Can L-Glutamine Help Your Weight Loss & Sugar Cravings?

Have you ever slipped off a diet plan just because you were unable to resist the constant craving for sweets? This happens more commonly than you think. And it comes with no surprise since studies have repeatedly shown that sugar is highly addictive, even more than the highly-addictive drug cocaine!

What happens when you cannot fight off these sugar cravings? You gain fat! So how can you curb these sugar cravings that are so detrimental to your health? L-Glutamine may be the answer.

Why should you use L-Glutamine to combat sugar cravings? Is there actually an L-Glutamine weight loss trick on which you are missing out? If so, then what is the best time to take glutamine? Let's find out.

What is Glutamine and How Does it Work in the Body?

L Glutamine

L-Glutamine is an important essential amino acid that your body naturally produces in small amounts. You can also acquire it from external sources, including foods and supplements.  Amino acids are considered to be the building blocks of proteins and are used by the body to perform several important functions. These amino acids are especially important to your digestive and immune functions. [1]

Like other amino acids, L-Glutamine also has its own set of functions. It helps transport different substances through the blood and boosts the immune system so that it can fight off the harmful germs in a more efficient way. [2] L-Glutamine also helps in the growth of muscles and tissues in the body. It repairs wounds, damaged tissues, and speeds up the process of recovery.

As mentioned before, L-Glutamine is an 'essential' amino acid. This means that your body can produce it by itself under normal circumstances. When things change, for example, when the body comes under stress due to illness and injury, it loses its capacity to form L-Glutamine and that's when you have to acquire it from external food sources to keep up satisfactory levels. [3]

How Glutamine Helps Your Weight Loss

Weight loss goals and L glutamine

You will often see people consuming L-Glutamine for weight loss purposes. Have you ever wondered how and why this essential amino acid can help a person lose weight? Allow me to explain.

L-Glutamine Reduces Firmicutes

L glutamine and gut bacteria

Firmicutes refer to a certain class of bacteria, such as streptococcus, that naturally exist in your digestive system. There are more than 250 different types of firmicutes bacteria in the body that produce short-chain fatty acids and secrete special proteins that resemble your natural hunger-regulating hormones. Firmicutes love sugar, irrespective of what form it is in. So when the concentration of firmicutes increases in your body, you will automatically start craving more sugar since the firmicutes need it to survive. [4]

So what can you do to keep the population of these sugar-craving monsters at bay? Take L-Glutamine. This essential amino acid is a natural way to keep the firmicutes population in check. And as a result, you get better control over your sugar cravings. As mentioned before, firmicutes are also responsible for producing certain secretions that mimic the structure of the hunger-controlling hormones.



L-Glutamine Reduces the Secretion of Hunger Hormone

Hunger hormones and L-glutamine

Ghrelin is one of the two major hormones produced by your body to control your hunger levels and satiety. It is produced in the stomach and intestines and is normally present in your body in very minute quantities. Your brain and pancreas also play an important role in the secretion of this hormone.

Although Ghrelin has direct involvement in many different functions of the body, it is considered as a hunger hormone that stimulates your appetite. It also urges you to eat more and promotes the food you eat to be stored in the form of fat. [5]

In simple words: the more Ghrelin you have, the fatter you will be!

There is good news! With sufficient intake of L-Glutamine, you can successfully decrease the secretion of Ghrelin in your body. When the levels of Ghrelin are high, sugary foods become more appealing, but when it is low, these unwanted sugar cravings automatically die. [6] As a result, you can experience easier weight loss.

L-Glutamine Promotes Fullness and Satiety

L glutamine and feeling full

L-Glutamine is a protein by nature, and consuming proteins in large amounts can automatically produce a satiety effect. This means that you feel fuller while you are still eating a lesser amount of food. When you are eating less, weight loss is natural.

