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What is L-glutamine and what is it used for?

L-glutamine is one of the non-essential amino acids, which means that our body naturally produces it, but it can also be found in foods, particularly those that are rich in proteins. It plays a very important part in building proteins and other amino acids, but it is also important for different types of cells in the body, since it works as their fuel. Ever since its numerous benefits and importance for the health of a human body have been proven, this amino acid has been available in the form of a dietary supplement as well. Besides various nutrition disorders in which L-glutamine is helpful, it is used in the treatment of Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, sickle cell anemia, depression, anxiety and insomnia. It is also known to speed up the healing of wounds, it helps in the recovery after the surgery, while people who have HIV or AIDS may gain weight easier if they use L-glutamine and they can decrease the risk of occurrence of chemotherapy side effects such as diarrhea or mouth sores.

Side effects of L-glutamine

There is probably no supplement without at least some side effects, no matter how natural it might be. The same goes for L-glutamine, although the fact is that very few side effects of it have been reported. None of these reported side effects is too serious or significant, and this is one more advantage of this amino acid. In extremely rare cases, people who used this supplement had problems with increased level of liver enzymes and a few cases of people who suffered from bipolar disorder experienced mania. That is all. However, due to these side effects, it is not recommended that people with kidney problems, liver cirrhosis and Reye’s syndrome take L-glutamine. People who are undergoing chemotherapy or those who use lactulose or seizure medications should consult their doctors first. Pregnant and lactating women should not use it either, even though there were no proofs of its harmful effects in such cases. As for children, they might be a bit more sensitive to supplements than the adults, which is why it is necessary to consult a doctor before deciding whether or not it should be given to them.

There have been some studies because of some theoretical side effects that this amino acid might cause, particularly in cases of people with tumors, but the results did not prove that L-glutamine caused increased growth of the tumor cells, which was the initial concern until then.

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