Could You Benefit from Extra L-Glutamine?

By Jackie Cartier
June 3, 2019

If you have the following symptoms, taking L-Glutamine could be beneficial:

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  • Anxiety
  • Sugar or alcohol cravings
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Poor immune system
  • Low muscle mass
  • Poor wound healing
  • Slow recovery after workouts

L-Glutamine is one of the most important nutrients for a healthy digestive tract because of its ability to maintain the integrity of the intestinal wall. This amino acid (in fact it’s the most abundant amino acid in the body) heals all tissue in the body, especially those irritated tissues in the digestive tract. It is also known as the calming amino acid since it’s very effective at reducing anxiety, as well as sugar and alcohol cravings. 

roastchicken.jpgAt Nutritional Weight & Wellness we always look for real food sources first. For this important amino acid, we’re lucky that all animal protein foods are great sources of glutamine. The long list includes beef, bison, chicken, fish, free-range eggs, grass-fed dairy, lamb, pork and turkey. However, if you or someone in your family isn’t eating sufficient amounts of animal protein and/or has the above symptoms we recommend taking a glutamine supplement. 

 A 2011 study published in the Yonsei Medical Journal found that glutamine supports the immune system and is especially beneficial for patients in the hospital and those fighting viruses or overwhelming infections. (Kim, 2011) Clinically, we have found that our clients looking for better digestion and fewer cravings have greatly benefited from an L-glutamine supplement.

If you have anxiety, sugar or alcohol cravings, constipation or diarrhea, a poor immune system, low muscle mass, poor wound healing or slow recovery after workouts, you may want to supplement with L-glutamine. L-Glutamine comes in two forms; pick whichever works for you, capsules or powder.

Reference

  1. Kim, H. A. National Institutes of Health, US National Library of Medicine, (2011). Glutamine as an immunonutrient (PMCID: PMC3220259). Retrieved from Yonsei Medical Journal website: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22028151

About the author

Jackie Cartier is Content Strategy Manager for Nutritional Weight & Wellness. She was once a client, seeking natural solutions to her achy runner knees and hormonal imbalances. From then she was hooked and eventually ended up on their team, spreading the real food message on the blog and through social media. 

View all posts by Jackie Cartier

Comments

MARCIA SAMMONS
Would L-Glutamine be beneficial for someone with Colitis?
July 6, 2017 at 4:12 pm

admin

Yes it absolutely can. We typically recommend 2 capsules or 1/4-1/2 tsp before each meal to support gut healing.

Shelly
Hi - if you are trying to reduce sugar and alcohol cravings how much L-Glutamine should you be taking? thanks.
July 7, 2017 at 8:31 am

admin

We typically recommend 2 capsules or 1/4-1/2 tsp before each meal to help reduce cravings. 

Tony
Hi, I'm 44 and having moderate ddd, degenerative disc disease, can this supplement help the health of my joints? Thanks
August 4, 2017 at 6:45 am

admin

L glutamine is a vital nutrient for a healthy digestive tract because of its ability to maintain the integrity of the intestinal wall.  So it could inadvertently help you to absorb the nutrients needed to support Bone and connective tissue.

A good healthy diet with adequate protein, lots of healthy vegetables supported by healthy fat is always the best approach to support joints and discs.

It's always good to make an appoint with it with a nutritionist  if you are concerned that your intestinal health is compromised.

Jennifer
Couple Questions: What is the recommended dosage typically? Is this safe for pregnant women? Is this a long term supplement or just one to restore levels?
August 18, 2017 at 10:31 pm

admin

We think it’s safe, as does Dr. Amy Myers, but it's always a good idea to check with your practitioner. For dosage we’d suggest 2,000 to 4,000 mg a day, usually used short term to help with healing and cravings, though some do use it long term. 

Marcia Sammons
What can a person with Colitis do if they dont eat raw vegetables, only cooked and not a wide variety?
August 22, 2017 at 2:00 pm

admin

The answers are very unique to each person, we'd encourage you to consider an phone or in-person appointment with one of our nutritionists

david daugaard
i have taken l-glutamine and have painful head aches and changes in my mental state - any idea why this would be ? as i seem to have leaky gut and would benefit here from the supplement
November 22, 2017 at 7:25 pm

admin

For some very sensitive people, Glutamine can trigger headaches and possibly other mental processing. It's believed to be because the chemical structure of glutamine is similar enough to MSG that some people's bodies view them as almost the same.  You may try taking a much smaller dose and see if the symptoms go away, and then slowly increase the dose to support digestive healing.  If even a small dose continues to cause symptoms, then just know that right now this supplement is not right for your biochemistry. In the meantime try drinking 1-2 cups of bone broth per day to get a natural form of glutamine and other nutrients that are very good at healing the digestive tract.

gil
If you have a GAD65 SNP , you cannot convert GLUTAMATE to glutamine, so by taking glutamine, it might even convert to more GLUTAMATE and make you more anxious
August 8, 2018 at 8:54 pm

admin

For some people they don’t process glutamine correctly. If you notice you have symptoms after taking l-glutamine then discontinue use.

