Glutamine amino acid information
Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid and is found in large amounts in the muscles of the body, and since it easily pass through the blood-brain barrier, it is also known as a superb brain fuel, and some people refer to it as a “smart-vitamin” – although it is in actual fact no vitamin at all.
It is converted to glutamic acid in the brain, which is essential for cerebral functions, and increases the amount of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which is required for brain functioning and mental activity.
It is used in the muscles for the synthesis of muscle proteins, and is of use for the treatment of wasting muscles after illness or post-operative care.
Although the body requires nitrogen, free nitrogen in the body can be harmful since it form ammonia – specially toxic to the brain. The liver normally converts ammonia to urea, excreted in the urine – but glutamic acid attaches itself to nitrogen and forms glutamic acid, while removing ammonia from the brain.
It further is used in the body to balance the acid/alkaline level and is also the basis or building blocks of RNA and DNA.
It serves as a source of fuel for cells lining the intestines and it is also used by white blood cells and is important for immune function.
Deficiency of this nutrient is rare, since it can be manufactured by the body but deficiencies can develop during periods of fasting, starvation, strict dieting, cirrhosis, and weight loss associated with AIDS and cancer.
The dosage listed is the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), but be aware that this dosage is the minimum that you require per day, to ward off serious deficiency of this particular nutrient. In the therapeutic use of this nutrient, the dosage is usually increased considerably, but the toxicity level must be kept in mind.
In the presence of good health, supplementation of glutamine should not be necessary.
Toxicity and symptoms of high intake
No clear toxicity has emerged in glutamine studies, but it should not be taken by people suffering from liver or kidney problems.
When more may be required
People suffering from arthritis, fibrosis, connective tissue disease, peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis, as well as epilepsy, fatigue, impotence and senility may find benefit from an increase of this nutrient, as well as people busy with alcohol abuse withdrawal and patients living with HIV.
Other interesting points
Monosodium glutamate (MSG), a salt of glutamic acid, is sometimes used as a condiment for flavoring foods. It imparts no flavor of its own, but enhances the flavors of meats, fish, and vegetables. Some people have an allergic reaction to MSG’s, and should be avoided by such individuals.
In animal research, glutamine has anti-inflammatory effects.
Glutamine also decreases the craving for sweets and sugar, which is beneficial to people wishing to loose weight.
Glutamine is found in many high protein foods, such as fish, meat, beans, and dairy as well in vegetables such as raw parsley and spinach.