If you are suffering from a condition like IBS, many things can be done to support your healing journey. One of the simplest and most effective things to do is begin a professional gut health program that includes various supplements and lifestyle upgrades. These serve to shift your situation into a more positive path. Using L-Glutamine for IBS challenges is one of the most agreed upon gut supporting protocols around.
What is L-Glutamine?
Before taking L-glutamine, it is important to have a full understanding of it.
Among the 20 amino acids detailed in the genetic code, glutamine provides the best example of the versatility of amino acid metabolism and immune function.
Amino acids are the second most abundant compound in mammalian bodies, next to water. These are the building blocks of protein, which are fundamental for the survival, proliferation, and maintenance of cells. Some amino acids are produced by the body (non-essential amino acids), while others should be obtained from an external source (essential amino acids).
L-Glutamine for Extra Gut Support
L-glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the human body. It is found in the blood and skeletal muscles, participating in a variety of metabolic processes. L-glutamine also has a key role in the detoxification of ammonia, maintaining acid-base balance, and immune function.
Although L-glutamine is already a non-essential amino acid, your body sometimes falls short on production, causing health issues. This deficiency can be alleviated by taking L-glutamine supplements.
Among all tissues with high glutamine use, the intestine utilizes around 30% of total L-glutamine in the body. This is an indication that L-glutamine is a highly-necessary nutrient for your intestines.
Studies on L-glutamine function in the intestines have shown that this nutrient is important in inflammation modulation, stress regulation, and intestinal barrier function. At the same time, glutamine supplementation on humans with intestinal diseases (especially inflammatory bowel diseases) have also been studied.
Since the intestines are also made of collagen, it pays to take gut collagen supplementation.
What’s the Basis of L-Glutamine for IBS?
Do you know that 80% of your immune system is centralized in your gut? This is a relatively recent scientific finding that has been taking the world by storm ever since. Although Hippocrates, the great-grandfather of western medical ideology, once stated ‘all disease begins in the gut’ we still did not have any solid foundation to stand on scientifically. Fortunately for the modern health-seeker, we now have empirical data that supports this claim.
From now on, you’ll safely and confidently walk with the understanding that you can have a direct impact on your overall health and wellbeing. This is all done through careful attention to what’s going on in your gut. What does this look like? First, it takes a personal responsibility to take charge of improving your health. Is lglutamine for IBS really effective?
Can L-Glutamine Relieve Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Insofar as gastrointestinal conditions are concerned, IBS is one of the most common. Even so, this does not lessen the burden of its often unyielding challenges. If you are suffering from IBS, you know first-hand the kinds of discomforts that come with it.
From painful bloating and gas, cramps, and liquid stools, to all-out bathroom battles just to get the day started. If someone gave you a tool that could help get you to the other side of these challenges, would you accept the gift? What if this tool is natural and in perfect alignment with what your body already produces but needs a bit more of? This is exactly what L-Glutamine is for.
L-Glutamine for IBS
The Most Readily Available Free Amino Acid in the Body
The body does a miraculous job of fixing itself when you get the right support, feed it what it needs, get adequate rest, live through the heart, keep good company, and do what you love in the world. An absence of any one of these parameters opens the doors to dis-ease in your life.
That’s right. Disease is often an indicator that we are living life through disease—living out of natural balance. One of the ways to restore this balance in a world so full of topsy-turvy conditions is through healthy natural supplementation.
When it comes to supplements that help IBS, L-Glutamine can really help you to alleviate your issues. From relieving inflammation to boosting your overall athletic performance, every stage of your healing journey is supported. Make sure to support L-Glutamine with a proper diet. Find out the best recipes according to an influential gut specialist here.
According to a study published in Clinical Immunology in 199910, L-Glutamine helps to reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines. This is done by normalizing the TH2 immune response that is responsible for these cytokines being produced. What this means for you is reduced inflammation and pain.
This is attested by a study published in 2017, wherein in vivo and in vitro experiments showed that glutamine supplementation could relieve intestinal inflammatory disorders by inhibition of inflammatory cytokines.
By relieving inflammation, you can avoid a number of symptoms such as abdominal discomfort and flatulence. Suppression of inflammatory pathways also allows your intestines to fully recover from any distress.
More than this, your entire GI tract is improved through daily supplementation with L-Glutamine. This is because L-Glutamine is one of the key nutrients the small intestine needs to build healthy cells, repair itself, and function optimally.
Leaky Gut Relief (Including Ulcers)
IBS is an inflammatory autoimmune disease. The common culprit causing the condition, to begin with is leaky gut. Leaky gut intestinal permeability) is caused by the separation of the tight junctions in the cell wall of the intestines. When this occurs the immune system is compromised and all kinds of autoimmune conditions begin to arise.
With L-Glutamine as the main source of fuel for building and repairing cellular tissue in the small intestine, supplementing with it can significantly increase your rate of relief. It has also been scientifically shown in animal studies to have benefits in healing ulcerative colitis and IBS.
Help Diarrhea and Loose Stools
One of the biggest challenges with IBS is loose stools and diarrhea. This can be a real problem for the body for many reasons. Most importantly, you cannot properly absorb the nutrients of the foods you eat as they pass through the GI tract. This can cause weight loss (or weight gain due to the body storing fats for later use), malnutrition, and sleep deprivation, among other things.
