Glutamine side effects, glutamine benefits, glutamine dosage and supplements
August 29, 2011
Glutamine reviews - Glutamine facts
Over the last 10 years clinical trials of glutamine supplementation in critical illness have shown
benefit with regard to mortality, length of stay, and infectious morbidity. It appears that dose and
route of administration clearly influence the benefit observed from glutamine administration, with
high-dose, parenteral glutamine demonstrating an advantage over low-dose, enteral glutamine. 
Glutamine is normally considered to be a nonessential amino acid. However, recent
studies have provided evidence that glutamine may become "conditionally essential" during
inflammatory conditions such as infection and injury.  Thus, scientists are interested to know what
benefits glutamine can offer to us?
Under appropriate conditions, glutamine is essential for cell proliferation, that it can act as a
respiratory fuel and that it can benefit or enhance the function of stimulated immune cells. 
L-glutamine operates as a nitrogen shuttle, taking up excess ammonia and forming urea. It can
contribute to the production of other amino acids, glucose, nucleotides, protein, and glutathione.
Glutamine is primarily formed and stored in skeletal muscle and lungs, and is the principal metabolic
fuel for small intestine enterocytes, lymphocytes, macrophages, and fibroblasts. 
How to use glutamine supplement? when to take glutamine supplements?
L-glutamine benefits - body weight and mucosal integrity
L-glutamine has been used to improve glutathione levels and increase the lean body mass in HIV
infection.  Further, Glutamine has been shown to improve intestinal barrier function and immune
function in both in vivo and in vitro models. It is found that by reducing the mucosal cytokine
response and altering intestinal barrier function.  Glutamine supplemental use of glutamine, either
in oral, enteral, or parenteral form, increases intestinal villous height, stimulates gut mucosal cellular
proliferation, and maintains mucosal integrity. It also prevents intestinal hyperpermeability and
bacterial translocation, which may be involved in sepsis and the development of multiple organ
failure.  In a study of patient with gastric carcinoma, researchers found glutamine supplement
could provide protective effect on intestinal mucosal barrier.  I wonder if you know one of the side
effects of Avastin is gastrointestinal perforation, but, I am not sure if glutamine can counter-off this
Avastin side effect. However, glutamine may also stimulate the cancer growth, users must discuss
with their doctor before taking glutamine.
L-glutamine benefits - trauma and surgery
L-glutamine use has been found to be of great importance in the treatment of trauma and surgery
patients, and has been shown to decrease the incidence of infection in these patients. 
L-glutamine benefits - cancer
Cancer patients often develop muscle glutamine depletion, due to uptake by tumors and
chronic protein catabolism. Glutamine supplementation may be helpful in offsetting this depletion.
The use of glutamine with cancer chemotherapy and radiotherapy seems to prevent gut and oral
toxic side-effects, and may even increase the effectiveness of some chemotherapy drugs. 
Researchers developed diazo analogs of L-glutamine as anticancer agents in lab testings. 
Glutamine Side Effects
Though glutamine side effects are unclear, glutamine supplement is suggested to be safe for healthy
adults and children. Potential side effects may include seizures, mental changes in some people. Its
structure is similar to monosodium glutamate (MSG), glutamine may have side effects similar to
MSG's in some people. Further, glutamine dosage is suggested to be lower than 40 grams for adult.
For children, the dosage should not exceed 0.65 grams per kg of weight per day. (www.webmd.com)
Reviewing scientific reports, I notice glutamine may also stimulate the growth of some tumors. 
Thus, glutamine side effects can be serious for people at risk of cancers or people suffered from
cancers. Take glutamine only under doctor's order.
 Catane R, Von Hoff DD, Glaubiger DL, Muggia FM. Azaserine, DON, and azotomycin: three diazo
analogs of L-glutamine with clinical antitumor activity. Cancer Treat Rep. 1979 Jun;63(6):1033-8. 
Patrick L. Nutrients and HIV: part three - N-acetylcysteine, alpha-lipoic acid, L-glutamine, and
L-carnitine. Altern Med Rev. 2000 Aug;5(4):290-305.  Miller AL. Therapeutic considerations of
L-glutamine: a review of the literature. Altern Med Rev. 1999 Aug;4(4):239-48.  Newsholme P.
Why is L-glutamine metabolism important to cells of the immune system in health, postinjury, surgery
or infection? J Nutr. 2001 Sep;131(9 Suppl):2515S-22S; discussion 2523S-4S.  Kelly D,
Wischmeyer PE. Role of L-glutamine in critical illness: new insights. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care.
2003 Mar;6(2):217-22.  Ewaschuk JB, Murdoch GK, Johnson IR, Madsen KL, Field CJ. Glutamine
supplementation improves intestinal barrier function in a weaned piglet model of Escherichia coli
infection. Br J Nutr. 2011 May 18:1-8.  Xu XD, Sun YS, Shao QS, Hu JF, Qian ZY, Zhou YL, Ye ZY.
Effect of early enteral nutrition supplemented with glutamine on postoperative intestinal mucosal
barrier function in patients with gastric carcinoma Zhonghua Wei Chang Wai Ke Za Zhi. 2011
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