Glutamine is an amino acid that is not categorized as “essential” because it can be made in the body in sufficient amounts under normal health conditions. However, when the body is under stress (trauma, cancer, infections, burns, healing) the value of glutamine increases and the quantity may increase as well.
Glutamine has many roles in the body and is one of the most plentiful amino acids in the brain with low blood sugar levels.
The most important function of glutamine is in the strengthening of the immune system. The immune system and gut live on glutamine. If the body does not produce enough glutamine, one can experience memory and focus problems, muscle loss as well as immune dysfunction. People with low glutamine levels have higher rates of arthritis, diabetes and heart disease.
There are so many uses for glutamine in the body. Those listed above are some of the more important uses. It is important to keep in mind that B6 is essential to convert all amino acids. Pyridoxal-5′-phosphate (P5P), the active or coenzyme form of B6, is essential to carbohydrate, fat and especially protein metabolism.
Consult with your health care provider to determine if you have low levels of glutamine or any other amino acid.
Lois Dickey, Manager