June Mundy
I bought a large tub don't like the taste,can I drink it orange juice ?
October 15, 2018 at 7:30 am

admin

I am sorry to hear you purchased a supplement that does not taste to your liking.  We generally discourage drinking juice since the sugar load to the body is so high.  A better option would be to put the l-glutamine powder in a smoothie.  We have lots of smoothie recipes on our website https://www.weightandwellness.com/resources/recipes/. You can also mix it into some water with a NutriDyn Fruits & Greens flavor like Berry https://nutrikey.net/collections/greens/products/dynamic-greens-berry-300-gm.  This will give you the added nutritional boost of 20 servings of fruits and vegetables without the sugar.

Ahamad Shaik
How to work on immune system?

October 16, 2018 at 4:10 am

admin

Since it helps maintain the integrity of the intestinal wall, the immune system will benefit as well since most of our immune function lives in our gut. 

Teresa Sandstoe
I have Gerd or Acid reflux, do you think this medicine will help my problem, if is yes how many do I need to take a day. Thank you
October 18, 2018 at 3:26 pm

admin

Acidophilus powder would likely be more effective in helping your GERD or acid reflux. Use ½ tsp at night and if it’s really bad you can mix some in your water and drink it all day.

https://nutrikey.net/products/dophilus-powder-26-oz

Mercy
I have I.B.S and severe anxiety, sugar and alcohol cravings and chronic insomnia (due to anxiety). Would I benefit from L-Gluthamine? I'm currently taking I.Bgard and blackseed oil for I.B.S and a prescription pill for sleep. Thanks
November 27, 2018 at 3:05 pm

admin

Yes, you would definitely benefit from l-glutamine. I would recommend taking 1 tsp of the powder or 3-4 capsules each day.

Kristine
I have hypothyroidism & many of the side effects of the disease as well as vitligo and I would like to know if there would be any benefit to taking l-glutamine for these issues? Thank you.
January 9, 2019 at 10:36 pm

admin

Yes, both of those conditions are affected by poor digestive health so l-glutamine can help. If you are experiencing a lot of hypothyroidism symptoms I would highly recommend making an individual appointment (availabel by phone or in-person) with one of our nutritionists. All of them are well versed in hypothyroidism.

Deb Peterson
A friend recommended l’glutamine for neuropathy, although I do not see any mention of neuropathy in your list of benefits. I am not diabetic but have been diagnosed with small fiber neuropathy in both my feet.
February 17, 2019 at 9:24 am

admin

L-Glutamine could be beneficial for a variety of conditions above and beyond what we listed, because it helps to reduce inflammation. In addition, it is known to support the immune system and heal tissue. It sounds like your situation could be more complex than just adding in a supplement. You may consider setting up an individual consultation, where you could work with one of our nutritionists to put together a real food nutrition plan to address the small fiber neuropathy you are experiencing in both feet.

karlcasey67@gmail.com
Hi i suffer with ibs and have a few food intolerances,i also suffer with a lot of gas no matter what i eat,would l glutamine help me?
February 17, 2019 at 10:49 pm

admin

Yes, it sounds like L-glutamine and bifido bacteria would be two key supplements to support your GI tract. If you don't find relief with the supplements alone, I would encourage you to set up an individual consultation with one of our nutritionists. They would be able to put together a real food plan to put your IBS into remission.

Nicole
Hi, how about someone that has H.Pylori, would this help? Thank you.
February 22, 2019 at 11:25 pm

admin

L-glutamine is an amino acid that helps to heal wounds and soothe the lining of the digestive tract. We find L-glutamine from food sources in quality animal proteins like beef, chicken, eggs, and fish; so we encourage our clients with digestive complaints or infections to look first at the food they are eating. Although H. Pylori can be very complex, it makes sense that additional L-glutamine from a supplement could help with symptom relief. If you need some additional support in treating H. Pylori naturally, consider setting up a phone or in-person appointment with one of our licensed nutritionists.

Erin
Hi, can L-glutamine be used in cancer patient (nasopharyngeal cancer to be exact) who is undergoing radiation and chemo treatment for mouth sores?
April 3, 2019 at 1:31 pm

admin

This a great question, as L-glutamine is a powerful amino acid that helps to heal the lining of the digestive tract. However, the research on L-glutamine use during an active cancer infection and treatments does suggest potential for negative effects. We recommend always checking with your oncologist, but it is probably best to play it safe and hold off on using L-glutamine until the treatment course is finished. Swishing cod liver oil, coconut oil, or a little liquid aloe vera in the mouth may provide some relief for the mouth sores.

Patrick
I have diverviticulitis. Is L Glutamine a good source of gut supplement please.
Thanks
Patrick
April 28, 2019 at 2:05 am

admin

Yes - L glutamine is an amino acid that helps to heal tissue. Many clients with digestive disorders find L glutamine to be a helpful supplement.

Deb
How many milligrams are in each of the "2 capsules before each meal" discussed above? I have NutriKey L-Glutamine 120 vegicaps and bottle says "serving size" is 3 vegicaps, each containing 2,250 mg.
June 5, 2019 at 9:35 pm

admin

The bottle serving is a suggested dose from the manufacturer.  In the video our recommendation is based on our research for the best efficacy.  

