Mental Health Home > Does Glutamine Work?

Glutamine (L-glutamine) supplements are often claimed to be useful for a number of conditions, but does glutamine work? Studies show that using glutamine in IV nutrition in critically ill people can reduce infections and problems in general. Oral glutamine may also help treat HIV/AIDS wasting and reduce mouth pain due to chemotherapy. The effectiveness of glutamine for other uses has not been confirmed yet.

Does Glutamine Work?

Glutamine (L-glutamine) is an amino acid found in many protein-rich foods and also used in dietary supplements. As with most supplements, people use glutamine for a number of different purposes. Glutamine supplements are sometimes claimed to be helpful for the following uses:
  • Promoting mental health and well-being, including treating the following:



  • Improving athletic performance and helping to build muscle
  • Helping with certain nutritional disorders, such as:



  • Treating or preventing mouth sores, diarrhea, and nerve pain due to chemotherapy
  • Treating cystinuria (a certain generic problem that causes kidney stones)
  • Treating stomach ulcers
  • Treating diarrhea
  • Treating sickle cell anemia
  • Improving nutrition in people who need IV feedings.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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