Benefits of Glutamine
In times of physical stress, the human body may benefit from extra glutamine. There are also claims that supplementation with glutamine can help with depression, insomnia, and anxiety. It is also sometimes used in IV nutrition, especially for critically ill people. Some of these claimed benefits may have some scientific evidence in their favor, while others have absolutely no scientific basis.
What Benefits Can Glutamine Provide?
Glutamine (sometimes known as L-glutamine) is an amino acid. Because the human body can produce glutamine on its own, supplementation is not essential for human nutrition (it is not an "essential" amino acid). However, the body may benefit from extra glutamine in times of severe physical stress. Supplementation is often claimed to be beneficial for the following uses:
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Crohn's disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Excessive weight loss due to HIV or AIDS
- Mouth sores, diarrhea, and nerve pain due to chemotherapy
- Cystinuria (a certain genetic problem that causes kidney stones)
- Stomach ulcers
- Sickle cell anemia.
Glutamine is also used to help build muscle and enhance athletic performance. Medically, it is sometimes used in IV nutrition, especially for critically ill people.
Some of these reported glutamine benefits may have some scientific evidence in their favor, while others have absolutely no scientific basis (see Does Glutamine Work? for more information). As with many supplements, claims for these benefits are sometimes exaggerated and must be evaluated critically.