Sunday, September 27, 2009

Glutamine, Glutathione & Immunity

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.


Ramy said...

Sounds good to me!

Anonymous said...

I would be interested in that!

bxrlvr0403 said...

I would be interested in this product too!

Mike Seiler said...

I've taken L-Glutamine powder for years to help me recover from exercise, and for my weak digestion.

Come on folks, let's show "grass roots" support for this supplement!

- Mike

P.S. I'm getting low too - I would buy a bottle now.

Mary P said...

I buy your products all the time. I would be very interested in glutamine.

Anonymous said...

I am all for healthy immune systems so glutamine sounds good to me.

Gerilee said...

I would definitely buy it, yes. I'm one of the ones who voted for it on the survey.

Joanne said...

Glutamine sounds like a wonderful product. My daughter-in-law has just been diagnosed with MS and I think this would be beneificial in any autoimmune disease.

Cindy, do you have any data to support this? Thanks, J

Wade Werner said...

In Mark Hyman's best-selling book, The UltraMind Solution this year, he states that glutathione is "your body's last stand against toxins, inflammation, and free radicals." You bet I would support this product!

Erna Elise said...

Hi, If it will help my hair from turning gray, I will buy it! Elise

Wendy said...

I keep L-Glutamine in a LARGE bottle in my supplement arsenal at all times. I am very aware of its' health benefits. I would love for you to add this item to your product line. Also please consider adding N-Acetyl Cysteine to your product line.

Cindy Marteney, CEO, Our Health Co-op said...

Thanks for all the support...I will keep working to bring glutamine to the Co-op product line...stay tuned!

Warm regards,

Sharon said...

My comment comes after yours, Cindy, but I want to say that I've been a customer of Our Health Co-op for years now. I buy a lot of the products. I'd buy glutamine after what you wrote here in your blog. I'm definitely interested in immune system boosters, as well as its other effects.

Yes, I'd buy it.

Cindy Marteney, CEO, Our Health Co-op said...

Regarding the n-acetyl-cysteine question, we have it in our Immune Health and Constant Health formulas, but not yet as a separate product.

N-acetyl-cysteine is such a fabulous detoxifier, strengthens cell membranes, and is probably best known for its ability to quickly convert into glutathione in the body.

So perhaps we should have a separate n-acetyl-cysteine product as well.

Until then, check out our Immune Health product (with n-acetyl-cysteine, quercetin, green tea, elderberry, beta glucan, and resveratrol).



Ingrid said...

YES ! I would definitely be interested. Thanks,


Anonymous said...

I have food sensitivities and digestive issues and I was advised to take glutamine to reduce gut permeability. I hope you offer glutamine soon...

Rachel said...

I've know that glutathione was critical to health for as least as many years as I've been buying from our co-op. Would buy it immediately given your reputation for quality and affordability.

Dorothy D. said...

Glutamine has been prescribed by my doctor and it has been very helpful, both for my "gut" and for the immune system. I would recommend that you include this in your repertoire.

Dave said...

I vote yes for glutathione/glutamine! I have read many supporting articles on its benefits for digestion!

tmu said...

Yes, please, a high potency glutamine! I've been one of those who have requested it before.

thank you!!

Marlene said...

Could glutamine be a replacement for something else? You have many wonderful products, but at least some of us need to buy what we can afford that benefits us the most. This may be one reason the response to your initial survey was not so positive. I would definitely be interested in glutamine if it replaced something else I take.

Cindy Marteney, CEO, Our Health Co-op said...

Okay, we are pricing a glutamine product at long last. Those of you who took the time to make comments made all the difference! Here's to having a new glutamine product for the Co-op by the New Year. Thanks, Cindy

Anonymous said...


Hell yes! "Without immunity, there is no community", and since "We are all Family living in different houses", yes! Glutamine and glutathione are important! (have you ever been to the Synphony without the violins? They steal the whole show)!

Cindi Hunter
Sandy, Utah

Cindy Marteney, CEO, Our Health Co-op said...

I had lunch with Dr. Rodier on Monday and talked to him about a dear friend of mine who had had a brain concussion a couple of years ago. My friend takes spoonfuls of glutamine each day as recommended by his naturopath.

Dr. Rodier endorsed the use of glutamine for brain injuries, sharing that glutamine heals brain tissue just like it heals intestinal membranes. Dr. Rodier also mentioned that anyone who has had a brain injury should consider taking CoQ-10 and GABA along with fish oil.

Glad we're getting glutamine in the New Year! I'll be one of the ones taking it each and every day!

Dee said...

I started taking Glutamine approx 6 weeks ago to help my digestive system as I read it was a primary fuel for the small intestines, and I would say it's certainly helped a lot.

But I noticed other benefits like getting better sleep, waking up more refreshed and feeling less puffy in the mornings, my eyes are less dry - in particular after wearing my contact lens for long periods of time.

All of these are extra benefits I wasn't expecting.

I recommended Glutamine to a friend of mine who's in he's 60's and he said on the first day he noticed he rode his bicycle much faster then normal .. :-)