Mary Spielvogel
My mom has C-Diff and Ecoli, she's currently only 2 antibiotics. She's taking a probiotic and eating yogurt daily. Would L-glutamine be helpful?
June 6, 2019 at 7:13 am

admin

I am so sorry to hear about your mothers diagnosis.  Both bacterial infections can be very scary not to mention miserable.  I would highly advise she makes an appointment with a dietitian to restore her microbiome from not only these infections but the damage from the medications she needs to fight these infections.  A good probiotic, as well as L-glutamine is advised.  She can probably take 2 L-Glutamines before each meal in addition to her probiotics that should contain Bifido, other strains as well are needed.

Karusha
Will L-Glutamine assist with dark spots on the face. Chloasma. And how many mg tabs should be taken daily?
October 31, 2019 at 2:10 am

admin

L-Glutamine can help most with a healthy digestive tract, but would not directly help skin or dark spots.

Emily
How long would you suggest continuing the supplement if you are using it to heal the gut/lining of the digestive tract?
November 5, 2019 at 6:27 am

admin

The length to stay on l-glutamine does depend on the person, for most people at least 4 months and could be 12 months for some. You can also go by symptoms, some people notice a difference when they stop the l-glutamine so they add it back in.

Deborah
Hi Jackie, I have all the symptoms you mentioned, mainly caused by coeliac disease, and also my recent diagnoses with Blastis Homensis. I struggle to put on weight and have lost muscle mass. I have found your post extremely helpful and hoping L-Glutamine may help.
November 22, 2019 at 1:51 pm

admin

Glad to hear this information helped you, if you would like more individualized one-on-one support you could meet with one of our Nutritionists for a consultation

Connie
Hello, my mother is 73 yrs old and suffers from ulcerative colitis. Would L-glutamine help her? Thank you.
December 19, 2019 at 1:02 am

admin

Yes, L-glutamine helps repair tissues in our intestinal tract. Begin with a small dose of 1/4 tsp 3x/day on a empty stomach, increase slowly up to 1tsp 3x/day. (This does is based on our NutriKey L-glutamine powder supplement.)

L-glutamine will be most beneficial when coupled with our Weight & Wellness eating style.

Victor
I’m on a prescription Steroid to get my flair up from IBS under control but I want to take the L-glutamine. Would it be best to wait until I done or can I take the to meds together.
January 18, 2020 at 4:33 am

admin

Glutamine should not interfere with steroid use. We would also recommend a consult with a Dietitian (available by phone or in-person) to combat those IBS flare ups.https://www.weightandwellness.com/counseling/

Prince Agyapong
Hello, i’m 28 years and having burning sensations and tingling in the fingers. Can L-Glutamine help me? Thanks in advance for your reply.
January 18, 2020 at 6:37 pm

admin

We would recommend a consult (available by phone or in-person) as tingling can be quite a few things that would need a nutritionists to figure out with you. https://www.weightandwellness.com/counseling/

Khanyisile
I have been diagnosed with sciatica and have a problem in walking and standing especially my right leg is more affected. In 2003, I had a neck surgery because of disc relapse and was supposed to go for another lower back surgery. Can collagen help me fix my skeletal problems. Thanks
March 1, 2020 at 5:13 am

admin

Wow! What a difficult journey for you. I’m so sorry to hear about the pain you’ve incurred. I would recommend an appointment with the dietitian as this is very complex. Collagen can be helpful but not necessarily curative. Certainly adding 1 to 2 servings of collagen would be beneficial.

jo
Hi could you please help...I started taking L Glutamine and 2 days later I have high pitch buzzing in my ears...will this stop or have I damaged my hearing forever?
Will magnesium citrate taken as powder stop the high pitched hissing and buzzing?
April 26, 2020 at 12:04 pm

admin

I've never heard of this effect from L-glutamine before. Not sure if this will stop – at this point, I would discontinue and give it some time. This could be a potential explanation/mechanism:

For tinnitus, it has been hypothesised that the excessive release of glutamate between the inner hair cell and the terminal fibres of the auditory nerve at the synaptic cleft, as a result of noise exposure, for example, may generate tinnitus (Figueiredo 2008). Excess glutamate may lead to increased expression of glutamate receptors, making cells increasingly sensitive to the excitatory neurotransmitter, resulting ultimately in excitotoxicity. Glutamate receptor antagonists therefore are a theoretically logical approach to breaking this 'cycle'. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6458046/

James
I have rhabdo after exertion, can l- glutamine help please
May 26, 2020 at 11:13 pm

admin

This is a very complicated diagnosis. We would hesitate to recommend anything through email at this point. Nutrition support is of utmost importance and we would suggest an appointment with a nutritionist by phone or video. https://www.weightandwellness.com/counseling/

Che
When is the best time to take L-glutamine? And should you take it on an empty stomach?
May 27, 2020 at 5:41 am

admin

It is best to take L-glutamine about 10-15 minutes before a meal, on an empty stomach. I typically recommend taking L-glutamine 2-3 times per day (so before 2-3 meals per day).

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