L-Glutamine supplementation helps to balance mucus production in the gut. This helps to make sure that your bowel movements are more comfortable and stable.
The Gut-Brain Connection – Boost Cognitive Function
Glutamine is abundant in your central nervous system (CNS), where it plays an important role in various metabolic pathways. One is being a precursor to some neurotransmitters: glutamate (Glu) and aspartate (Asp), and the inhibitory amino acid, γ-amino butyric acid (GABA).
GABA. It’s an amino acid neurotransmitter that reduces the activity of neuron to where they bind. As a result of decrease in nerve transmission, it creates a calming activity in the brain.
Glutamate. It is a potent excitatory neurotransmitter produced by nerve cells in the brain. The main role of this amino acid neurotransmitter is to convey signals between nerve cells. It also has a key role in memory and learning
Aspartate. Also considered as an amino acid neurotransmitter, aspartate contributes to the regulation of emotion and stress. It is also important in the citric acid cycle (Krebs cycle).
Stay Sharp and Alert with L-Glutamine Supplements
A brain that has a sufficient supply of glutamine is likely to stay clear, alert, and sharp-witted. It can also increase erotic inclination, that’s why some medical practitioners prescribe it to treat sexual dysfunction.
Some glutamine enthusiasts claim that this supplement helps get rid of toxic metabolic wastes in the brain, which furthers neural function. However, others also warn against excess glutamine intake as it can cause serious damage to brain cells.
Brain fog is a condition that arises all the time in people suffering from GI issues. One of the reasons for this is a deficiency in L-Glutamine. For the brain to function properly, the neurotransmitter glutamate needs to be produced, and glutamine is required in this process. It’s called the Glutamine-Glutamate cycle, and it’s essential for clearing out the brain fog. Balancing this cycle is key and can influence healthy aging, clear thinking, and an overall sense of wellbeing.
Natural Weight Loss Support
One of the most prevalent issues in the world today is obesity. It has many causes, but one thing that happens in most cases is severe deterioration of the health of the gut. When the gut is compromised many bodily functions begin to work less efficiently and can cause even more weight gain, diabetes, and GI diseases.
If you are working on losing weight through a healthy exercise routine, L-Glutamine can help expedite the process through natural weight loss support. This is happening through the nearly 400% increase of HGH (human growth hormone) in the bloodstream from supplementing with L-Glutamine. This massive spike in HGH leads to a spike in metabolic rate as well giving you the ultimate ‘after-burn’ effect post-workout. It because of this after-burn effect that you see an increase in fat-burning, lean muscle mass building, and overall weight loss.
Compromised Tight Junctions – Closing Gaps in The Gut
Sealing-Up Intestinal Permeability (aka Leaky Gut) Once And For All
Before there’s a definite explanation for the pathophysiology of various diseases, the medical community believed that these stemmed from imbalances in the gut. They called it “hypochondriasis”, which referred to the upper part of the human abdomen (the region between the navel and the breastbone). This concept was later discarded as science advanced.
But is there some truth in this concept? Could it be possible that some illnesses of modern society are actually associated with the dysfunctional in the gastrointestinal system?
Leaky gut or “increased intestinal permeability”, and it has been the subject of numerous research.
Gut Health Can Affect Overall Health
Insofar as a defense against bodily harm is concerned, when your gut is healthy, the intestinal lining produces enough mucosa to create a protective barrier that prevents various pathogens, food particles, undigested proteins, and various microbiota from entering the bloodstream. On the offensive side, a healthy mucosal lining allows for the healthy absorption of key nutrients through the gut lumen from the various foods we eat (or supplements we take).
Intestinal permeability describes a pathological situation wherein this mucosal lining is compromised. This causes, among other things, increased uptake of undigested foods, antigens, microbes, intestinally derived endotoxin, inflammatory mediators, pathogenic macromolecules, and more. This clearly does not sound like a walk in the park! That’s because it’s not. This is a dangerous situation to be in and is the beginning of the end of systemic health if not looked into and course-corrected immediately before something serious arises.
When we say something serious, we’re serious. Nearly every chronic autoimmune disease is known to science is birthed under these conditions, including but not limited to diabetes, Crohn's, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, and some forms of cancer.
Who Gets A Leaky Gut? And Why?
It is important to understand that all of us may experience varying levels of leakiness in the gut. The intestinal lining is not completely impenetrable---and it shouldn’t be. Some individuals are genetically predisposed to increase intestinal permeability, and others have increased sensitivity to certain food compounds. But DNA isn’t the only factor.
The truth is, our modern lifestyle could be the main reason for gut issues. There is evidence suggesting that today’s diet, which is generally high in sugar and saturated fats and low in fiber, may trigger inflammation. Stress, medication, alcohol use, and tobacco smoking may also contribute to digestive imbalance.
So if you’ve been suffering from IBS symptoms or any other gastro-intestinal problem, a lifestyle modification could improve your condition.
