Glutamine is an amino acid. It is important for building proteins and other amino acids. For most people, the body can make more than enough of its own, although glutamine is also found in protein-rich foods. In addition to its use as a building block for making proteins, glutamine has several other functions in the body. It serves as a fuel for various different types of cells in the body, including several types of immune cells.
In times of severe physical stress, glutamine is important for maintaining sufficient immune function and intestinal function, and is essential for wound healing. In such situations, the body may not be able to produce enough to meet its needs. In such situations, supplementation (usually given by IV) can be helpful.
Glutamine Use in Children
Check with your child's healthcare provider before giving your child dietary supplements (including glutamine) for any purpose. Keep in mind that children may be more sensitive to the effects and toxicities of medications or supplements.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed March 26, 2008.
Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrates, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (Macronutrients). Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2005. Available at: http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10490&page=R1. Accessed March 26, 2008.
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