Food Freedom Friday Edition 87 - Why L-Glutamine

Leaky gut support and so much more.

L-glutamine is an amino acid that is synthesized by the body from glutamic acid or glutamate. If the body is unable to produce enough it needs to get it directly from your diet.

It is known as a conditionally essential amino acid, because it is used by the body in large amounts but can be manufactured by the body along with being ingested. When your body reaches the point that it is having difficulty making enough for its needs they say it has become an essential amino acid.

This amino acid must be provided either from your food or from supplements. It is usually found in most tissues of the body, and is a fuel source for the body. 

Your body uses large amounts so that it can continue to maintain healthy functioning of your body and its systems. Research shows that the glutamine in the body is found concentrated in the largest amounts in the areas where it is used the most, including the brain, the skeletal muscles, the lining of the gut, the liver, kidneys, heart and lungs.

So what exactly does L-Glutamine do?

General Health & Wellness

As mentioned above this is also an important nutrient for the nervous system, and there are l-glutamine benefits to aid the brain. Glutamine is helpful to improve concentration, focus, alertness and general intellectual ability. It helps to stop brain fogginess and to improve your moods. It is also the primary source of energy for immune system cells including the t-cells, supporting immune strength and efficiency.

Stress and trauma, bacterial and viral infections deplete this nutrient and may cause the immune cells to have insufficient l-glutamine for proper functioning. Having an adequate amount of l-glutamine supports your body in maintaining maintain its delicate acid and alkaline balance.

It is an excellent remedy to assist the blood sugar and it supports pancreatic growth and function.  The function of the pancreas is related to sugar metabolism, so this is a good remedy to stabilize blood sugar, but if you are diabetic do not take it before checking with your doctor.

By aiding the body in the conversion of stored glucose or glycogen to be used for energy, it is helpful in dealing with fatigue. It will help to prevent cravings for carbohydrates and sugars and may help to stop alcohol cravings.

At any time that there is injury of any sort to the body, glutamine is an important part of the healing process. Because it is depleted quickly when you have serious illness or injury, it becomes especially important to supplement during these times.

Glutamine helps wounds heal, is used in the treatment of severe burns patients, to aid in the healing and regenerative process.

It is known to support the elderly who have low muscle mass to build up their muscles and increase energy levels.

The weight lifting community are aware of the l-glutamine benefits as it is a muscle food. A deficiency of this nutrient is known to cause a breakdown of muscle tissue. Bodybuilders are acutely aware that it helps to replenish glycogen in the muscles and it is an important part of their nutritional program.

L-glutamine has an excellent effect on your overall wellness and it has been reported that users have more energy and less fatigue. Furthermore, it is commonly used to support brain and cognitive health as it is a source of energy for the nervous system. This is a valuable nutrient to use daily if you have multiple chemical sensitivity also known as MCS.

Gut Health

Intestinal permeability is commonly known as leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut is a common problem in many people who have allergies, and in some cases it is known to be the cause of allergies and chemical sensitivity developing.

This is one of the most important remedies that you can use to aid the healing of leaky gut. Its action heals the mucosal lining of the gut and helps to maintain its integrity and structure. If leaky gut is left untreated, you may become even more sensitive to chemicals and further allergies and sensitivities will develop along with the possibility of more complex medical conditions.

L-glutamine can be taken as a supplement but is also found in many foods. You may choose to use any of the foods high in glutamine, as long you are not sensitive to them. These include chicken, eggs, dairy products, avocado, cabbage, spinach, green beans, beets and parsley. If you are able to add as many of the foods that are high in l-glutamine to your diet you can be sure you are supplying your body with sufficient amounts of this amino acid over and above what it is able to produce.

Glutamine is also used as an effective treatment for stomach ulcers, diarrhea, IBS and Crohn's disease. 

It cleanses the liver of the waste products of fat metabolism, and can support and aid detoxification of the effects of drug use such as chemotherapy, as well as helping to prevent fatty build up in the liver.

Zinc is an element that is often found together with glutamine in nature as they work congruently in supporting healthy functioning of the body, Zinc is also highly beneficial to aid leaky gut syndrome and ,may need to be supplemented along with l-glutamine when diet alone is not sufficient.

L-Glutamine can have a few side effects:

Although the average person will not have any side effects it can cause issues and concerns in those with diabetes. This is why it is best used under the care of a physician, as you need to be examined to ensure you do not have diabetes before you begin its use.

If you have an allergy to MSG it is possible you might react to glutamine too. While this is very rare it is said that in those circumstances it must be used with care, so check with your health care professional before taking it, if you have these issues.

Although the effects of excess glutamine rarely causes problems, if you are taking glutamine long term it is a good idea to also supplement with B vitamins especially vitamin B12, as this controls glutamine buildup in the body. Other nutrients that also support glutamine metabolism are bilberry extract, green tea and ginkgo biloba. 

The benefits of l-glutamine are so numerous, especially if you have leaky gut syndrome or other bowel disorders, that it is worth checking with your health care professional if you can take begin a regimen of glutamine supplementation. 

In my practice I use it in conjunction with other nutraceuticals and supplements for gastrointestinal healing, health and support. I combine l-glutamine with a physician grade probiotics, a digestive enzyme, collagen powder as well as nutrition supplementation and other natural products depending on individual needs or concerns. If you would like to learn more about my nutrition practices, please email me at so we can connect further.  

Michal Ofer