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Glutamine Contributions by ColleenO

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L-glutamine, also known as glutamine, is an amino acid derived from another amino acid, glutamic acid. It is known to help prevent post-exercise infections, such as the "post-marathon sniffle," a cold that develops after endurance exercise. (Vitamin C has and echinacea have also shown promise for the prevention of post-exercise infections.)

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  1. Shao A, Hathcock JN. Risk assessment for the amino acids taurine, L-glutamine and L-arginine. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 50(3):376-99.
  2. Castell LM, Poortmans JR, Newsholme EA. Does glutamine have a role in reducing infections in athletes? Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1996;73:488-490.
  3. Castell LM, Newsholme EA. Glutamine and the effects of exhaustive exercise upon the immune response. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1998;76:524-532.
  4. Rohde T, MacLean DA, Hartkopp A, et al. The immune system and serum glutamine during a triathlon. Eur J Appl Physiol. 1996;74:428-434.
  5. Rowbottom DG, Keast D, Morton AR. The emerging role of glutamine as an indicator of exercise stress and overtraining. Sports Med. 1996;21:80-97.
  6. Castell LM, Newsholme EA. The effects of oral glutamine supplementation on athletes after prolonged, exhaustive exercise. Nutrition. 1997;13:738-742.
  7. Mackinnon LT, Hooper SL. Plasma glutamine and upper respiratory tract infection during intensified training in swimmers. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1996;28:285-290.
  8. Castell LM, Poortmans JR, Newsholme EA. Does glutamine have a role in reducing infections in athletes? Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1996;73:488-490.
  9. Hall H, Fahlman MM, Engels HJ. Echinacea Purpurea and Mucosal Immunity. Int J Sports Med. 2007 Apr 13. [Epub ahead of print]
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Typical therapeutic dosages of glutamine used in studies range from 3 to 30 g daily, divided into several separate doses. There is strong evidence that glutamine is safe at levels up to 14 g per day, and probably higher.1

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  • Integrative MD
  • Naturopathic doctor
  • Nutritionist
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  1. Shao A, Hathcock JN. Risk assessment for the amino acids taurine, L-glutamine and L-arginine. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 50(3):376-99.
  2. Castell LM, Poortmans JR, Newsholme EA. Does glutamine have a role in reducing infections in athletes? Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1996;73:488-490.
  3. Castell LM, Newsholme EA. Glutamine and the effects of exhaustive exercise upon the immune response. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1998;76:524-532.
  4. Rohde T, MacLean DA, Hartkopp A, et al. The immune system and serum glutamine during a triathlon. Eur J Appl Physiol. 1996;74:428-434.
  5. Rowbottom DG, Keast D, Morton AR. The emerging role of glutamine as an indicator of exercise stress and overtraining. Sports Med. 1996;21:80-97.
  6. Castell LM, Newsholme EA. The effects of oral glutamine supplementation on athletes after prolonged, exhaustive exercise. Nutrition. 1997;13:738-742.
  7. Mackinnon LT, Hooper SL. Plasma glutamine and upper respiratory tract infection during intensified training in swimmers. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1996;28:285-290.
  8. Castell LM, Poortmans JR, Newsholme EA. Does glutamine have a role in reducing infections in athletes? Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1996;73:488-490.
  9. Hall H, Fahlman MM, Engels HJ. Echinacea Purpurea and Mucosal Immunity. Int J Sports Med. 2007 Apr 13. [Epub ahead of print]
... (more)

There is some evidence that the supplement glutamine may, like vitamin C, help prevent post-exercise infections.78-83 For example, a double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluated the benefits of supplemental glutamine (5 g) taken at the end of exercise in 151 endurance athletes.84 The result showed a significant decrease in infections among treated athletes. Only 19% of the athletes taking glutamine got sick, as compared to 51% of those on placebo. Echinacea has also shown a bit of promise for this purpose.160

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Glutamine plays a role in the health of the immune system, as well as other bodily functions. Heavy exercise and other stressors can deplete the body's glutamine reserves, particularly in muscle cells. This is probably why supplementing with glutamine is useful for preventing exercise-induced infections.

... (more)

L-glutamine, also known as glutamine, is an amino acid derived from another amino acid, glutamic acid. It is known to help prevent post-exercise infections, such as the "post-marathon sniffle," a cold that develops after endurance exercise. (Vitamin C and echinacea have also shown promise for the prevention of post-exercise infections.)

... (more)

Glutamine plays a role in the health of the immune system, as well as other bodily functions. Heavy exercise and other stressors can deplete the body's glutamine reserves, particularly in muscle cells. This is probably why supplementing with glutamine is useful for preventing exercise-induced infections.

... (more)