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Images By: Bioreg Images, Jedi-Master, Christopher Howey, Es75
  • Last Modified Date: 19 August 2014
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Scientifically speaking, glutamine is one of the 20 amino acids formed by the human body. It is considered a non-essential amino acid because it can be derived from glutamic acid, another member of the amino acid family. Both glutamine and glutamic acid can be found in protein-rich foods such as beans, red meat, nuts and fish. The body uses this amino acide to improve mental function, control blood sugar levels and maintain muscle mass, among other applications.

As a supplement, glutamine is seen as both a "brain food" and a muscle mass enhancer for body builders. Physicians have been known to use it for the treatment of alcoholism, mild depression and muscle-wasting conditions such as Huntington's disease. Glutamine is actually the most common free-form amino acid found floating in muscle tissues. During times of stress, the body may draw it away from the muscles in order to bolster the immune system or prevent blood sugar reactions. This is why many bodybuilders and other proponents of supplements often add daily doses of glutamine to maintain good muscle health.

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The average diet provides anywhere from 5 to 8 grams of glutamine a day. It would not be unusual for bodybuilders in training to boost this level to 10 grams or more with supplements. Others who need to control their blood sugar levels may also benefit from additional amounts of this amino acid. Some non-scientific studies suggest that it may also help improve mental function, because the body naturally uses it to transport nitrogen to the brain and nervous system.

The human body does require a daily intake of glutamine, so the use of supplements is not generally seen as harmful or unnecessary. Higher doses may cause unpleasant side effects such as diarrhea, but most healthy bodies can safely assimilate the excess amino acid. Supplemental glutamine simply remains suspended in muscle tissue unless drawn away for other uses by the body. Some people also discover that higher levels reduce their desire for sweets or between-meal snacks.

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Discuss this Article

anon180094
Post 17

Can amino acid decrease blood pressure and cholesterol?

anon145386
Post 16

Can I take 100 percent L-Glutamine u.s.p with fat burners, will I get any side effects?

anon126546
Post 15

I have Raynauds disease and my hands are numb, white, blue and then turn red when the blood comes back every day just opening the refrigerator.

I was told to try L-Glutamine. What do you think?

anon126312
Post 14

is it true that Glutamine will control the desire for alcohol?

anon109535
Post 13

Are glutamine and L-glutimine the same thing?

anon74171
Post 11

how many products are there when glutamine is titrated?

anon70057
Post 10

Glutamine is the most abundant naturally occurring, non-essential amino acid in the human body and one of the few amino acids which directly crosses the blood-brain barrier.

In the body it is found circulating in the blood as well as stored in the skeletal muscles. It becomes conditionally essential (requiring intake from food or supplements) in states of illness or injury.

anon67820
Post 9

Please tell me what are the uses of L-Glutamine?

anon66515
Post 8

Glutamine is one of the amino acids which are the building blocks of muscle. glutamine sr occurs in each protein source. Protein sources are meat, fish, cereals, beans, etc. Today it is possible to find L-Glutamine in pure form as a nutritional supplement to take. Nutrimax

anon42763
Post 7

can glutamine help with low platelet count?

anon40632
Post 6

please tell me what does glutamine do? and is it good for that person who is taking nitro muscle tech with fat burner same brand?

anon36799
Post 5

Glutamine itself is simply an amino acid and does not contain any wheat, gluten, dairy, or any other known allergens. Just make sure when purchasing glutamine, that it is in fact pure L-Glutamine (and does not contain any allergens).

Source: I myself am gluten intolerant and take 4 grams a day to help speed up my recovery.

marmar
Post 4

if a person is gluten intolerant, does that mean that he should not take the glutamine supplement, even through injection?

anon8597
Post 2

what other side effects does it have?. as per say any sexual side effects?

anon4383
Post 1

What is meant by high potent molecules, how they are classified, what precautions should be taken for handling them?

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