Benefits of L-Glutamine for Leaky Gut Syndrome

11/02/2017 | 2 min. read

Dr. Drew Sinatra

Dr. Drew Sinatra

You may remember the amino acid L-glutamine from high school biology. But did you know that it is a substance that can help relieve leaky gut syndrome, a condition that occurs when lining in the digestive tract becomes more permeable to certain substances?

What Is L-Glutamine?

L-glutamine is an amino acid produced in muscle tissue and is involved in the promotion of muscle growth, repair, and maintenance. It also aids in protein synthesis and helps maintain the kidney’s acid-base balance. It is considered a nonessential amino acid under normal physiological conditions.

However, when the body is under stress from prolonged exercise, infections, trauma, or radiation-induced damage, blood L-glutamine levels drop. Therefore, some experts classify L-glutamine as a “conditionally essential” amino acid, which means that when your body’s demand for L-glutamine increases, more L-glutamine is needed. 

L-Glutamine for Leaky Gut Syndrome and How It Works

I like to use L-glutamine for many gastrointestinal conditions including leaky gut syndrome.

As the name implies, “leaky gut” is a condition where the intestinal wall becomes more permeable, or leaky. When this happens, it allows foreign substances and toxins to pass through the single-celled epithelial layer lining into the intestinal tract. From there, they can enter the bloodstream and cause the immune system to react. 

When the immune system is triggered it produces immune cells to target the foreign substance, and this immune activation can be the beginning phase of autoimmune disease or other conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, irritable bowel disease, or food allergies to develop.  

L-glutamine helps to regulate cell growth in your intestinal lining, keeping the lining strong. Plus, some research suggests that L-glutamine can protect the tight junctions between cells, so foreign substances and toxins can’t “leak” out of the intestines into your bloodstream.

Where to Find L-Glutamine for Leaky Gut Syndrome

L-glutamine can be found in food sources including:

  • Meats and fish,
  • Vegetables including cabbage, spinach, parsley,
  • Whey protein and other dairy products (cheese, milk, yogurt),
  • Lentils and beans,
  • Eggs.

It can also be found in supplement form. I always recommend taking L-glutamine in a powder form as gram doses are needed for noticeable symptom improvement.

Although reactions to L-glutamine are very rare, anxiety can be a side effect, so I suggest starting off with 2.5 g (2,500 mg) per day, and slowly working your way up to 5-10 g (5,000-10,000 mg) a day.

Dr. Drew Sinatra

Meet Dr. Drew Sinatra

Dr. Drew Sinatra is a board-certified naturopathic doctor and self-described “health detective” with a passion for promoting natural healing, wellness, and improving quality of life by addressing the root cause of illness in patients of all ages. His vibrant practice focuses on treating the whole person (mind, body, and spirit) and finding missed connections between symptoms and health issues that are often overlooked by conventional medicine.

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