Glutamine has recently been the focus of much scientific interest. A growing body of evidence suggests that during certain stressful times, the body may require more glutamine than it can produce. Under these circumstances Glutamine may be considered a "conditionally essential" amino acid. Glutamine is involved in maintaining a positive nitrogen balance (an anabolic state) and also aids rapidly growing cells (immune system hymphocytes and intestinal cell enterocytes). In addition, Glutamine is a regulator of acid-base balance and a nitrogen transporter.
What is Glutamine?
Glutamine is a nonessential amino acid (protein building block) that is made in the body via conversion from a relative amino acid (AA) called Glutamic acid. It is more appropriately considered a “conditionally essential amino acid” and is the most abundant AA in human plasma and muscle.
What are the functional properties of Glutamine?
Glutamine is unique in that like glucose it is one of the preferred energy sources utilized by rapidly proliferating cells. It is a major fuel source for the brain and together with its relatives the stimulant neurotransmitter Glutamic acid and the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA they form the most abundant amino group in the human brain. Glutamine is also an important fuel source for enterocytes and supports intestinal maintenance and normal function. It has been used clinically to improve nitrogen balance and minimize protein loss in those suffering with catabolic states caused by surgical stress and critical gastrointestinal illness. In combination with N-Acetyl Cysteine Glutamine promotes the production of a powerful cellular antioxidant called Glutathione that plays a critical role in the defense against free radical damage.
Will Glutamine help me with my health maintenance and exercise program?
Glutamine plays a major role in DNA synthesis and serves as a primary transporter of nitrogen into the muscle tissues. It serves to replenish nitrogen loss due to excessive muscle training and speeds up recovery. It is so vital to the building and maintenance of muscle tissue that 60% of the human intracellular amino acid pool is Glutamine. The very fact that muscle is the most important tissue for Glutamine synthesis and storage is evidence of it’s vital role in maintaining positive nitrogen balance and the building of the these important sport support structures.
Glutamine is utilized at a high rate by the cells of the immune system and is required to support optimal white blood cell proliferation (lymphocyte). It is also necessary for the production of hormone like proteins secreted by lymphocytes and macrophages called cytokines that regulate the intensity and duration of an immune response to foreign organisms.
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Amino Acids • Glutamine
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