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What Is Glutamine?

Updated: Aug 21, 2019

Glutamine is an amino acid. Amino acids are molecules that play many roles in the body.

Their main purpose is to serve as building blocks for proteins.

Proteins are crucial to the organs. They also serve other functions, such as transporting substances in the blood and fighting off harmful viruses and bacteria.

Like many other amino acids, it exists in two different forms: L-glutamine and D-glutamine.

They are almost identical but have a slightly different molecular arrangement.

The form found in foods and supplements is L-glutamine. Some supplements list it as L-glutamine, but others simply use the broader term glutamine.

While L-glutamine is used to make proteins and perform other functions, D-glutamine appears to be relatively unimportant in living organisms.

L-glutamine can be produced naturally in your body. In fact, it is the most abundant amino acid in the blood and other body fluids.

However, there are times when the glutamine needs of your body are greater than its ability to produce it.

Therefore, it's considered a conditionally essential amino acid, meaning that it must be obtained from the diet under certain conditions, such as injury or illness (8).

Also, glutamine is an important molecule for the immune system and intestinal healt

  • Glutamine is an important amino acid. L-glutamine is the form found in foods, supplements and the human body. It is part of the proteins in your body and involved in immune function and intestinal health.

  • Almost any food containing protein will contain some glutamine, but amounts vary. Animal foods are good sources due to their protein contents. Getting enough protein in your diet can ensure you are getting enough.

  • The following are the percentages of protein made up of L-glutamine in each food:

  • Eggs: 4.4% (0.6 g per 100 g of eggs)Beef: 4.8% (1.2 g per 100 g of beef)Skim milk: 8.1% (0.3 g per 100 g of milk)Tofu: 9.1% (0.6 g per 100 g of tofu)White rice: 11.1% (0.3 g per 100 g of rice)Corn: 16.2% (0.4 g per 100 g of corn)

  • There is little support for the use of glutamine supplements for muscle gain or strength performance. However, they may reduce fatigue or decrease muscle soreness during and after exercise.

  • Your intestines are a major part of your immune system. Glutamine is an energy source for intestinal and immune cells. It also helps maintain the barrier between the intestines and the rest of your body and aids with proper growth of intestinal cells.

Author/source: Grant Tinsley

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