What is L-Glutamine?
L-glutamine is an amino acid naturally found in the body and used as a building block for proteins. It is important for giving “fuel” (nitrogen and carbon) to cells throughout the body. Glutamine is produced by the muscles and circulated throughout the body to assist in an array of biological processes; including but not limited to gut function, wound repair, immune, brain, and digestive health. Glutamine can also be obtained from the diet, however, most people do not get enough glutamine from their diet alone and can receive many benefits through supplementation.
You might be asking yourself, "how does L-glutamine heal the gut?" L-glutamine is important for gut health. L-glutamine is the preferred fuel source for the cells (enterocytes) lining your intestinal tract. Glutamine is essential for the growth and restoration of gut cells. For this very reason, L-glutamine should be your #1 go-to when it comes to healing a leaky gut.
How Does Glutamine Work For Leaky Gut?
The gut is the gateway to health! The cells in your GI tract are frontline defenders against pathogens and toxins entering the bloodstream. These cells are also vital for allowing essential nutrients into the body. Unfortunately, if your gut isn’t healthy, neither are you.
Our intestines are lined with a layer of epithelial cells that are linked together by “tight junctions”. In a healthy functioning GI, nutrients are absorbed through specialized channels, allowing only specific material to be absorbed into the body. It is important that these tight junctions remain small enough that unwanted substances do not get absorbed. When these epithelial cells are damaged, it can cause the tight junctions to become more separated and permeable. This permeability allows foreign substances to pass through into the body, that otherwise should not. When this occurs, it is known as “leaky gut.”
When these foreign “invaders” enter your bloodstream, the body’s immune system goes into overdrive and begins to attack; sometimes even the body’s own healthy tissues. Leaky gut syndrome is one of the main causes of autoimmune diseases and food intolerances. It can present itself in a wide array of ways, including gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, thyroid problems, nutrient malabsorption, inflammatory skin conditions (ex. psoriasis), mood issues, autoimmune diseases, and food sensitivities. The list goes on! When unwanted particles make their way into your bloodstream, acute as well as chronic inflammation can occur. Chronic inflammation is the the root cause of most diseases!
The cells in the gut turn over every few days, so the good news is many people can repair their leaky guts in around 30 days. However, more complicated conditions and cases may take substantially longer. With that said, it is important that offending toxins and foods are removed from the diet. It is also important to repopulate the gut with good flora. Probiotics as well as fermented foods can be very beneficial in this process. Then with the aid of restorative nutrients, such as L-glutamine, the cells in the gut can be restored.
Glutamine is the main food source for the intestines! Because of this, glutamine is a vital nutrient for the health and well-being of your intestines and excellent for repairing a leaky gut. L-glutamine helps the cells in the digestive tract to restore themselves faster, allowing these tight junctions to heal. In addition, L-glutamine helps reduces inflammation, thereby helping to heal as well as restore the immune system back to a healthier, less reactive way of behaving.
L-Glutamine Dosage For Leaky Gut
You might be asking, “how do I take L-glutamine for a leaky gut?” and “how much L-glutamine should I take for a leaky gut?” L-glutamine is vital in maintaining the integrity of a healthy gut barrier. I promise you, the healthier your gut, the better your body will function and the better you will feel. For most people, 2 to 5 grams a day of glutamine can be very beneficial for combating a leaky gut. Some individuals may require more.
The Most Effective Way To Take L-Glutamine For Leaky Gut
L-glutamine does come in capsule form, however, glutamine powder is the easiest way for your gut to digest and utilize the supplement. Also, most capsule forms do not contain the therapeutic dosage needed without taking copious amounts of pills. Start slowly and work up the dosing as necessary to find the results you are looking for you. Your doctor can be a great resource on how much glutamine a day is right for you and your particular symptoms and conditions. If you experience any negative reactions, stop the supplement all together or reduce the dosage right away.
For leaky gut in particular, consider products that contain additional gut healing properties such as deglycyrrhized licorice root, aloe leaf extract, and arabinogalactan. Probiotics and a strict anti inflammatory diet may be right for you. Talk with your doctor to help determine what offending toxins may be disrupting your gut and how to best restore your GI health. It can be anything from food to medications. Remember, the gut is the gateway of health. A healthy gut leads to a healthier, better you!