If you suffer erosion in the protective lining of your duodenum or stomach, commonly referred to as having an ulcer, a simple amino acid may help. L-glutamine may be a good alternative therapy for reducing ulcer symptoms, according to a 2009 study published in "The Journal of Nutrition," though your doctor is likely to prescribe an antibiotic as well. Develop a treatment plan in conjunction with your doctor and follow his recommendations for dosing if you choose to us L-glutamine.
L-glutamine may help protect your stomach from Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that is responsible for many stomach ulcers. L-glutamine may help decrease inflammation as well as damage caused by H. pylori, according to Susan J. Hagen, lead author for the 2009 "Journal of Nutrition" study.
The 2009 study, while promising, was performed on mice. Some mice in the study were given an additional 5 percent L-glutamine in their diets, to bring the total percentage to 6.9 percent. This was incorporated into the total protein intake for these mice, which was 25.3 percent daily compared to a protein intake of 20.3 percent daily for mice not given supplemental L-glutamine, according to Hagen.
The 2009 study did not recommend a human dosage, and dosage suggestions for people tend to vary. For example, the Reader's Digest Association book, "The Healing Power of Vitamins, Minerals and Herbs," recommends 500 mg L-glutamine taken three times a day for one month to treat an ulcer. Meanwhile, the "Pocket Guide to Macronutrients in Health and Disease," by Michael Zimmermann recommends you take 1 g to 1.5 g glutamine each day to help combat ulcers due to H. pylori. Zimmermann also recommends supplementing with vitamins A and E and zinc to promote ulcer healing. "Reader's Digest" suggests adding vitamins A and C, zinc, copper, licorice, aloe vera juice and gamma-oryzonol. Consult your doctor the correct dosage of glutamine.
The dose of L-glutamine for each person is likely to vary, so it's important to follow your doctor's directives when setting a dose, according to Drugs.com. This amino acid is sometimes recommended for other conditions like short bowel syndrome. The dosage for that condition is 5 g taken six times a day, for a total of 30 g, for up to 16 weeks. Glutamine can cause side effects including hoarseness, a cough, straining when passing stools and a more frequent urge to defecate. Less common side effects may include chills, cold hands and feet, bloody urine, difficulty swallowing, dizziness or fainting, confusion, a cough, headaches, a fast heartbeat, hives, itching, shortness of breath, urinary changes, side or lower back pain, stomach pain and wheezing. Consult a doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms.
- “Pocket Guide to Macronutrients in Health and Disease”; Michael Zimmermann; 2001
- “The Journal of Nutrition”; Inflammation and Foveolar Hyperplasia Are Reduced by Supplemental Dietary Glutamine during Helicobacter pylori Infection in Mice; Susan J. Hagen, et al.; 2009
- Drugs.com: L-Glutamine; June 2011
- “The Healing Power of Vitamins, Minerals and Herbs”; Reader’s Digest Association; 1999
- “Infection and Immunity”; Helicobacter pylori Glutamine Synthetase Lacks Features Associated with Transcriptional and Posttranslational Regulation; Rachel M. Garner, et al.; 1998
- “Fitness ABCs”; Chuck Krautblatt; 2008