When you’re browsing the internet or strolling the aisles of your local health food store, you’ll notice lots of dietary supplement options that claim to offer significant health benefits. However, it can sometimes be hard to know if a particular compound is right for you. One supplement that has been getting a lot of buzz in recent years is glutamine. This essential amino acid has a broad range of physiological activities within the body, so it can offer a wide variety of health benefits for many different patient populations. Read on to find out if boosting the amount of glutamine in your diet might make a significant different for your overall health and wellness.
Benefiting from a Glutamine Supplement
In the body, L-glutamine is present in higher amounts than many of the other amino acids. In fact, it is the most abundant amino acid in blood plasma. It’s used in all types of cells, so everybody has it and everybody needs it, but there are certain groups of people who can derive particular benefits from getting more glutamine. You may want to consider adding a glutamine supplement to your diet if…
- …you’re struggling with stomach problems. Studies show that L-glutamine supplementation can help alleviate the symptoms of leaky gut–a condition in which the lining of the intestine allows harmful compounds to pass through into the bloodstream, which can lead to GI symptoms like constipation, diarrhea, and bloating. The presence of a sufficient amount of L-glutamine in the GI tract may also promote the proliferation of the “good” bacteria that keep your digestive system running smoothly.
- …you’re an athlete looking to improve your training. One of the best known uses of L-glutamine is to improve athletic performance. L-glutamine is a precursor to L-glutamate (an amino acid involved directly in energy metabolism), so a supplement of L-glutamine may help your body utilize energy more efficiently during exercise. It also works as a nitrogen transporter, so it supports optimal muscle metabolism by maintaining the balance of nitrogen and ammonia.
- …you’re getting over an illness and you want to boost your immune system. Research shows that glutamine is necessary for the production of key types of immune cells, like lymphocytes. Moreover, in immune cells themselves, L-glutamine is needed to generate key proteins that recognize and fight infection. Therefore, you might want to think about adding it to your diet if you want to build your immune system back up after you’ve been sick.
- …you’re looking to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. Many cancer patients who have been prescribed the chemotherapy drug Taxol have found that supplementation with glutamine can help reduce some of the most common side effects, including diarrhea, muscle and joint pain, neuropathy, and swelling inside the mouth. Thus, it can serve as a supplement to help you live your best life as you fight cancer!
- …you’re having trouble falling asleep at night. Some people find that taking glutamine can help them relax and fall asleep, so it is commonly used as an adjunct, all-natural therapy for insomnia. Also, if you suffer from anxiety and have a hard time falling asleep because your mind is racing, taking a glutamine supplement can help you calm down, quiet your thoughts, and drift off. Although scientists are not yet sure about exactly why glutamine works to promote sleep, it may be because it is a precursor to GABA, one of the body’s calming neurotransmitters.
Adding More Glutamine to Your Diet
In addition to taking a glutamine supplement, you can also benefit from adding glutamine-rich foods to your diet. A nutritional expert like a chiropractor can help you tailor your diet to maximize your glutamine intake, but you can start by rotating a few of these options into your regular meal plan.
- Vegetable soup with bone broth. Bone broth is one of the richest sources of glutamine, so it serves as an excellent base for a vegetable soup. Be sure to choose high-glutamine veggies, such as cabbage, broccoli, and spinach.
- Kidney bean salad with parsley and chopped asparagus. For a more summery option, stir up a cold salad of kidney beans with parsley and asparagus–all three contain high amounts of glutamine. Use a yogurt-based dressing to add even more of the amino acid to the salad.
- Green smoothie with grass-fed whey protein powder. Many whey protein powders contain high amounts of glutamine, especially if the whey is derived from grass-fed cattle that were not treated with harmful hormones. You can use whey protein powder as a base for a green smoothie with glutamine-rich vegetables like spinach.
If you think boosting the amount of glutamine in your diet–through supplementation and/or changes to your diet–would make sense for you, Atlanta Chiropractic and Wellness is here to help. Our chiropractors can offer valuable nutritional advice, and we also provide high-quality supplements, including glutamine. Contact us today to learn more about all of our offerings!Share