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The Health Costs of Glutamine Deficiency

Glutamine is one of the most important amino acids for building and maintaining muscles in the human body. It’s also the most common amino acid found in human muscles. But if you go through medical literature, you will find studies showing that both physical stress from heavy exercise and emotional stress can cause a glutamine deficiency. The literature also shows that heavy exercise increases intestinal permeability in humans. These studies indicate that heavy exercise should be complemented with glutamine consumption. Researchers have proven that glutamine helps to maintain muscle integrity and to prevent intestinal permeability because it is an essential building block of both.

build_muscle_weight_training_picThe following is an example of a common chain of events to be careful of. People who exercise heavily will often take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to deal with the discomfort from injuries induced by the exercise. What these people may not realize is that the anti-inflammatory drugs can cause damage to the intestinal tract, leading to intestinal permeability. And they may already be glutamine deficient from the exercise. If they are not supplementing with glutamine they will not have enough in their bodies to repair the damage done in the intestinal tract from the drug. This results in increased intestinal permeability.

The increased intestinal permeability, also known as leaky gut syndrome, causes food particles that have not been fully broken down to get absorbed. Those food particles cause a rise in inflammation inside the body. The rise in inflammation may delay the healing of the injured body part and cause a vicious cycle. In summary, the anti-inflammatory drugs cause the person to become more deficient in glutamine, leading to more pain and an increased desire to take more of the anti-inflammatory drugs.

Glutamine supplementation is important for those who choose to exercise heavily. Many books have been written explaining how numerous problematic health conditions arise in the intestinal tract. If you are undergoing any type of stress, I strongly suggest that you make sure you consume adequate protein and glutamine in your diet and that you avoid anti-inflammatory drugs. There are many anti-inflammatory herbs such as turmeric that do not have harmful side effects but instead have many beneficial properties.

We can make glutamine inside our body from other amino acids provided we have enough of the mineral zinc. That is why they call glutamine a nonessential amino acid. However, zinc deficiencies are Warrior_Blend_vanillavery common in all types of individuals. Men are especially prone to zinc deficiencies because men loose zinc with every ejaculation.

Intestinal permeability can be repaired by glutamine supplementation, adequate mineral intake, and probiotics. My assurance that I consume enough glutamine comes from Sunwarrior protein. I know that what I am doing is working because I took the micronutrient test from SpectraCell laboratories and found that both my glutamine level and my mineral levels were excellent. Just one serving of the Warrior Blend provides 3,470 mg of highly absorbable and utilizable glutamic acid which is another name for glutamine.

Craig B. Sommers, Naturopathic Doctor and Nutritionist

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