L-Glutamine, a non-essential amino acid, is found prevalently in our blood stream. It is an amino acid, occurring naturally in our body and found in large amounts in the skeletal muscles, liver, lungs, brain and stomach tissues. This article illustrates the beneficial effect of L-Glutamine in aiding gastrointestinal function.
Recent research has provided ample evidence that L-Glutamine helps in gastrointestinal functions. Glutamine-rich foods are associated with intestinal effects like maintenance of gut barrier function and cell differentiation. The vitamin is definitely used in very large amounts by the gastrointestinal tract of all other body parts, since the enterocytes in the intestinal epithelium employ glutamine as their major metabolic fuel.
Almost all the research conducted on glutamine for its connection to intestinal permeability has been in conjunction with Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) uses. There are evidences that glutamine-containing TPN solution reverses mucosal atrophy, decreases villous atrophy, lowers intestinal permeability and increases jejuna weight.
Conditions like trauma, starvation, infection, chemotherapy, etc are linked to a derangement of intestinal permeability. One of the likely consequences of increased permeability is microbial translocation. Microbes like bacteria, fungi, etc with their toxins may possibly translocate across the mucosal barrier into blood, thus resulting in sepsis.
On addition of either glutamine or glutamine dipeptides to TPN enhanced the gut barrier function in addition to the boosting of immune system in the gut. Some of the conditions that may be avoided through this supplementation include food allergies, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, etc.
It has been proved in a clinical study that the employment of just 30g of germinated barley foodstuff (rich in glutamine) for a period of four weeks can lead to significant improvements in ulcerative colitis patients, irrespective of the stage of the disease. Consumption of cabbage juice is found to be beneficial for gastric ulcer as well as gastritis patients, especially due to its high glutamine content.
Besides, the gastrointestinal tract possesses a huge number of immune cells such as fibroblasts, macrophages, and lymphocytes all along the length of the tract. Glutamine is capable of providing nourishment to these immune cells, which may in turn account for a positive impact on the gastrointestinal tract and its immunity. This function is especially responsible for the accomplishment of actions like healing of trauma injuries, burns, surgical wounds, etc.
It is evident that the functioning of immunity in the gastrointestinal tract is thus completely dependent on glutamine. This acts as a metabolic fuel for the immune cells to grow as well as proliferate. Thus, a decrease in the intracellular glutamine levels during stressful conditions can slower the pace of growth in these cells and thus prolongs the healing process. In another study, glutamine supplementation with arginine and omega-3 fatty acids will assist in restoring the normal tissue function as well as intestinal permeability in postoperative patients.
Glutamine does play a significant role in enhancing the immune function of the gastrointestinal tract.
The Atlanta Medical Institute, a leader in Atlanta anti aging, Atlanta medical weight loss treatments, and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, can provide you with more information on supplements such as L-Glutamine. The doctors of Atlanta Medical Institute use proven and effective treatments to slow, stop, and even reverse the effects of aging and promote weight loss.