L GLUTAMINE : WHAT DOES GLUTAMINE DO

L GLUTAMINE : WHAT DOES GLUTAMINE DO


– [Narrator] So you’re just
getting into working out, you’ve got some cash to spend and you figure why not visit
the local supplement store? You walk in the door and if
you’re anything like I was, you get totally overwhelmed. All of the labels are
making bold promises, then there’s a salesman who always seems to suggest
the most expensive thing, but he says you should trust
him because he benches 225 and he used to play high school football. Here’s the thing, in their most simple form, supplements are a single compound which has been demonstrated to yield some type of benefit if you take it. Just like grain, lumber or onions, a lot of these compounds
can be bought in bulk. They’re commodities. And there isn’t a lot of
money to be made selling them because the price will be set by whoever is willing
to sell it the cheapest. If I created my own brand of vitamin C, I can’t really sell it for much more than the standard price that
everyone else is paying, or else who would really want to buy it? So in order to make the most money, these supplement companies need something which is harder for others to simply copy, like with the vitamin C. So what do these supplement companies do? Well they take several of
these inexpensive compounds, blend them together in
a proprietary blend, and then sell it as the number one way to achieve everything you’re after, while charging more than it would cost to buy these ingredients separately. This is why I feel so few people are talking about L-glutamine. Since any company can make it, no supplement company
spends much to advertise it, meaning you never really
hear much about it. L-glutamine is an amino acid. Amino acids can exist on their own or they can join together
to form protein strands. Why should you care? Well, L-glutamine is the
most common amino acid found in your muscles. Over 61% of skeletal muscle
is made of L-glutamine. That 60% figure is something you’ll see in basically every bodybuilding article, along with the same
recycled list of benefits. But almost never any explanation
of actually why it works. For this video, I wanted
to take it deeper though and what I found ended up
being pretty incredible. So not only are your
muscles made of glutamine, but glutamine also circulates
the body in the blood and there are several
types of cells in the body which rely on that same glutamine as their unique energy source. Glutamine is a preferred respiratory fuel for lymphocytes, hepatocytes,
and intestinal mucosal cells. It also plays a big role in transporting nitrogen
throughout the body. So not only is your muscle
largely comprised of glutamine, but other cells, essential
cells in the body also rely on it in order to create energy so that they can function properly. I took special note that the lymphocytes, which are crucial to the immune system, need glutamine for fuel. L-glutamine is also used by our brains to create neurotransmitters, glutamic acid, and
gamma aminobutyric acid. Now glutamine is what many
in the medical community call a nonessential amino acid. The term” nonessential” doesn’t mean you don’t need it though. When an amino acid is nonessential, it means that it isn’t essential
to include it in your diet since the body has a
mechanism to create it. The body has two ways of
meeting its glutamine needs. Some of its needs are met by the intake of glutamine
containing foods. Most proteins contain glutamine as one of their building blocks. In the small intestine, these
proteins are broken down and the glutamine is absorbed
into the blood stream. Additionally, the body contains an enzyme called glutamine synthetase. This enzyme is present in skeletal muscle, the brain, kidneys and liver. Glutamine synthetase
catalyzes the condensation of glutamate and amonia
to form L-glutamine. This process of L-glutamine
creation within the body is why it can be classified
as non-essential. Under normal conditions,
this production process is able to supply the body with
all the glutamine it needs. Cells that depend on glutamine
for energy get enough. There’s plenty circulating in the blood and the muscles are full of it. But what happens when the body
increases the number of cells which use L-glutamine for energy? For example, producing more of those white blood cells when you’re sick. In these kinds of times, the body’s demand for L-glutamine outpaces the supply. This is why a paper I found published in the Journal of Nutrition argues that L-glutamine should be reclassified as conditionally essential, meaning there will be
times where it is essential to get it in your diet
because in these times, the body’s demand is
outstripping its supply. Supplementing it in these cases
has proven to be beneficial. So what are some times that
the demand for glutamine outpaces the body’s ability to create it? Well, during times of severe stress, the body becomes determined to ensure that the glutamine energy dependent cells including those immune
cells we talked about, have all the energy they need. The body begins depleting
its glutamine stores, which means, bingo, the body will destroy muscle
to access this glutamine. This is called catabolism and can be brought on by everything from a severe injury to illness, to being in a state of starvation. (cough) Aggressive dieting. Supplementing glutamine has been shown to reduce the loss of muscle in patients or in these stated types of stress. Now normally, they look at severe stress, they look at things like
severe injuries, burns, and those who have just had surgery. But there is evidence that suggests that even the affects
of an intense workout can lower the body’s glutamine levels. Studies confirmed this, demonstrating levels of blood glutamine following an intense workout are reduced. So what happens if you supplement? Well other studies have found
that after strenuous exercise, athletes supplementing L-glutamine had a reduced instance of infection because remember L-glutamine is both with the body uses to
fuel the immune system and a major component of repairing muscle. If supplies become stretched too thin, you simply won’t be
operating at peak capacity. So my personal verdict, if you train hard, approaching
a threshold of over training, you put significant stress on your body. Based on the studies, L-glutamine will be beneficial
to bolster your immune system and to reduce the likelihood of your body going catabolic
if it is deficient. This also explains why
L-glutamine supplementation is often used by people
who are cutting down and eating at a caloric deficit, to help reduce the likelihood
of the body turning to muscle as a source of L-glutamine. Hope this video helps you
make a more informed decision. I’ve included the studies I’ve referenced so you can do your own fact checking. Until next time.

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