Find us on Social Media:

What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Glutamine Usage

Written by FoundHealth.


Effect of Glutamine on Viral Upper Respiratory Infections (Colds and Influenza)

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...

Read more about Viral Upper Respiratory Infections (Colds and Influenza) and L-Glutamine.

Therapeutic Uses

Endurance athletes frequently catch cold after completing a marathon or similar forms of exercise. Preliminary evidence, including one small double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, suggests that glutamine supplements might help prevent such infections. 1 2 3 4 Another small double-blind, placebo-controlled trial suggests that glutamine might support standard therapy for angina . 5 Note: Angina is too dangerous a disease for self-treatment. If you have angina, do not take glutamine (or any other supplement) except on the advice of a physician.

Because, as noted above, cells of the intestine use glutamine for fuel, the supplement has been tried as a supportive treatment for various digestive conditions, with mixed results. Tested uses include reducing diarrhea caused by the drug nelfinavir (used for treatment of HIV ), 6 digestive distress caused by cancer chemotherapy , 7 and symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease . 8 9 10 11 12 Glutamine appears to help reduce leakage through the intestinal wall. 13 On this basis, glutamine has also been suggested as a treatment for food allergies , according to the idea that in some people whole proteins leak through the wall of the digestive tract and enter the blood, causing allergic reactions (so-called leaky gut syndrome). However, as yet there is no reliable evidence that glutamine actually provides any benefits for food allergies.

Preliminary evidence suggests glutamine combined with antioxidants or other nutrients may help people with HIV to gain weight . 14 Glutamine (often combined with other nutrients) also appears to be useful as a nutritional supplement for people undergoing recovery from major surgery or critical illness. 15 Glutamine has been tried as an ergogenic aid for bodybuilders, but two small trials failed to find any evidence of benefit. 16 Based on glutamine's role in muscle, it has been suggested that glutamine might be useful for athletes experiencing overtraining syndrome . As the name suggests, this syndrome is the cumulative effect of a training regimen that allows too little rest and recovery between workouts. Symptoms include depression, fatigue, reduced performance, and physiological signs of stress. Glutamine supplements have additionally been proposed as treatment for attention deficit disorder , ulcers , and as a " brain booster ." However, there is little to no scientific evidence for any of these uses.


  1. Castell LM, Poortmans JR, Newsholme EA. Does glutamine have a role in reducing infections in athletes? Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 73(5):488-90.
  2. Castell LM, Newsholme EA. Glutamine and the effects of exhaustive exercise upon the immune response. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 76(5):524-32.
  3. 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.
  4. Rowbottom DG, Keast D, Morton AR. The emerging role of glutamine as an indicator of exercise stress and overtraining. Sports Med. 21(2):80-97.
  5. Khogali SE, Pringle SD, Weryk BV, Rennie MJ. Is glutamine beneficial in ischemic heart disease? Nutrition. 18(2):123-6.
  6. Huffman FG, Walgren ME. L-glutamine supplementation improves nelfinavir-associated diarrhea in HIV-infected individuals. HIV Clin Trials. 4(5):324-9.
  7. van der Hulst RR, van Kreel BK, von Meyenfeldt MF, Brummer RJ, Arends JW, Deutz NE, Soeters PB. Glutamine and the preservation of gut integrity. Lancet. 341(8857):1363-5.
  8. Alverdy JC. Effects of glutamine-supplemented diets on immunology of the gut. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 14(4 Suppl):109S-113S.
  9. Fox AD, Kripke SA, Berman JR, et al. Reduction of the severity of enterocolitis by glutamine-supplemented enteral diets. Surg Forum. 1987;38:43-44.
  10. Fujita T, Sakurai K. Efficacy of glutamine-enriched enteral nutrition in an experimental model of mucosal ulcerative colitis. Br J Surg. 82(6):749-51.
  11. van der Hulst RR, van Kreel BK, von Meyenfeldt MF, Brummer RJ, Arends JW, Deutz NE, Soeters PB. Glutamine and the preservation of gut integrity. Lancet. 341(8857):1363-5.
  12. Akobeng AK, Miller V, Stanton J, Elbadri AM, Thomas AG. Double-blind randomized controlled trial of glutamine-enriched polymeric diet in the treatment of active Crohn's disease. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 30(1):78-84.
  13. van der Hulst RR, van Kreel BK, von Meyenfeldt MF, Brummer RJ, Arends JW, Deutz NE, Soeters PB. Glutamine and the preservation of gut integrity. Lancet. 341(8857):1363-5.
  14. Shabert JK, Winslow C, Lacey JM, Wilmore DW. Glutamine-antioxidant supplementation increases body cell mass in AIDS patients with weight loss: a randomized, double-blind controlled trial. Nutrition. 15(11-12):860-4.
  15. Griffiths RD, Jones C, Palmer TE. Six-month outcome of critically ill patients given glutamine-supplemented parenteral nutrition. Nutrition. 13(4):295-302.
  16. Candow DG, Chilibeck PD, Burke DG, Davison KS, Smith-Palmer T. Effect of glutamine supplementation combined with resistance training in young adults. Eur J Appl Physiol. 86(2):142-9.


No one has made any comments yet. Be the first!

Your Comment