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Is Glutamine Bad for Kidneys?

author image Adam Cloe Ph.D./M.D.
Adam Cloe has been published in various scientific journals, including the "Journal of Biochemistry." He is currently a pathology resident at the University of Chicago. Cloe holds a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry from Boston University, a M.D. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in pathology from the University of Chicago.
Is Glutamine Bad for Kidneys?
Yellow pills spilling from a brown bottle Photo Credit: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

As the most abundant amino acid in the body, glutamine can play an important role in healing. People who have an illness or have recently had a major injury or surgery may benefit from glutamine supplements. Although there is no evidence that glutamine causes kidney damage, people with kidney disease should not take glutamine.

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Glutamine and Kidney Health

Glutamine is often taken orally, and daily doses typically range from 5 to 30 grams per day, although doses higher than 14 grams per day should be taken under the supervision of a doctor or other health care provider. There is no evidence that glutamine causes any form of kidney damage. On the other hand, the University of Maryland Medical Center notes that glutamine supplements are not safe for people with liver and kidney disease, as well as people with Reye syndrome. In addition, people with diminished kidney function -- such as the elderly -- may need to adjust their dosage to account for the kidney dysfunction. Always talk to a doctor before starting any new supplement.

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