Before I discuss the role of glutamine and digestive health I would just like to highlight a few facts for you. Amino acids are considered the building of blocks of life because they create the proteins that build our bodies. There are over 20 amino acids and glutamine is one of the.
Actually, glutamine is categorized as a non essential amino acid – this means our bodies can create glutamine on its own – and they are formed in our muscles. This contrasts with essential amino acids such as tryptophan, which we need to obtain through eating food.
However, poor diet, lack of nutrition, stress, over exercising or ill health can deplete our reserves of glutamine. For this reason, we need to replenish them by eating certain foods or taking a supplement. Always speak to your doctor before taking supplements, especially if you have a medical condition.
Glutamine is often associated with muscle builders for its muscle enhancing qualities and athletes for energy loss. However, more medical research is investigating the link between glutamine and digestive health. These studies are revealing possible health benefits to the digestive tract and certain digestive disorders.
Glutamine And Stomach Issues
Recent medical studies revealed people with specific types of irritable bowel syndrome where found to have low levels of glutamine in their bodies. This conclusion was reached on the well known fact that glutamine helps the body rebuild and protect the thin lining (the mucosa) of the digestive tract. These studies also revealed a lack of this amino acid could increase the risk of leakage from the intestinal wall.
There is not enough scientific proof that taking glutamine has a direct affect on treating irritable bowel system (IBS) however, it does play a major role in maintaining digestive health.
Glutamine And Constipation
One of the primary causes of constipation is dehydration. This happens when we don’t drink enough water. Dehydration can also occur if we drink too much caffeine or alcohol. These two are diuretics, meaning they draw water and moisture away from our bodies through urination.
One of the key roles of the colon is to absorb water. This softens the stool enabling waste matter to pass through the colon more easily and quickly. Glutamine helps you absorb water more efficiently and by doing so, keeps you hydrated and your stools moist.
A lack of water results in your stools becoming hard and dry. This slows down your bowel movements and increasing the occurrence of constipation.
How To Obtain Glutamine
You can top up your glutamine levels by eating foods high in protein. Meat is rich in protein so, beef, chicken, pork and fish is a good place to start. If you’re a vegetarian you can obtain glutamine from eating yoghurt and other dairy produce like milk and cheese.
Certain plant based foods are also rich in glutamine and these include cabbage, parsley, spinach and beetroot. The amino acid can also be found in peanuts, corn, oats and barley.
Glutamine can be taken as a dietary supplement and is widely available in a tablet, powder or liquid form.
Glutamine Side Effects
Taking glutamine is relatively safe for most people, but its side affects are still not fully known. It is recommended that glutamine should be avoided if you have a medical condition such as kidney or liver disease.
It should also be avoided during pregnancy and if you are breastfeeding your baby.
People who have a mental disorder should also avoid taking glutamine.
And when in doubt – always speak to your doctor.
A Holistic Approach To Digestive Health
Although, their is a link between glutamine can digestive health it is mainly associated with maintaining the health of the intestinal tract. However, this alone can not guarantee a balanced digestive system.
To achieve this – your body needs a 4 critical nutrients – as follows;
Dietary fiber – This is found in raw vegetables and fruit and is essential for good digestive. Known as a natural colon cleanser, dietary fibers bulk up in size by absorbing water in your gut. As they move along they scrape away dead cells, blood, toxic fats and bacteria for elimination.
PREbiotics – Not to be confused with probiotics. Prebiotics are soluble fibers that feed your intestinal flora and promote their growth. They help support the digestive and immune system.
Phenolic compounds – Clinical studies have revealed these antioxidant flavonoids found in the skin of fruit can inhibit the growth of disease causing bacteria in the gut. Phenolics also assist prebiotics in helping promote the growth of your own good bacteria and may help in delaying the process of aging.
Digestive enzymes – Essential for breaking down food and absorbing vital nutrients. Processed foods, that unfortunately make up the modern diet are devoid of these enzymes – leading to malabsorption, constipation acid reflux – and many other digestive disorders.
One fruit that is abundant in all 4 components is the kiwifruit. This brown furry little fruit is also high in vitamin C and the minerals manganese, magnesium and potassium, which can help stimulate the bowel movements.
To ensure, you obtain the required amount of these 4 digestive health components you need to eat 2 to 3 kiwifruits each day.
If this is not feasible for you, we do recommend one top quality prebiotic kiwifruit supplement by MaxaLife. They are a family run natural health company with an excellent reputation for quality.
MaxaLife offer you a full – 6 months no questions guarantee – even better, if you’re not fully satisfied after taking their natural prebiotic supplement for 30 days – they will refund you in full.
To the best of your health.
Editor – Digestive Health Guide