Glutamine: What it is, Where it is found and Functions
The human body consists of many elements essential for life. We find amino acids, which fulfill different functions to maintain good health. Among them, Glutamine stands out.
The most important details of this chemical compound. We will mainly see the benefits it produces in our bodies.
What is Glutamine?
- Formula: C5H10N2O3
- Molar mass: 146.14 g/mol
- IUPAC name: Glutamine
- Melting point: 185°C
- Classification: Amino Acid
- Acidity : 2.17; 9.13 pKa
- Codon: CAG, CAA
It is mainly present in the muscles. Thanks to it, it is possible for lymphocytes, and other cells, to have the necessary energy to carry out the different processes of the body.
The following elements are involved in its composition: carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen.
An interesting detail is that the amount needed in the body increases in the presence of stress.
The function of Glutamine in the body? Health benefits
Glutamine is directly related to a large number of processes in the body. According to studies, up to 60% of the body’s functions require this amino acid. So let’s see what they are.
Protect the muscles
One of the dangers for any person is that catabolism occurs by not eating enough food or protein. But Glutamine synthesizes nutrients from food faster, helping the body get protein more quickly. In this way, the consumption of muscle tissues is prevented.
Increases the effect of glucose
Glucose is needed to replenish glycogen . During physical activity, this is lost, and it is necessary to recover it as soon as possible. Glucose alone can do it, but the process is prolonged. This is where it intervenes, boosting glucose and promoting rapid recovery.
Contributes to the body’s defenses
Thanks to Glutamine, all nutrients from food can be obtained to a greater degree. This, in addition to avoiding problems in recovering strength, also keeps the immune system in good shape because the rate at which energy is produced increases.
Experts point out that the main function of Glutamine is precisely to strengthen the immune system. So get the most out of food in a very short time.
Strengthens the nervous system
As it also reaches the nervous system, it is of great help so that the brain can work effectively. Some specialists consider that Glutamine is for the brain as a fuel that activates and strengthens it.
In the presence of this amino acid, which also acts as a neuroreceptor, mood improves. Thanks to all this, the appearance of diseases related to the nervous system is avoided.
Where is Glutamine found?
Given the importance of Glutamine in our body, it is of special interest to know where we can get it. So let’s look at two ways they can be obtained below.
foods contain Glutamine
To know which foods contain Glutamine, you need to know which ones have the highest protein value. Among these, the following stand out:
- Whole milk and its derivatives
- Spinach and Cabbage
The quantities present in these foods are sufficient to cover the needs of each person. Therefore, unless, after a medical evaluation, the doctor indicates otherwise, it is not necessary to increase the consumption of Glutamine.
A much higher intake of this amino acid is necessary for those diagnosed with glutamine deficiency and high-performance athletes. In addition, food supplements with a high concentration of Glutamine have been prepared for all of them.
However, it is always good that a doctor’s opinion is requested before starting to consume them. Some of these supplements not only have Glutamine but are a mixture of several amino acids.
What diseases cause a lack of Glutamine?
In the absence of Glutamine, it is normal for different diseases to occur. Among them, the following stand out:
As it contributes to increasing energy, if this is lacking, the body will not be able to recover from the different activities that it performs. For example, if you do not have this amino acid for a long time, you can suffer from chronic fatigue.
Lack of concentration
It is a discomfort that persists in making it impossible for those who suffer from it to carry out any activity, especially if it requires mental agility. Mental performance is diminishing, and if this problem is not corrected, it can also lead to insomnia.
How should Glutamine be taken?
Glutamine fulfills the function of protecting and helping to recover muscle mass, among other things. For this reason, it should be consumed when performing a physical activity in which a lot is required of the body.
Of course, it is necessary to keep in mind that not all physical activity can reduce muscle mass. In this sense, only when very great physical efforts are made or when the period of action is prolonged. In such cases, the consumption of between 5 to 10 grams daily is recommended.
It is enough to include one of the foods that contain Glutamine in the diet, so it is essential to maintain a regular but low intake of this amino acid.
Contraindications and risks of Glutamine
One of the reasons you shouldn’t exceed your glutamine intake is that your body will have to get rid of the excess. That means the kidneys will have to work extra hard . If this extra work occurs frequently, they suffer other difficulties in this organ.
In addition, some people should not consume it for any reason, and they are the following groups:
- People with kidney problems. This is because the kidneys are responsible for getting rid of the excess. Those who have problems with this organ should not use it.
- People with liver impairment. Nitrogen increases ammonia absorption. But, that effect can be multiplied by Glutamine and affect the nervous system.
Without a doubt, it is essential for the body’s metabolism and increased energy. If consumed correctly, excellent results can be achieved.
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