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:


  • 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.


  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:

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


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


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

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


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

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


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.

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


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


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


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.

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


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


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 You can also mix it into some water with a NutriDyn Fruits & Greens flavor like Berry  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


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


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.

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


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

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


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


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.
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


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.

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


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.

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


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.

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


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.

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


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


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.

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