Glutamine is a naturally occurring substance in the body that performs several vital functions in the body. While healthy individuals produce enough glutamine on their own, certain people may look toward supplements to increase their intake. The most common form of glutamine supplements are capsules and powder.
What Is Glutamine?
Glutamine is an amino acid produced naturally in the body. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Under normal circumstances, the body produces enough glutamine. However, if your body needs excessive protein levels, such as if you have suffered an injury or exercise regularly, you may need additional glutamine intake from food or supplements.
Glutamine performs several functions in the body. It helps regulate cell growth and function, and removes excess ammonia from the body. In addition, it helps the immune and digestion systems, and is needed for proper brain function.
Many people looking for additional glutamine intake take supplements. Supplementation can be an easy and safe way to reach your desired level. Glutamine supplements come in many forms but the most common are capsules and powders.
Before Taking Supplements
Before taking any supplements, you should consult your physician. According to the Mayo Clinic, studies on glutamine have not been done on pediatric and geriatric patients. Therefore, these patients should not take glutamine supplements as there is no proof it will help their condition and could put them at risk for other health problems. In addition, you should consult a doctor if you are taking other medications or have allergies that may interfere with your supplementation.
Glutamine should be taken with food or beverage at room temperature. Hot food or liquid will destroy the glutamine. For adults, doses of 500 mg, one to three times per day, is considered safe. However, a physician can prescribe doses as high as 5,000 to 15,000 mg per day.
Glutamine supplements, like any medication, come with its share of possible side effects. Common side effects include coughing, hoarseness and digestive problems. If these problems continue, you should consult a doctor. Less common effects include body aches, fever, shortness of breath and increased heartbeat.
About this Author
Andrew Sheldon is a writer from New York. His writing focuses on health and exercise, but he is knowledgeable in various other areas. Sheldon has published articles on and Fitday.com other online health and fitness publications. He graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Science degree.