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WHAT IS GLUTAMINE?
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid found in muscle tissue, plasma and the cerebral-spinal fluid chord, and there are relatively high levels in many human tissues. It is a regulator of protein synthesis and is cellular fuel for tissues of the muscle, intestine, skin and the immune. Up to 60% of glutamine is metabolized in intestinal cells, which require glutamine as their principal respiratory fuel. Glutamine is the precursor to Gaba, Glutamic acid, and Glutathione and B-6 is essential for proper transamination of this amino acid as well as for the necessary metabolism of all amino acids. Although it is considered a non essential amino acid synthesized from branched chain and other amino acids, it is considered essential during periods of severe illness and surgical stress, since the body needs more glutamine than is available at these times.
GLUTAMINE FOR POST SURGICAL CARE AND CATABOLIC DISORDERS
There is an increase in Glutamine demand during times of physical and metabolic stress (including surgical, trauma, burns, infections, fasting, exercise and malnutrition) to cover vital needs of the immune system, brain
liver, kidney and intestine. The demand of Glutamine exceeds the body’s ability to supply it. The need for Glutamine for these functions depletes muscles of Glutamine, as well as the other amino acids necessary to produce the Glutamine necessary for protein synthesis. This can result in negative nitrogen balance and catabolism. Up to a 50% decrease in Glutamine has been documented during catabolic stress. Glutamine supplementation can increase the Glutamine pools lost at these times, help increase protein synthesis and nitrogen balance and provide the anabolic effects necessary to support the body during this stress. In addition, supplementation with Ornithine-?-Ketoglutarate can help prevent the decrease of Glutamine in the muscle tissue and increase protein synthesis.
GLUTAMINE AND THE ATHLETE
Physical stress to muscles during high intensity exercise and athletic activity rsults in the depletion of the Glutamine pools in the muscles, as well as the branched chain amino acids necessary to make glutamine for protein synthesis and anabolic effects. Glutamine supplementation pre and post workout or athletic activity can increase glutamine to prevent Glutamine depletion, while providing sufficient Glutamine necessary for protein synthesis and anabolic activity. Since most of it is utilized in the intestinal tract, it is recommended that, if possible, the Glutamine be emptied from the capsule (or powder form) and taken sublingually (under the tongue) to increase assimilation into the blood stream and muscle tissue.
GLUTAMINE AND NEUROLOGICAL HEALTH
Glutamine crosses the blood brain barrier, and is the precursor to Glutamate and Glutamic acid, which are
excitatory neurotransmitters. It is also a precursor for GABA, which acts as an inhibitory transmitter inducing
a calming effect. Glutamic acid, along with Glutamate provides glucose to provide energy for brain cells,
which requires 75% of the available glucose in the body for its energy source to maintain normal brain
metabolism. This energy is necessary for mental alertness and concentration. It has an effect on the
appetite center in the brain, and can diminish craving for sweets and alcohol. Glutamine also detoxifies
ammonia in the brain, which can lead to brain damage.
Glutamine is necessary for the function of immunocompetent cells, and enhances the immunity of the intestinal mucosa. It is the precursor to Glutathione, a powerful antioxidant with anticarcinogenic properties, which enhances the immune protective system of cells. It may decrease tumor growth by stimulating NK (natural killer) cell activity.
Two thirds of Glutamine is metabolized and utilized in the mucosal cells of the small intestine, and it is important for gastrointestinal function. It promotes intestinal healing and may have beneficial results in patients with gastrointestinal disorders. After surgery, trauma and catabolic stress there is a depletion of available glutamine. Since the intestinal tract has an important function in the regulation of amino acid metabolism, supplementation is advisable to supply the body’s increased Glutamine demands, and maintain intestinal health to promote protein synthesis.
GLUCONEOGENESIS AND LOW BLOOD SUGAR
Glutamine is a regulator of protein, fatty acid and glycogen metabolism. Alanine and Glutamine are the primary glycogenic amino acids, regulating gluconeogenesis (carbohydrate/sugar formation) in the liver. By stimulating glucose production, it can reduce these food cravings in those with low blood sugar levels that are usually apparent mid morning and mid afternoon.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before starting any exercise or nutritional supplement program or before using these or any product during pregnancy or if you have a serious medical condition.