Glutamine as an Immunonutrient

Our bodies sometimes need a helpful boost to keep us on track. The extra help could be beneficial before, during, and after periods of intense stress or instances of decreased overall health. To help us through these different situations, we rely on our body’s main line of defense: the immune system. Since the immune system works around the clock to protect our bodies from detrimental stressors, the need to maintain its proper function is essential. Choosing to add the immunonutrient Glutamine to your daily routine can help the immune system to perform its best while simultaneously enhancing its functions and abilities.glutamine as an immunonutrient

What is Glutamine?

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid [3,4] that is found in the body and is one of the few amino acids capable of crossing the blood to brain barrier. While the body does create the amino acid naturally, additional stress, such as intensive exercise regimens, and illness can create a need for an additional supply of Glutamine. The nutrient is essential in helping to counteract and lower the increased levels of Cortisol in the body elevated by this stress.

How can Glutamine help?

Those of us who are recovering [1,2,4] from either an intensive workout, an illness, or malnutrition brought on by sickness, need a properly functioning immune system to revitalize their bodies and fortify their defenses from future infection and recovery time. After exhaustive exercise, our body suffers from a state of oxidative stress which can release harmful free radicals. Glutamine [3,4] acts as a vital precursor to the powerful antioxidant Glutathione utilized in fighting against free radicals in the body. Glutamine also works to maintain optimum performance of the immune system by ensuring a readily available energy source to perform necessary defensive actions against bodily weakness and illness. An additional supplement of Glutamine is especially beneficial in cases where the body is unable to correctly maintain a constant supply of energy. Cells performing beneficial actions [4] inside of the immune system use Glutamine as an energy source versus other cells which use forms of glucose. In cases of those who have been placed in more intensive care to help decrease recovery time, Glutamine [2,4] has been shown to improve the ability of the intestines to absorb essential vitamins and nutrients necessary for recuperation.

Other possible benefits of Glutamine

Besides acting as an immunonutrient, Glutamine [2,3,4] is also thought to be helpful in aiding gastrointestinal function through fortifying the lining of the intestines, providing relief from insulin resistance, and fighting against different compounds which are known to cause inflammation of different systems in the body.

Sources

  1. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22028151
  2. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3220259
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glutamine
  4. www.umm.edu

Author:

David Johnson is a freelancer with an avid interest in supplements that help relax, enhance mood, and provide cognitive enhancement. Most days he can be found researching innovative ways to bring his readers sounder sleep, better moods, and more.