Glutamine, an amino acid found in plant and animal proteins, is a naturally abundant substance in the human body. It is used to support the immune system and digestion, and it cleans up excess amounts of ammonia, which is produced by cells as a waste product.
The University of Maryland Medical Center says that the human body normally makes enough glutamine, but in times of stress it can be helpful to take a glutamine supplement. This stress could be medical. For example, people living with cancer, HIV/AIDS, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease may have reduced levels of glutamine. Endurance athletes are also at risk for low levels of glutamine, and can benefit from a supplement. And if someone has suffered a burn or wound, a glutamine supplement can be helpful to promote healing and reduce infections.
Its immune system benefits and metabolic process support make a Glutamine supplement into a powerful tool. Glutamine helps regulate glucose levels in the blood, which means it can be converted to energy when necessary and regulate’s the body’s intricate pH level.
Glutamine Side Effects
When taking for the appropriate reasons, the benefits of glutamine supplements often outweigh the risks. There is a chance that users may experience coughing or hoarseness, digestive effects, back or body pain, unusual touch sensations, and vomiting. More serious side effects include confusion, a change in heartbeat, blood in the urine, and shortness of breath. These side effects should be brought to the attention of a medical professional.
Glutamine and Bodybuilding
Natural glutamine stores can be depleted by endurance exercise, so it may be appropriate for some athletes to take a glutamine supplement. One study also suggested that taking a glutamine supplement helped some athletes ward off infections. Because glutamine supports human growth hormone, some bodybuilders take glutamine powder (called L-Glutamine) to encourage recovery and build muscle.
Glutamine has a well deserved place in the list of helpful dietary supplements. However, because of the risk of harmful drug interactions and other concerns, it is important to discuss adding it to your daily healthy living routine with your doctor.
- “Glutamine”, University of Maryland Medical Center
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