This theory was tested by scientists on people with well-controlled type 2 diabetes. They gave a group of people with diabetes L-Glutamine once a day in large doses. This continued for over four weeks during which the researchers kept an eye on their fullness and hunger levels. At the end of the study, it was concluded that these people ate less and felt fuller after having the L-Glutamine supplement. [7]

L-Glutamine Balances the Blood Sugar

Blood sugar levels and glutamine

Most sugar cravings that you experience stem from an imbalance of blood sugar levels. When you ingest sugar in large amounts, your blood sugar level spikes, and insulin is released to lower it to safe levels. Sometimes, insulin lowers the blood sugar levels a bit too much, and as a result, your body gets strong sugar cravings to raise it back. So to avoid these cravings, it is important to adequately maintain the blood sugar balance in the body.

Recent evidence suggests that L-Glutamine supplements can stabilize and control the blood sugar level to control sugar cravings effectively. This effect is particularly evident in people with Type 2 diabetes because, in these people, blood sugar is constantly fluctuating and may cause several health problems.

In 2014, a trial took place to check if providing diabetic people with L-Glutamine lowered their blood sugar levels. All participants of this study took an L-Glutamine supplement twice a day, just before breakfast and dinner. In the end, the researchers found a significant improvement in the levels of HbA1C, a marker that shows long-term sugar control in the blood. [8]

L-Glutamine Heals Leaky Gut

The leaky gut syndrome is a term that describes a condition in which your intestinal walls get small cracks and fissures. These cracks serve as an entry point for the bacteria to enter in and allow many essential nutrients, including sugar, to slip through instead of being absorbed in the blood. As a result, you may experience an increased craving for sugar. [9] [10]

The main problem with leaky gut is the damage to the intestinal lining in which food keeps passing through the digestive system without most of its nutrients being absorbed, leading to nutritional deficiencies in the body. Over time, the leaky gut syndrome may cause the body to crave nutrients such as zinc and magnesium. When there is a lack of magnesium in the body, your body is unable to regulate sugar or insulin. This lack of regulation manifests itself in the form of an intense sugar craving, usually for chocolate. [11] Similarly, zinc is also an important nutrient for regulating insulin and glucose levels in the body. A deficiency of this mineral, such as in leaky gut syndrome, can also trigger unwanted sugar cravings.

Leaky gut and glutamine

L-Glutamine is an important constituent when it comes to healing the leaky gut and stopping the sugar cravings that come along it. But how?

L-Glutamine possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the inflammation along damaged intestinal walls of the body. [12] Once the inflammation settles down, L-Glutamine starts healing the entire system at a cellular level. You already know that L-Glutamine is an amino acid and one of its major functions is to rebuild the cells and heal any damage to the body. Due to this property, it slowly repairs all the cracks and fissures on your intestines and gradually improves the nutrient absorption. As a result, your gut is healed and your body can absorb all the nutrients from the incoming food to make up for all deficiencies.

How to Take Glutamine for Your Weight Loss Goal

Weight loss and glutamine

You can buy L-Glutamine supplements in both capsule and powdered form. Capsules can be taken with a glass of plain water and powder can be dissolved in water, smoothies, or any other beverage for consumption.

What is the best time to take glutamine? To experience weight loss with Glutamine, all you need to do is take the supplement once a day at any given time. Some people prefer taking it in the morning after their workout while others take it at night just before going to sleep.

According to research, with as little as 20 grams of L-Glutamine, weight loss is possible. However, to truly optimize results, you should space it out to approximately 5000 milligrams, taken four times a day. While up to 60 grams of L-Glutamine is safe for daily consumption, you must check with your healthcare practitioner for safety.

The Bottom Line

L glutamine and your health

L-Glutamine is an extremely powerful tool to help control sugar cravings, which are undoubtedly the biggest enemy to your weight loss efforts. This article has highlighted some major reasons why you should consider adding this supplement to your diet if you experience frequent sugar cravings. As always, it is recommended to talk to a doctor before making L-Glutamine a part of your daily diet because safety always comes first.

To your health and happiness, Doctor Danielle


  • I had weight lost surgery and I have gain twenty pounds back . My problem is that I crave sweets all the time , especially at night . I don’t have a problem with anything else , that I can control ….. but sweets are my down fall . If I could this under control ,it would make me so happy . I fell like a failure .

    Rose Hall
  • Really helps your gut I’m interested especially sugar control

  • How much it cost

    Kathryn White

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