Bowels that are irritable? Leaking in your gut? Skin issues that are so bad it looks like someone airbrushed you with red spray paint? The above issues can arise from various underlying causes, however there’s one thing they all have in common: a gut-related component. Today I’d like to talk about a particular nutrient that works pretty universally when it comes to gut-related symptoms. This nutrient is called L-glutamine. L-glutamine is a particular conformation of an amino acid that’s shown to be one of the most effective supplements when it comes to prevention, repair and maintenance of your gut. Let’s find out why! L-glutamine for Gut Health If you have leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome, acne, eczema, fatigue and other gut-related issues, L-glutamine is one of the best supplements you can come by. L-glutamine is pretty top-notch when it comes to gut health, and the many benefits of taking a glutamine supplement have been demonstrated in various studies showing L-glutamine to drastically improve gut health. In fact, studies in both adults and children have demonstrated that supplementing with L-glutamine was able to help to tighten the gut lining in as little as 10 DAYS – a super important improvement for those of you experiencing leaky gut. And a huge bonus is that, as an alternative therapy, the 10 day improvement time is comparable to most pharmaceutical drugs, but without all of the nasty side-effects. As a nutritional scientist, L-glutamine is one of the most common supplements I use when practicing clinical nutrition. I understand better than most that gut disorders can come from a variety of underlying issues, meaning that personalization in therapy is important, and everyone will need to focus on a different route. However, the reason I choose L-glutamine in nearly every program – regardless of underlying cause – is because the majority (and arguably all) disease and disorder is associated with the presence of leaky gut. Using an L-glutamine supplement is undoubtedly one of the fastest ways to repair the gut lining, and therefore one of the most universal interventions for disease and disorder. L-glutamine: Therapeutic Dosages Studies have shown the therapeutic dosage of L-glutamine to be approximately 0.5g L-glutamine per kg body weight. For example, the dosing calculation for someone weighing 50kg would be as follows: (50kg body weight) x (0.5g L-glutamine) = 25g L-glutamine per day. I typically recommend dividing this into two smaller doses, taken with breakfast and dinner daily. You can either drink L-glutamine powder, preferably with a carbohydrate-based drink, or mix it into your meals as long as your meal isn’t too hot, as this may disturb the amino acid conformation. I do not recommend opting for L-glutamine capsules if you are doing a high-dosage repair program, as this will be more expensive, require you to take too many pills, and consume large amounts pill casings, which may contain additives or gut irritants. Even if they are all-natural and hypoallergenic, pill casings are not meant to be consumed in such large dosages and may still act as gut irritants. As I discuss in the video above, bone broth is also a great source of L-glutamine however, it is far from reaching the therapeutic dosage that has shown to be so effective in research. I find bone broth to be great in both the prevention and maintenance phase, or even as a supplement to your gut-healing program. It is a great way to keep your gut healthy and gradually improve and maintain the status of your gut lining. For those of you who are looking for a more intensive repair program however, taking an L-glutamine supplement is definitely going to get you better results, faster. Try it out and see for yourself! Health begins in the gut, Anita Tee MSc Personalized Nutrition, BSc Human Biology References Ban, K. and Kozar, R. (2010). Glutamine protects against apoptosis via downregulation of Sp3 in intestinal epithelial cells. AJP: Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, 299(6), pp.G1344-G1353. Benjamin, J., Makharia, G., Ahuja, V., Anand Rajan, K., Kalaivani, M., Gupta, S., & Joshi, Y. (2011). Glutamine and Whey Protein Improve Intestinal Permeability and Morphology in Patients with Crohn’s Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Dig Dis Sci, 57(4), 1000-1012. doi:10.1007/s10620-011-1947-9. Larson, S., Li, J., Chung, D. and Evers, B. (2007). Molecular mechanisms contributing to glutamine-mediated intestinal cell survival. AJP: Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, 293(6), pp.G1262-G1271. Sevastiadou, S., Malamitsi-Puchner, A., Costalos, C., Skouroliakou, M., Briana, D., Antsaklis, A. and Roma-Giannikou, E. (2011). 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