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The Benefits of Glutamine Supplements

Aug 17, 2007
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid and is found primarily in your muscles. Most bodies cannot produce glutamine in sufficient quantities, and additional sources are needed. Through diet and supplements, one can supply their body with the additional glutamine that it requires.

Supplements are readily available and are commonly found in the form of powdered drink mixes, pills or tablets. Animal and plant proteins are dietary sources of glutamine as well. A diet high in fish, poultry and legumes is recommended for sufficient natural glutamine production.

Catabolism refers to the breaking down of molecules into smaller units. During and after physical exercise, catabolism typically occurs in muscles. This is counterproductive in building strong muscle tone.

Anabolism is the opposite, it actually encourages the building of larger muscle fibers. Glutamine boosts the production of human growth hormones, which in turn promotes anabolism. Glutamine has been clearly linked to increased protein synthesis. The added glutamine is synthesized into new protein tissue as well.

Glutamine enhances the intestines ability to resist the invasion of harmful micro-organisms, as well as promoting cell reproduction and boosting the body's immune system. Glutamine is also one of the building blocks of glutathione, the body's primary antioxidant. It is often given to patients who have cancer, AIDS, trauma, burns and other infections, as it promotes the healing of wounds.

Glutamine is a common supplemental treatment for peptic ulcers and in preventing asprin-induced gastric lesions. It is often used as an oral rinse to reduce mouth sores usually associated with chemotherapy to treat cancer, and is also used to treat other cancer complications such as stomach irritation.

The anabolic properties of glutamine are helpful in the fat burning process by promoting muscle growth and the production of the human growth hormone. HGH builds and protects lean muscle mass. It is also used to help sugar addicts through withdrawal.

Glutamine is one of the building blocks for the production of neurotransmitters (glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid, known as GABA) in the brain. Glutamine is converted into glucose when the brain contains a deficiency. Users of glutamine supplements often report a better overall mood and feel less fatigued.

Alcoholics and sugar addicts may find glutamine supplementation a way to ease the stomach pain and mental toxicity that comes when they stop consuming alcohol or sugar. It is thought that glutamine may reduce cravings.

There are side effect warnings when supplementing with glutamine, and some users have experienced minor headaches. However, there are no known drug interactions or nutrient problems associated with glutamine.

The typical dosage is between 2 and 20 grams. The intestines will consume up to 5 grams at a time. This means that any supplementation for the purpose of building muscle, added immunity strength beyond the intestines, fat burning or mental clarity should take doses greater than 5 grams. The typical patient will take in glutamine twice a day, once in the morning and again after a workout or before bed. It is best taken on an empty stomach.

Choose L-glutamine over D-glutamine, as it more closely resembles the substance in its natural form. While studies are still out concerning other uses for glutamine, many benefits are already proven and widely accepted.
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