L-glutamine is an amino acid found in many different types of foods. Glutamine is found in chicken or bone broth, brassicas, and high protein foods like fish.
Many bodybuilders and athletes use glutamine because it boosts muscle and bone growth.
Brain function benefits from glutamine as well. Glutamine is one of the primary fuels for enterocytes, the cells that line the gut. I have seen studies that demonstrate glutamine boosting the immune system by increasing secretory IgA.
On the other hand, I have had clients who experienced significant side effects from L-glutamine. So, don’t just jump straight into the water. Put your big toe in first, okay?
If you’re going to take glutamine, and you’ve got GI issues such as leaky gut, IBS, Candida, or abdominal discomfort, don’t rush into taking large doses of L-glutamine. Instead, start with small quantities, and take it from there.
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I recommend that glutamine be taken with protein foods rather than an empty stomach. The average dose for many people is between 500 and 2,000 milligrams per day. Some websites recommend megadoses from 30 grams up to 80 grams per day. I consider that very foolhardy. Mega dosing on any supplement just doesn’t make sense, regardless of what it is.
With glutamine, start small, build up, watch the bowel motions, and use the eyeball test. Look into the toilet and see what the stool’s doing. Keep track of your gut comfort after starting glutamine.
When you introduce glutamine into your diet as a supplement, don’t start10 other things at the same time. Take glutamine, for example, at a rate of say 500 milligrams per day for several days, build up to 1,000, watch the stool, watch the gut symptoms, and watch the food sensitivities. If you start noticing improvements or changes, you may well be getting a good benefit from it. You could slowly step it up to 1,000 or 2,000 milligrams per day.
As per usual, if something benefits you, take it. If it doesn’t, get rid of it. It’s not a dietary necessity. But for people pushing their body hard through physical training and eating a lot of food, there is definitely a benefit from glutamine.
With regards to leaky gut, I’ve seen glutamine result in significant improvement. If the leaky gut comes along with SIBO, parasites, or Candida, it may be hard to tolerate the glutamine. In that case, start with a cleanse, eradicate the gut microbe imbalances, and then undergo a trial of glutamine.