Listen to Your Gut: Glutamine Supplementation for Digestive Health

hand forming a heart over her stomach

Gut health is a key factor in optimizing overall well-being. In fact, Dr. Will Cole, a specialist in functional medicine, describes gut health as “the foundation of your entire health.”

Furthermore, he explains that a large number of modern conditions including depression, anxiety disorders, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular issues, and cancer have been attributed to a compromised digestive system. Thankfully, you can promote gut health through various ways such as adhering to a healthy diet and lifestyle. Another specific example is by taking glutamine supplements.

You may wonder: How does glutamine improve gut health? In this guide, we will discuss the ways your digestive tract can benefit from glutamine.

Enhances Immunity

Dr. Grant Tinsley, an assistant professor at Texas Tech University, describes glutamine as a molecule vital for the immune system. It helps fight disease-causing pathogens by boosting the immune system’s activity. It also aids in transporting substances to various parts of the body through blood circulation.

Strengthens Intestinal Barrier Function

Dr. Cole asserts that many studies support the ability of glutamine to enhance the permeability of the gut through supplementation. Having a strong intestinal barrier allows ease of absorption of nutrients while limiting the transport of potentially harmful microorganisms. Thus, glutamine helps the gut by preventing malabsorption of essential nutrients and blocking antigens that cause diseases.

Effectively Treats Inflammatory Bowel Disease

In many parts of Sandy, glutamine supplements are often used for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These conditions lead to the occurrences of ulcers in the gastrointestinal tract as a consequence of an autoimmune attack that antagonizes the bowel.

Research has found that glutamine can help reduce inflammatory bowel disease symptoms. In fact, monitored patients who received glutamine supplements showed improvement within four weeks. However, when the patients stopped their glutamine supplementation, the symptoms of inflammatory bowel syndrome began to show again.

Alleviates Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Man with stomach ache and bacteria

In an article reviewed by registered dietician and health writer Natalie Butler, glutamine promotes intestinal health and shows promise in the treatment of IBS. Tissues found in the intestines actually use glutamine as a source of fuel to promote proper functioning.

Symptoms associated with IBS include abdominal cramps, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, severe stomach upset, and the release of white mucus after bowel movement. Research shows that there may be a link between glutamine deficiency and the development of IBS. It’s likely that increasing glutamine intake may reduce or even dissipate IBS symptoms.

Risks of Glutamine Supplementation

Although glutamine supplementation is generally safe for most people, some individuals may have to avoid taking it. For instance, people who suffer from liver disease, kidney disease, or Reye’s syndrome are advised to avoid glutamine supplementation.

Some studies also show that specific tumor cells multiply from being fueled by glutamine. Therefore, individuals with cancer or who have a high likelihood of developing cancer must also avoid taking glutamine supplements.

Before you start glutamine supplementation, it’s highly advised that you consult your healthcare provider and discuss more options for improving gut health.

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