L-glutamine is an amino acid that plays a crucial role in various biological processes. It is one of the 20 most abundant amino acids in the human body and is involved in many functions such as protein synthesis, regulation of metabolism, and support of the immune system.*
L-glutamine was first discovered in the late 19th century and was isolated from wheat gluten in the 1920s. In the following decades, its importance in human nutrition was established, and it was recognized as a conditionally essential amino acid, meaning that under certain circumstances, the body's demand for it exceeds its ability to produce it.
L-glutamine is an α-amino acid that contains a side chain amine group (-NH2). It is a polar and neutral molecule, making it soluble in water. In the human body, L-glutamine is synthesized from other amino acids and is also obtained from dietary sources, such as meat, dairy products, and plant-based foods.
The biological processes of L-glutamine
L-glutamine might play several roles in the human body, including:
- Protein synthesis: L-glutamine is used as a building block for proteins and may be involved in the repair and growth of tissues.*
- Regulation of metabolism: L-glutamine may be involved in the regulation of glucose and nitrogen metabolism, playing a role in blood sugar levels and the provision of energy to cells.*
- Support of the immune system: L-glutamine might play a role to support the proper functioning of the immune system, as it may be involved in the production of white blood cells and antibodies.*
- Supporting the gut: L-glutamine is one the preferred energy sources for the cells that line the gut, and it may help to support the integrity of the gut barrier, against the entry of harmful substances into the bloodstream.*
- Support against oxidative stress: L-glutamine may also play a role to support cells from oxidative stress by serving as an antioxidant.*
L-glutamine supplementation is commonly used by athletes and bodybuilders to help support muscle growth and repair and the immune system.* It may also used be used in specific medical settings but more research is needed to determine the effectiveness and safety of L-glutamine supplementation in these settings.
L-glutamine supplements can come in various format including capsules and powder forms.
L-glutamine is an important amino acid that may play important roles in the human body. It is involved in protein synthesis, regulation of metabolism, support of the immune system, the gut, and against oxidative stress.*
As always, talk to your doctor before taking any supplements. Get professional advice if you think you might need a l-glutamine supplement or are already taking one to ensure you're not exceeding the amounts you may need.