Supplement Spotlight: Glutamine
Glutamine, often sold as L-Glutamine (same thing), is an amino acid which I have prescribed a lot over the years for several uses. Glutamine is an important fuel for rapidly dividing cells in the intestine and nervous system. For this reason, I recommend it for people getting radiation or chemotherapy, and for people with compromised intestinal integrity or “leaky gut” syndrome. It can be amazingly effective in these applications. Dosing for these conditions is typically one teaspoon of powder three times a day.
Glutamine can be a big help in managing sweet cravings. The brain uses it for fuel, reducing the need for glucose, and it helps stabilize the levels of sugar in the blood. Take 1.5-2 grams before each meal to help with cravings.
Glutamine also helps to increase growth hormone levels, so it helps build muscle. Glutamine also increases insulin sensitvity in the cell, so it reduces insulin, helping to shed fat. The best dose for fat loss and muscle building is one teaspoon four times a day.
Is glutamine safe, even at these doses? As with all amino acids, which are protein building blocks, I advise caution for those with impaired kidney function. Otherwise this is a very safe supplement. It is not the same thing as glutamate, a component of MSG, so I don’t discourage those with MSG sensitivity from taking it. Glutamine is also a building block of glutathione, a key antioxidant, so it helps with detoxification in the liver.
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