L-Glutamine and Gut Health Benefits

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If you suffer from bloating, gas, indigestion, constipation or other digestive issues, research shows L-Glutamine could help relieve your discomfort and improve your gut health..

L-Glutamine is a natural amino acid which is found in high concentrations in the brain, liver, lungs, and stomach as well as in the skeletal muscles.

It is most often used to provide support for the gastrointestinal and immune systems.

L-Glutamine Provides Gastrointestinal Support

The gastrointestinal system is by the far the greatest user of L-Glutamine in the body. Research has shown that L-Glutamine helps to maintain normal function of the entire G.I. tract including the colon, liver, and pancreas.

L-Glutamine helps maintain normal permeability of the intestines through prevention and reversal of atrophy of the mucous membranes in the intestines.

The mucous membranes are responsible for the production of mucous within the intestines. When the mucosa atrophies, there is an inability to maintain proper levels of mucous within the intestines, increasing the permeability of the intestines.

Mucous typically acts as a barrier to help protect against transport of unwanted toxins from the gut into the bloodstream.

Increased permeability can mean that bacteria, toxins, and fungi have the ability to cross the mucosal barrier into the bloodstream.

A “leaky gut” from increased intestinal permeability can lead to numerous gastrointestinal symptoms including gas, swollen stomach, bloating, abdominal pain or discomfort, nausea, indigestion or a change in bowel habits.

Ream more about treating indigestion.

L-Glutamine and Gut Health

L-Glutamine Provides Immune Support

In addition, L-Glutamine has the ability to promote healing within the gastrointestinal system, especially after trauma or disease.

The GI tract is lined with a large number of immune cells along its length. In order to work properly, these immune cells need proper nourishment in the form of nitrogen. L-Glutamine provides this nourishment to the immune cells.

When the body is fighting some sort of trauma (surgery, infection, or other injuries) L-Glutamine can become quickly diminished. When this happens the immune cells are not getting the proper nourishment they need to promote fast healing.

Studies have shown that supplementation with L-Glutamine in these conditions allows proper nourishment of the immune cells and promotes quicker healing.

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Written and Medically Reviewed By

  • Chelsea Cleary, RDN

    Chelsea is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) specializing in holistic treatment for chronic digestive disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), SIBO, and Crohn’s disease. She educates patients on how they can heal themselves from their conditions by modifying lifestyle and dietary habits.

  • Julie Guider, M.D.

    Dr. Julie Guider earned her medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine. She completed residency in internal medicine at the University of Virginia. She completed her general gastroenterology and advanced endoscopy fellowships at University of Texas-Houston. She is a member of several national GI societies including the AGA, ACG, and ASGE as well as state and local medical societies.