L-Glutamine Conclusion / References

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L-Glutamine Conclusion / References

by Ivy Greenwell -- reprinted by permission from Bill Faloon of The Life Extension Foundation

Glutamine, the most abundant amino acid in humans, is vital to the proper functioning of our bodies.  While the role of glutamine in these and other situations is promising, additional research is needed.  The role of glutamine in the body and the potential advantages of glutamine supplementation for individuals is the focus of on-going intense research efforts throughout the world.

There is also a suspicion that toxic residues from the compounds formerly used for bleaching white flour may have contributed to the increase in neurodegenerative diseases -- again by inhibiting glutamine synthase.  A big challenge in neuro-protection is avoiding neurotoxins that might impair the quick conversion of glutamate to glutamine thus, enhancing the production of glutamine synthase.

Malnutrition (of vitamins/minerals, etc. -- not fasting) can likewise lead to glial malfunction and thus to the inability of glia to remove excitatory neurotransmitters (glutamate and aspartate) from the synaptic junctions.  In summary, glutamate excitotoxicity arises only under certain pathological conditions such as stroke, extremely high fever, certain viral infections, the presence of neurotoxins, or severe inflammation.

It can be due to excess release of glutamate by the neurons (stroke) and/or to glial malfunction where the glia are incapable of secreting enough glutamine synthase in order to convert glutamate to glutamine.  Glutamine as such cannot harm the brain.  On the contrary, it is very beneficial to the brain.  Any excess glutamine simply leaves the brain, being donated to the body.

Summary of Benefits
There are many reasons for taking l-glutamine:  Healthier intestines, stronger immune system, enhanced muscle tone, helps combat fatigue and blood sugar issues and encourages a more agile brain.  For therapeutic uses, glutamine is especially recommended for people who suffer from problems such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, colitis, Chron's Disease, frequent NSAID users who need to protect their gastrointestinal tract, and anyone under heavy stress (including strenuous exercise) or recovering from injury or other trauma.  It may also be helpful as an adjunct therapy for decreasing alcohol use and/or cocaine and its derivatives.  It supports growth hormone release (when taken on an empty stomach before exercise or bedtime).  It is also used by athletes to improve exercise endurance since it can actually turn itself into a carbohydrate when carbohydrate depleted.

Using kudzu and d,l phenylalanine in association with L-Glutamine is an additional consideration concerning lessening the desire for alcohol and carbohydrates.  Glutamine has a long history of curbing the desire for alcohol and carbohydrates.  Take 5-20 grams of L-Glutamine per day when needed, between 2 and 3 grams at the onset of a desire for sweets and/or alcohol, and up to 40 grams per day for more serious concerns.

Even though glutamine is nontoxic, it is recommended that you consult a health practitioner before using high doses.  Diabetics, cancer patients, patients with advanced liver disease, and those with neurological diseases including stroke and epilepsy should use glutamine only with the permission of their doctor.

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