Glutamine Supports Gut Health and Immunity

Glutamine – for healing the digestive system, immunity and muscle strength

Glutamine is known to be an important fuel for the lining of the colon and a vital nutrient for the healthy function of the digestive system. It is an amino acid which are the building blocks of protein in the body.

Under normal circumstances, the body makes enough glutamine but in times of stress or illness, the body’s demand for it may outstrip our ability to manufacture it or get enough from our diet. The best foods sources are meat, fish and eggs but glutamine in food is easily destroyed by exposure to heat or cooking. In times of acute stress, supplementation may be necessary.


How does Glutamine benefit the digestive system

Research has shown remarkable results using glutamine in patients with digestive disorders, including Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel and ulcerative colitis. In the area of leaky gut or also known as intestinal permeability, there have been 6,500 articles published in medical journals about the use of glutamine.

Glutamine is the primary fuel of the mucosal lining of the intestine where leakiness can occur The mucosa contains the fastest growing cells in the body and renew every 72 hours. This growth rate takes a lot of fuel and without sufficient glutamine, cell replacement can be compromised and the gut wall is likely to become leaky. Stomach ulcers and peptic ulcers can also benefit from supplementing with glutamine.


Glutamine can help with autoimmune conditions

Scientists have found that without sufficient glutamine, at least two specialised immune system cells suffer – lymphocytes which are the white cells that activate other defence cells and phagocytes which are the cells that engulf invaders. People suffering from auto-immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis produce up to 50% more cytokines which are chemicals released from white blood cells producing pain and inflammation. Glutamine works with other key enzymes in the body to positively affect the cytokines released.


Glutamine can help muscle strength

A build up of toxic, acidic chemicals in the body as a result of hard training and competition can contribute to muscle aches and stiffness as well as depressing the immune system. Glutamine plays a role in helping to clear the waste products of exercise and has been identified as being a trigger for the release of growth hormone. Growth hormone, secreted by the pituitary gland, is involved in growth and repair as well as stimulating the immune system.

Glutamine is available in capsule or powder form and is more easily absorbed when taken with carbohydrate foods. It is excellent for healing digestive disorders, following illness, injury or surgery and at times of great stress.

Davina Dowling Nutritional Therapist

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