We did one of our member surveys this summer and I was hoping our members would vote for a glutamine product.
Dr. Rodier recommends glutamine all the time. My naturopath, Dr. Burnett, recommends glutamine all the time. While glutamine was not on our members' top wish list items, I keep hoping to get enough support from my readers to introduce a glutamine product, as I would like to stop buying glutamine in bulk from other providers when I run a supplement company! So here's my first lob into the game of bringing glutamine onboard at the Co-op.
First, glutamine is better known by body builders, who recognize glutamine as an important nutrient in muscle repair. However, did you know that glutamine is also involved in more metabolic processes than any other amino acid and is used by almost every cell in the body, including enterocytes, lymphocytes, and macrophages? Glutamine also contributes directly to production of glutathione, which is a critical antioxidant produced within your body.
Here's a sample from a review of glutamine research out of the Netherlands (emphasis added in boldface):
"Glutamine has a major impact on the functionality of the immune system. It has recently been established that glutamine not only has a protective effect on cells of the immune system, but also on other cells of the body, for instance cardiomyocytes. Evidence is accumulating for an effect of glutamine via glutathione, heat shock proteins as well as taurine. Another area of interest is the way glutamine enhances gut barrier function. More and more research is concentrating on the positive effect of glutamine on the gut-associated lymphoid tissue."
Incidentally, you should forget about oral supplementation of glutathione, as the research shows that large doses of oral glutathione do not raise the body's circulating levels of glutathione, but I digress.
While many supplement enthusiasts know that glutathione is important, many do not know that low glutathione levels are highly associated with cancers, cataracts, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, asthma, sub-optimal immune system response, and other disease states.
Higher serum levels of glutamine, especially in the elderly, are conversely associated with better health.
In addition to supporting glutathione production, glutamine protects against bacteria, fungi, and other toxins migrating across any breaks in the mucosal lining of your gut and into your bloodstream. These toxins stimulate cytokine and cortisol production, which further deplete your body of glutamine (and, thus, glutathione). A vicious cycle, indeed.
If you are worried about swine flu, then in addition to getting more sleep, consider adding supplemental glutamine to your routine--to enhance your immune system and also the integrity of your gut (keeping foreign invaders out of your bloodstream).
When I was working through my food allergies and (temporary!) autoimmune system diagnosis, my naturopath wanted me to take at least 2.5 grams of glutamine a day. A year later, my digestion and absorption of nutrients is much improved and my food allergies are way down.
Dr. Rodier co-authored a white paper on our Constant Health product, which has: 2 grams of glutamine in every scoop, along with a powerful combination of other glutathione boosters including glycine (2 grams), n-acetyl-cysteine (300mg), milk thistle (300mg), curcumin (500mg), and selenium (70mcg) per scoop.
While Constant Health delivers a powerful combination of ingredients, I believe that, because many of our members mix and match their supplements, having a separate glutamine product would be incredibly valuable--if only enough people could know about the healing benefits of supplemental glutamine! Liver protector, cellular hydrator, intestinal protector, immune system booster, and glutathione builder, glutamine is an incredible little amino acid.
Please weigh in with your comments on glutamine. Say "yes" if you want the Co-op to carry glutamine as a new product! If we get enough interest, we could have a new product out before the end of the year.