How to Have a Healthier Gut
Although the term “leaky gut” is popular online but not in most clinics, integrative and alternative medical practitioners have been working on treating this condition. A healthier gut can be an initial step to treating various chronic diseases and improving overall health.
Different cultures across the globe recommend specific diet plans for different conditions. Even in modern society, we tend to change our food choices during and after sickness.
For people with irritable bowel syndrome, the initial step to a better quality of life is to eliminate certain food and beverages from their diet. These are the foods that cause an imbalance in the gut flora and trigger inflammation. Among these are products with high fructose corn syrup, fructose, and acids. Experts laid out a guide for IBS sufferers by classifying them into high FODMAP, low FODMAP, and low FODMAP in smaller quantities. Taking L-glutamine supplements can also help neutralize your gut condition.
Of course, the change shouldn’t be limited to diet. For better results, you must also learn to manage stress as it can trigger a reaction in the digestive system. If you experience any digestive discomfort while on medication, talk to your doctor about it.
Further studies about the correlation of leaky gut to various diseases outside the human gastrointestinal system are still needed. But one thing is for certain: diet modification is always a good way to approach the problem.
Avoiding processed food and switching to organic ones can help inhibit inflammation and assist in rebuilding the gut lining. But again, before making any major dietary changes, consult your doctor first.
L-Glutamine Helps Repair Tight Junctions
It’s now widely accepted that L-Glutamine is responsible for helping to repair the gut lining through the proliferation of intestinal cells. In a proper gut health program, you will find that there are a few things in common. First, a low FODMAP diet will likely be a start. Alleviating and preventing SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) formations is a primary aspect of a gut overhaul. SIBO is often the reason for many of the more uncomfortable symptoms arising like bloating, gas, and liquid stools.
In addition to addressing SIBO, supplementation with key nutrients, minerals, amino acids, probiotics, and select natural flora play a significant role in building the gut back up and sealing off those tight junctions once and for all. This is where L-Glutamine plays a considerable role. Because this amino acid is so essential in the process of building and repairing the endothelial tissue, getting additional support through supplementation is visceral (pun intended).
Rather than giving you the raw jargon from the medical literature,19-22 suffice it to say that you are in good hands with L-Glutamine. The medical community has established that you can have faith that in the right dosage, under the right care, on the right program, you can have a very high chance of getting rid of leaky gut once and for all.
L-Glutamine Precautions – Side Effects and Contraindications
Each Healing Journey is Unique. Be Aware of What Your Body Needs.
Like anything in the world of health and wellness, not every human body can be treated the same as any other. There is always something unique about you that is different from others and the same rings true for your gut health program. By carefully listening to your medical professional or wellness consultant, as well as your own body, you can have a safe and successful healing journey you’ll be proud to share with the world.
L-Glutamine does have a small list of precautions that you should be aware of before opting into a full gut program that includes this supplement in its daily protocol. Here are some of the things to be mindful of.
If you are taking certain medications, supplementing with L-Glutamine can pose a health risk. This is called a ‘contraindication’ in medical jargon. Here are the three main contraindications.*
Lactulose is used to help decrease the levels of ammonia in the body. L-Glutamine acts to increase the levels of ammonia. Taking the two together can counteract the efficacy of the Lactulose medication.
Some researchers are suggesting that there may be a decrease in the efficacy of certain cancer medications if used in conjunction with L-Glutamine. These are not conclusive; however, it is wise to mention this just in case. Anybody who is undergoing chemotherapy must talk to his/her attending physician before taking L-glutamine or any other supplement.
Seizure Medication (Anticonvulsants)
The efficacy of drugs like phenobarbital, primidone, valproic acid, gabapentin, carbamazepine, phenytoin, or any other anticonvulsant may be negatively impacted by the use of L-Glutamine. These medications affect the brain, and so does L-Glutamine. Taken together, these substances may counteract each other, or worse, cause more problems.
*Remember to always consult your medical professional before taking any supplements, however natural they may be, including L-Glutamine. Depending on the circumstances, you may cause more problems than benefits.
Final Thoughts on Using L-Glutamine for IBS
Support Optimal Gut Health Through a Gut Health Program
It is quite clear that using various strategic supplements at the right time can have a positive effect on healing the gut. L-Glutamine is one of the most important of these supplements. It helps to repair and regrow endothelial cells in the intestine thus creating an environment conducive to receiving the various other vitamins and nutrients used in your gut health protocol. Essentially, when you heal the lining of the gut—and then introduce a healthy lifestyle—your digestion improves, discomfort decreases, bowel movement improves, metabolism balances, hormone production stabilizes and overall wellness begins to dawn over the horizon.
If your gut health professional suggests you begin to use L-Glutamine for IBS, you can walk in confidence that you are receiving, and heeding great advice. Take your journey day-by-day, listen to your body, and ask for any help you need. With your determined will to win, the support of your gut health program, and your body’s natural ability to heal itself when it gets what it needs and purge what it doesn’t, you will get through your gut health challenges once and for all.
About The Author: Drew is the founder of The Gut Program and a gut health expert. His work has been featured on The Gut Program, CbdOilForIBS.com, Ask Men and The Gut BrainConnection Community. Learn more at his personal site.