Glutamine is an essential amino acid which plays a number of important functions in our body. These include building proteins, helping the intestines regenerate, supporting the immune system, accelerating the healing of wounds or stimulating enzymes responsible for glucogenesis. What else is worth knowing about it?
What is glutamine?
Glutamine belongs to the group of amino acids, i.e. molecules which are the building blocks of proteins. It occurs in two forms: L-glutamine and D-glutamine. The former is found in foods and supplements and is used for protein formation, among other things. It is also crucial for gut health and the immune system. L-glutamine is naturally produced in the body. When it comes to D-glutamine, on the other hand, it does not play a major role in living organisms.
Glutamine in food
Glutamine is found in a variety of foods. A standard diet contains from about 3 to about 6 grams of this amino acid. The highest amount of glucosamine is found in various types of animal products, which is related to the high protein content. Protein consisting of L-glutamine can be found in beef, eggs, tofu and skimmed milk, among others. Rice and corn contain it in much smaller amounts.
Effects of glutamine on the immune system
As already mentioned, glutamine plays an important role in the immune system. It provides an energy source for immune cells, such as white blood cells and intestinal cells, among others. Its level in the blood may be reduced due to surgery, burns or a serious injury. If the body’s demand for glutamine exceeds its ability to produce it, protein stores such as muscle may be damaged. The functioning of the immune system can also be compromised by not getting enough glutamine. Research shows that dietary supplements containing this amino acid have a positive effect on the number of infections and the length of time spent in hospital.
How does glutamine affect the condition of the intestines?
As you know, the gut is the largest component of the immune system. This is due to the large proportion of cells in them that are responsible for the production of immunoglobulins. Glutamine is an important source of energy for immune and intestinal cells. In addition, it helps maintain the barrier between the internal organs and the rest of the body, thus protecting against leaky gut problems. This prevents toxins or harmful bacteria from entering the rest of the body. It is also very important for proper growth and maintenance of cells in the gut.
How does glutamine affect muscle growth and exercise performance?
As shown by research, dietary supplements with glutamine are able to effectively reduce muscle soreness, helping to improve recovery after intense exercise. This enzyme can also be successfully used to boost immune function among athletes. It is also worth mentioning here that taking glutamine promotes the regeneration of the intestines and improves their condition. This results in proper food absorption and fast regeneration after exercise. Amino acids are then transported to muscles efficiently, resulting in rapid muscle mass gain.
As glutamine is an amino acid produced naturally in the body and found in many different foods, taking it in standard quantities is not harmful to the body. What dosage you should take depends on the type and amount of food you eat. Supplementation with glutamine is best started with a dosage of about 5 grams per day.