Glutamine

Written by Amy Hall
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Glutamine is one of the amino acids produced by the body. In fact, it is the most abundant amino acid in the body, and it is involved with more metabolic functions than any other amino acid. When the body needs more energy, this amino acid can be converted to glucose, or it can be used by the white blood cells to boost the body's immune function. In addition, glutamine can serve as a source of fuel for cells that line the intestines.

As you can see, the importance of glutamine is blatantly obvious. However, it is not considered an essential element, and since the body produces it, there are no dietary guidelines suggesting how much is enough or too much. It is wise to consult with your doctor before you begin taking any glutamine supplements, as you do not want to overdo it.

Sources of Glutamine

Although the body naturally produces glutamine, it is possible to get it from other food sources. High-protein foods such as fish, meat, beans, and dairy products contain it. You can take supplements in capsule, tablet, or powder form if you are not getting enough of this important amino acid through your diet.

Without enough glutamine, the functions of the immune system, kidneys, brain, pancreas, gallbladder, and liver are not up to par. In addition, when the body needs extra glutamine to function, it will break down muscle tissue to get it. Obviously, this is not a good thing. The best way to ensure you are getting enough is to eat a nutritionally balanced diet with the proper amount of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. If you are lacking in certain, supplements can help balance out the deficits.


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