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An increasingly popular supplement for gut health, with numerous other benefits, you might be wondering, does L glutamine help with bloating?
The short answer is that yes, it might, but below we go into more detail about what you should know about taking glutamine and how it might benefit your health and overall wellness
What is L Glutamine?
Before answering, “does L glutamine help with bloating,” what is it? L glutamine is also known just as glutamine is an amino acid. As an amino acid, it plays an essential role in the health of your immune system, and it’s a protein-building block.
Glutamine is also particularly important to your intestinal health.
Your body produces glutamine naturally, and it comes from foods, but many people find they benefit from getting extra in the form of a supplement.
Since you can produce it, it’s not considered an essential amino acid. People often see benefits of additional glutamine, particularly when they have certain health conditions.
Glutamine and Your Immune System
Your immune cells, including cells in your intestines and your white blood cells, require glutamine as a source of fuel. Our blood levels of glutamine decrease when we’re experiencing injuries or health issues. If your body needs more glutamine than what it can produce, it might break down your protein stores, including muscles, to release more of it.
Your immune system function can diminish when there’s not enough glutamine.
Studies show that supplementing with L glutamine can help after a major injury like a burn and may help decrease infections and reduce hospital stays after surgery. Glutamine supplements have improved survival rates and lower medical costs in critically ill patients.
In animal studies, glutamine supplements are helpful when infected with viruses or bacteria.
Your Intestinal Health
One of the biggest reasons people have a growing interest in supplementing with glutamine right now is its relationship to your intestinal health. Your intestines are the biggest part of your immune system.
Your intestinal cells have immune functions, and there are also trillions of different types of bacteria that call your intestines home, impacting your immune function.
Glutamine is a source of energy for intestinal and immune cells.
The amino acid also plays an interesting role in maintaining the barrier between inside your intestines and the rest of your body, meaning it can help with a leaky gut. When you have a leaky gut, toxins and bacteria can move into the rest of your body from your intestines.
Glutamine also helps with the growth and maintenance of intestinal cells.
In a study published in the journal of Clinical Immunology, it was found that L-glutamine normalized the effects of what’s called the TH2 immune response. That immune response stimulates inflammatory cytokines. L-glutamine in this study helped reduce inflammation in the intestines and helped reduce symptoms of food sensitivities.
Glutamine is a precursor to glutamate, a brain neurotransmitter. When your glutamine-glutamate cycle is disrupted, it can lead to brain problems like anxiety, depression, alcohol addiction, and bipolar disorder.
Glutamine can help reduce brain aging too.
Exercise Performance and Muscle Gains
Since glutamine is considered a protein-building block, some researchers theorize it could help with exercise performance and muscle gains.
Research is pretty limited in this area, but some reports show at a minimum, glutamine supplements might help reduce muscle soreness and promote recovery and muscle repair after an intense workout.
So, Does L Glutamine Help with Bloating?
Back to our original question—does L glutamine help with bloating? It might.
L-glutamine helps promote gut health by protecting the permeability of your gut. It can help with irritable bowel symptoms, and if you take glutamine as a supplement, it may help with bloating and inflammation. Taking glutamine can help protect your digestive system from being overrun by toxins.
IBS is one of the most common disorders people suffer from related to their intestines. Symptoms of IBS can include bloating and cramping, constipation, and diarrhea. Some people have white mucus in their stool, chronic upset stomach, and irregularity.
In some cases, IBS may result from a deficiency of L-glutamine. L-glutamine deficiency can occur because of infections, intense exercise, significant stress, shock, trauma, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment.
Low levels of L glutamine can also be due to an immune disorder.
Taking an L-Glutamine Supplement for Leaky Gut
Your digestive system is highly complex. The system breaks down the food you eat, separating nutrients your body can then use from the materials you need to get rid of. As mentioned, the walls of your intestinal tract are like a protective barrier for your bloodstream and your organs.
Your intestine might seem solid, but in reality, it’s permeable. The intestines are made up of tiny spaces, which are tight junctions. These are spaces left open between two cell membranes. The spaces block toxic or harmful substances from entering your bloodstream, but at the same time, they let water and nutrients be absorbed into your body.
They are movable spaces rather than rigid. Certain things can affect tight junctions, including over-consumption of processed foods and non-nutrient-rich food, stress, and bowel irritation.
When too much loosening of the tight junctions increases the potential for harmful substances to escape your intestines, this is the basis of leaky gut, also known as intestinal hyper-permeability.
When the spaces expand, harmful things enter your bloodstream freely, triggering an aggressive immunity response. The response often includes widespread inflammation, migraines, digestive issues, skin problems like eczema, joint pain, hormonal imbalances, rheumatoid arthritis, allergic reactions, and food allergies.
A leaky gut is theorized to be one of the root causes of many of the most pervasive chronic illnesses.
Glutamine is one potential treatment that many people explore.
Glutamine is an amino acid that can help strengthen and then rebuild your intestinal lining.
In your gut, glutamine can help regulate the proteins of your tight junctions, suppress inflammation-causing pathways, and protect your cells against stress during normal and pathologic conditions.
Researchers have looked at the role of glutamine supplementation during sepsis and trauma, and inflammatory bowel disease and its improved clinical outcomes in these situations.
When you have a strong intestinal lining and reduced intestinal permeability, it can significantly reduce inflammation in your body, helping give your immune system the chance to recover.
In this way, glutamine can potentially help with bloating and help with systemic health, particularly if you have an autoimmune or inflammatory disorder. If you raise your glutamine levels, you may experience fewer symptoms related to your digestive tract, have healthier bowel movements, and see improvements in your overall intestinal function.
If you were to combine L-glutamine with digestive enzymes, you might see further benefits for healthy digestion and reducing the symptoms of leaky gut, including bloating.
Taking a Glutamine Supplement
L-glutamine supplements are considered safe, but you should follow dosage instructions. Most come in the form of L-glutamine powder.
If you have irritable bowel syndrome or related symptoms like bloating, the maximum dose is usually 30 grams a day. According to the Mayo Clinic, you might split this into five-gram doses that you take six times a day.
You could experience abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting if you take too much.
Research shows that some types of cancer cells increase in response to L-glutamine, and tumor cells feed off of it. If you have cancer or are at high risk, you should likely avoid L-glutamine.
Final Thoughts—Does L Glutamine Help with Bloating?
Does L glutamine help with bloating? There’s evidence that this amino acid could help with bloating and leaky gut, and other digestive issues. It’s also fairly safe to take as a side effect, although you should be careful not to take too much and avoid it if you have cancer.
Talk to your doctor about any symptoms you’re experiencing or if you’re thinking of trying L glutamine for bloating or any other reason.