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Gastrointestinal disorders: glutamine – solution to gastric disorders

An important amino acid

The glutamine is part of the group of amino acids defined: “non-essential” or “semi-essential”, that is, it is synthesized by the body starting from another essential amino acid called glutamic acid (or glutamate), but in certain circumstances, it is not produced in sufficient quantities and therefore must be integrated through food and possibly, supplements.

Generally, it is one of the abundant amino acids in our body, although we do not always produce enough quantities.

Glutamine is involved in the digestive process and its deficiency can easily lead to physical and mental exhaustion. In addition to being essential for the metabolism of the nervous system, it is also a basal intermediate of the functions of the liver and kidneys.

In our body, the glutamine:

1) PROMOTES NERVE FUNCTIONS: Inside the neurons, glutamine is converted into glutamic acid by a specific enzyme, glutaminase and exerts a protective action on the neurons themselves. It also performs a stimulating activity in the brain, as it promotes the production of an excitatory neurotransmitter.

2) HELPS MUSCLES WORK BETTER: Some studies show that it plays an important role in the recovery of muscle cells following an effort. This happens because it favors the increase in muscle glycogen stores (source of storage and reserve of sugars).

3) HAS A ROLE IN THE METABOLISM OF SUGARS: Glutamine is also important because it helps the body control blood glucose levels.

4) ANTIOXIDANT ACTION: It contributes to the formation of substances, including glutathione, which are essential for the activity of our antioxidant defense system. These substances are needed to eliminate excess free radicals present in our body, which are the main cause of aging and cell death.

5) STRENGTHENS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM: This amino acid acts as energy support to those cells that multiply rapidly such as macrophages and lymphocytes, which play a fundamental role in our immune system as defense against bacteria and viruses.

6) USEFUL FOR THE STOMACH AND INTESTINE: if glutamine is present in the right concentrations it repairs the gastro-intestinal mucosa to recreate a correct permeability.

When the mucosa is altered, it is no longer able to "filter" the substances in the correct way: it does not assimilate well what it should and allows harmful substances to permeate inside.

Obviously, this is reflected over time with gastric and intestinal disorders, malabsorption, digestive difficulties and other serious and chronic problems. For this reason, treatment with an additional glutamine supplementation could prove invaluable in solving such problems.

Glutamine, a solution to gastric disorders

This important element is widely present in foods of animal origin such as meat, eggs, fish and dairy products; but also, in those of vegetable origin, for example in soy, dried fruit and beans.

However, to improve our digestive abilities, the concentrations of glutamine present in food may not be sufficient, since its requirement increases considerably: just think that we might need even 2500 mg of glutamine per day.

To improve its effectiveness, it is also possible to add other elements useful for digestive processes: B complex vitamins, digestive enzymes and probiotics, which ensure a good condition of the intestinal bacterial flora.

Doctor Carolina Capriolo

Nutritional biologist

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