L-Glutamine - Not Just for Stomach Aches

by Catherine Pratt

L-Glutamine is a supplement I've been experimenting with in the battle against feeling tired and SAD.

I initially discovered L-Glutamine because I was looking for something to help me with the constant stomach aches I was experiencing. It didn’t seem to matter what I ate, I would get a stomach ache.

In the research I conducted on how to stop this, I discovered that L-Glutamine was mentioned as being important for maintaining healthy digestion. It was also being studied as a possible link to irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and colon inflammation when it was found to be deficient in the body.

I decided to start taking it daily and happily, it very quickly solved the problem with my stomach aches. I rarely get them now. Such a relief. So, that was really good but then I realized there were some other really nice “side effects” of taking L-Glutamine.

Additional Benefits of L-Glutamine:

  • It decreased sugar cravings. It was like turning a switch off. In my Schwarzbein Principle book it does suggest taking L-Glutamine to reduce sugar, alcohol and carbohydrate cravings. Being able to stay off sugar definitely helps with SAD.
  • I find that I’m sleeping better in that I fall asleep faster and seem to stay asleep longer. I haven’t found any research supporting this but it’s something I noticed once I started taking it.
  • I just feel better when I take it. More alert too. For the first few days, I felt like I had a lot more energy. That’s not as noticeable now but I definitely do “feel” better. When you have SAD, this is important.

Research shows that it also:

  • Boosts your immune system. It has been found especially helpful for athletes who would find that they tended to get sick with their intense training schedules. Boosting your immune system is another benefit with those suffering from SAD. There’s no research that says SAD reduces your immune system but I found I seemed to be constantly sick. Now that I’ve got my SAD under control, I’m rarely sick.
  • Helps maintain cell volume and hydration
  • It’s been shown to speed the healing of burns and other wounds
  • Helps repair and build muscle. This is why it's popular with body builders

Taking L-Glutamine
L-Glutamine is a white, tasteless powder which you can find in any health food store. It comes as capsules, powder, liquid or tablets. I've tried the capsules and tablets and for me, I found the capsules to be more effective. It seems to be fairly cheap as far as supplements go which is nice. I found it in the Digestion section.

Note that you should NOT take it with food. It doesn’t seem to be absorbed as effectively if you do.

The recommended dosage seems to be vary depending on what you read. You seem to need to take at least 2 - 5 grams twice a day. You can ask your nutritionist or look at the instructions on the type of l-glutamine that you buy (powder, capsules, etc).

There doesn’t seem to be any side effects with taking it. Although, there have been cases of stomach aches and diarrhea with very high doses. Also, the Lahey Clinic recommends caution taking it if you're hypersensitive to MSG. Also, if you're taking any anti seizure medications, you should consult a doctor beforehand. Of course, it's always important to check with your doctor prior to taking anything new. I'm not a doctor and have zero medical knowledge. I'm just relating what I've tried out on myself.

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