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.
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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