If you have heard of the word glutamine but are not sure what it is exactly you are about to find out! Glutamine is an amino acid in the blood stream. There is more glutamine in the blood than any other amino acid. Amino acids are building blocks of protein, enzymes, antibodies, hemoglobin and even some hormones. They are absolutely necessary for survival. Our body is able to manufacture glutamine which allows glutamine to be referred to as a conditionally essential amino acid. Although our bodies are able to manufacture glutamine on its own, there are times in which our body needs extra glutamine to function at its best. Anytime our bodies become stressed, due to a lot of physical activity, they need more glutamine than we are capable of making. Our bodies store glutamine in our muscles and also in our lungs. Our lungs are the manufacturers of most of the glutamine our body makes.

Glutamine has some pretty important tasks which includes getting rid of excess ammonia in the body. Ammonia is considered a waste product but occasionally it is needed to make other amino acids in the body. It is also used to make sugars and an antioxidant called glutathione. In times in which the ammonia is needed, glutamine can pick up the ammonia and distribute it to the proper places.

Glutamine is also used to build up our immune systems and encourage healthy brain and digestion functions. Glutamine is used to help heal wounds, protect the lining of the gastrointestinal track, help prevent loss of muscle mass, suppress the appetite and aid in the healing of cancer, in addition to traditional treatments.

Luckily we are able to obtain most of our glutamine requirements through our diets. For those that are very physically active it may become necessary to take glutamine supplements. Other times in which our glutamine levels may become depleted and a supplement may be necessary are after infections, surgeries, injuries or extreme and prolonged stress on the body. When someone works out a lot or has another form of physical stress, glutamine levels may drop. This causes muscle loss and a slow physical recovery after too much activity.

You can find glutamine supplements at your local vitamin and herb shop and also online at several manufacturer’s websites. There are debates on which form of glutamine is best in supplemental form and also which brands are the best to use. Glutamine comes in capsule form and powdered form. Most people choose the powdered form over the capsules since it takes several more capsules to equal the same amount that you can get in a scoop of the powered formula. There are also two types of glutamine including L-glutamine and glutamine peptides. Some people choose to take the glutamine peptide since research has shown that it may be easier to digest.

Regardless of which type of glutamine you choose to use, you will find that the supplement can become quite pricey. If you are not sure if you should be supplementing with glutamine then it may be a good idea to speak to a medical professional or dietician on the matter. Most of us are able to get enough of the glutamine our bodies require through foods such as, meat, dairy, eggs, lentils, tofu, beans and peanuts. If your diet is rich in these types of food then you may be getting the right amount already. If you have recently suffered from an infection, surgery, or trauma to the body then it may be a good idea to eat more of these types of food to replenish your glutamine needs or possibly take glutamine supplements until your feeling better physically.

Last updated on May 29th, 2009 and filed under Nutritional Information. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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