In fact, L-glutamine is one of my top three most recommended supplements overall for treating leaky gut and/or building a lean body.
7 Proven L-Glutamine Benefits
New research is now showing that L-glutamine benefits the body in the following ways:
1. Improves gastrointestinal health
L-glutamine benefits health issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), an inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulosis, diverticulitis, leaky gut or any of the issues associated with leaky gut (like joint pain, rosacea or any type of autoimmune response). It’s a vital nutrient for the intestines to rebuild and repair. It is one of the most recommended amino acids in your diet on a regular basis.
It’s worth noting that the man famous for discovering the Krebs cycle in the body (also known as the “citric acid cycle“) was the first person to recommend taking L-glutamine for gut-related issues. That’s because Sir Hans Adolf Krebs — a German-born British biochemist who received (with Fritz Lipmann) the 1953 Nobel Prize for Physiology — found that it helped improve a healthy gut-related immune response. And additional research supports this finding.
A study published in the journal of Clinical Immunology found that L-glutamine normalizes the effects of the TH2 immune response that stimulates inflammatory cytokines. The effects of L-glutamine in these studies show that L-glutamine reduces intestinal inflammation and can help people recover from food sensitivities.
2. Helps leaky gut and ulcers
Leaky gut is a condition millions of people struggle with. It is essentially the main cause of autoimmune disease today. Leaky gut can cause thyroid issues like Hashimoto’s disease; it also contributes to arthritis, skin issues like psoriasis and other serious health issues.
Because glutamine is the major fuel source for cells of the small intestine, it has been shown to heal leaky gut in clinical studies. A study published in the medical journal Lancet examined 20 hospital patients and found that supplementing with L-glutamine decreased intestinal permeability.
It can also help heal ulcers by acting protection from further damage, plus offers a healthier, natural alternative to antibiotics for the treatment of stomach ulcers.
3. Boosts brain health
Glutamine can help stall brain aging. Mitochondrial dysfunction causes abnormal increases in the neurotransmitter glutamate and puts the brain at risk for developing Reye’s Syndrome, epilepsy, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression and alcohol addiction.
A study conducted at the New York University School of Medicine showed that even mild traumatic brain injury caused brain atrophy, and most of this damage was due to the disrupted glutamine-glutamate cycle and an abnormal increase in glutamate levels.
4. Improves IBS and diarrhea
Glutamine helps improve IBS and diarrhea by balancing mucus production, which results in healthy bowel movements. If you have Hashimoto’s or an underactive thyroid, L-glutamine should be a part of your hypothyroidism diet. If you suffer from IBS symptoms like constant diarrhea or ulcerations, L-glutamine needs to be part of your IBS diet!
5. Promotes muscle growth and decreases muscle wasting
Research shows that L-glutamine increases athletic performance, boost metabolism, improve recovery or even build muscle efforts.
Supplementing with L-glutamine allows your muscles to fight and push a bit further, which boosts your strength and helps repair your skeletal muscles. A study found that glutamine supplementation makes it possible to recover quicker from intense weight training sessions because it improves muscle hydration. This aids the muscle recovery process and reduces recovery time for wounds and burns.
Replenishing glutamine levels after an intense session could take up to five days, so it is important to take it on a regular basis if you are doing intense exercise.
6. Improves athletic performance and recovery from endurance exercise
Doing approximately one hour of exercise can cause a 40 percent reduction of glutamine in the body. It can also cause suppressed immune function. One of L-glutamine’s main roles in the body is to support detoxification by cleansing the body from high levels of ammonia. It acts as a buffer and converts excess ammonia into other amino acids, amino sugars and urea.
7. Burns fat and improves diabetes
L-glutamine also burns fat and builds lean muscle mass by helping suppress insulin levels and stabilize blood glucose. This enables the body to use up less muscle mass to maintain blood sugar and insulin sensitivity in the cells. In fact, six weeks of supplementation with 30 grams per day of glutamine powder “markedly improved some cardiovascular risk factors, as well as body composition, in patients with type 2 diabetes.” For this reason, L-glutamine benefits diabetics and those with sugar and carb cravings as well.
Research has indicated that HGH levels are up by nearly 400 percent after glutamine supplementation. This hormonal response leads to an increase in resting metabolic rate and improves the after-burn effect or EPOC post-exercise.
This afterburn effect is essential for burning fat, weight loss and building lean muscle mass.