You have probably heard of L-Glutamine being used by bodybuilders to help maintain muscle mass. It can provide a significant source of energy for the entire body. It prevents your muscles from being sore after a hard workout and prevents further damage to muscle tissues and fibers. Did you know it can also play a similar role in helping the fibers of your intestines?
Unlike other inflammatory bowel diseases, Crohn’s causes each layer of the intestine to be effected. Amino acids are generally very important nutrition-wise but it can also help in treating certain diseases. Crohn’s can be helped by dietary modifications and with the added bonus of L-Glutamine to your daily consumption, it may help things heal up even more.
L-Glutamine is a component used to make proteins. It has been recognized as the second most important fuel for the cells lining your colon and helps clear out waste through the kidney and liver. Your body produces enough glutamine to function normally but having an auto-immune disease causes stress on your body, which raises the demand for this protein making component. Dietary sources of glutamine can come from beef, chicken, milk, fish, eggs, pork, oats and avocados, raw spinach, parsley, and cabbage…but since I do not eat meat, eggs or dairy, I look for supplemental versions to increase the source of glutamine in my body.
So how does it help Crohn’s?
It can help protect the mucosa lining of the intestine. It works as a fuel for the cells lining the intestine and promotes a healthy digestive tract. Taking a glutamine supplement may help the intestinal walls repair more rapidly, which in turn leads to better nutritional absorption.
The mucosal lining of the intestine is the most dynamic collection of cells in the body. The entire lining is replaced every 3-6 days, including the immune cells resident in it. (L-glutamine is the main fuel). The replacement rate takes a lot of fuel, and if there is insufficient L-glutamine available, gaps in the mucosal barrier and in the intestinal walls themselves form. The intestinal walls become thin and ulcers and bacteria can develop. When this bacteria penetrates into the lining and other surrounding tissues, this is known as “leaky gut”. The combination of broken down mucosal barriers, weak intestinal walls and reduced numbers and activity of immune cells allows permeation of pathogens, and allergy-causing particles, which then can leak into the bloodstream. (where it doesn’t belong!)
one to two teaspoons per day.