Benefits of L-Glutamine
L-glutamine is often claimed to be helpful for conditions such as insomnia, depression, and anxiety. It is also used to help build muscle and enhance athletic performance. However, most of these claimed benefits have no scientific evidence in their favor. Since the benefits of L-glutamine are sometimes exaggerated, these claims should be evaluated critically.
What Benefits Can L-Glutamine Provide?
L-glutamine (sometimes known as glutamine) is an amino acid. Because the human body can produce L-glutamine on its own, L-glutamine is not essential for human nutrition (it is not an "essential" amino acid), although the body may benefit from extra L-glutamine in times of severe physical stress. L-glutamine supplementation is often claimed to be beneficial for the following uses:
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Crohn's disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Excessive weight loss due to HIV or AIDS
- Mouth sores, diarrhea, and nerve pain due to chemotherapy
- Cystinuria (a certain generic problem that causes kidney stones)
- Stomach ulcers
- Sickle cell anemia.
L-glutamine is also used to help build muscle and enhance athletic performance. Medically, L-glutamine is sometimes used in IV nutrition, especially for critically ill people.
Some of these claimed L-glutamine benefits may have some scientific evidence in their favor, while others have absolutely no scientific basis (see Does Glutamine Work? for more information). As with many supplements, claims are sometimes exaggerated, and such claims must be evaluated critically.