L-Glutamine Supplementation For Leaky Gut Syndrome
L-Glutamine is growing in popularity, and becoming widely known for its use in healing and managing the health of the gut, especially in cases where one is trying to use L-Glutamine for a case of leaky gut or leaky gut syndrome.
Let's have a look at why this simple amino acid in supplement form can be such a powerful gut healer, and how you can start to integrate it into your supplement regime in order to either heal your gut faster, or simply to keep your gut health at a good level.
To be as honest as possible from the get go, as I talk about further on down the page in the supplements section this write up and my experience with L-Glutamine is based on this specific product here.
There's several different areas to cover, so for your convenience, click on the link below to be transported to that location on the page:
What Is L-Glutamine?
How Does L-Glutamine Work To Seal The Gut Lining?
A Quick Look At Some Of L-Glutamine's Other Health Benefits
Common Questions Regarding Using L-Glutamine For Leaky Gut:
– What Type Of L-Glutamine Is Best? Powder Or Tablet Form?
– How To Take L-Glutamine To Heal Leaky Gut?
– Should L-Glutamine Be Taken On An Empty Stomach?
– How Much L-Glutamine Should I Take For Leaky Gut?
– When To Take L-Glutamine?
– Are There Any Side Effects To Taking L-Glutamine Supplements?
– Can I Just Get Enough Glutamine From My Diet?
– How Long Will It Take For L-Glutamine To Heal My Leaky Gut?
– How Can I Find A Doctor To Help Me With L-Glutamine For Leaky Gut Advice?
Some Things To MAKE SURE YOU DO When Taking L-Glutamine For LGS
Some Things To MAKE SURE YOU AVOID With L-Glutamine Supplementation
What L-Glutamine Supplements To Buy? A Few Product Reviews To Look At
My Final Verdict On Using L-Glutamine Supplementation For Leaky Gut Syndrome
Share Your Own L-Glutamine Supplement Experience
What Is L-Glutamine? A Basic Overview
L-Glutamine is one of the 20 amino acids that are essential for the healthy functioning of your body and brain. Some of its main functions are; the promotion of muscle growth, the assistance of brain and digestive health (this is our key when it comes to using this as a supplement for leaky gut), and improving athletic performance. In fact, in terms of its use as a supplement, L-Glutamine first became popular in the fitness industry for its ability to increase muscle growth, and also protect the body from the risk of muscle atrophy.
This amino acid is one of the foundations of protein, and this is why it's so important when it comes to muscle growth, repair and maintenance. Compared with any other of the amino acids, like Glutamine, Lysine or Proline, L-Glutamine happens to be found at higher rates in the bloodstream, and contributes to around 30% of the “amino acid nitrogen” in the blood.
Most Popular L Glutamine Choices
There is a subcategory of amino acids called the “conditionally essential” amino acids, and Glutamine is one of these. It basically means that the production of Glutamine within the body can become limited when we're not well. So when someone has a chronic illness of some kind for example, say an autoimmune disease, then their Glutamine levels can suffer.
This may be why the supplementation with Glutamine is used with cancer patients to some success as a natural detoxifier against the results of chemotherapy. As these patients are likely often depleted of this essential amino acid, and therefore improving their Glutamine levels can have a positive effect. Take a look at this study concerning chemotherapy induced toxicity and using Glutamine to specifically address this.
Just a super quick geeky moment segway here, as I think it's relevant to understand this point. When we're discussing either “Glutamine” or “L-Glutamine” we're talking about exactly the same thing. Regardless of whether the “L” is added or not, any Glutamine found in either the food or supplement form IS L-Glutamine because the mirror of L-glutamine (D-Glutamine, the “D” being for “dextro” = right) unfortunately has zero nutritional value, and so isn't relevant when discussing health and supplementation.
L-Glutamine also has the ability to regulate blood sugar levels. There are several studies that have shown the efficacy of this particular amino acid in blood sugar regulation, such as this one on pubmed.com. For this very reason it's been used to improve cases of type 2 diabetes with some success, and been positively shown to reduce not only blood sugar levels, but also to decrease fat, and decrease something known as systolic blood pressure (just one of the readings that can be taken when measuring a person's overall blood pressure).
This widely used amino acid is also classed as a neurotransmitter, and has some notable affects on brain function, with its main attributes having to do with it affecting our ability to focus, and memory performance. Apart from that it's also been stated that L-Glutamine can help with various symptoms relating to anxiety, moodiness, depression, sleeplessness and irritability. So its affect on the mood centers of the brain are also fairly wide reaching.
Apart from these stated effective uses in the athletics arena, brain function and mood regulation, and in more extreme instances such as chemotherapy detoxification, L-Glutamine is obviously well known for its importance in the role it plays with gut health. We're going to go over this more specifically next, but in simple terms it's a crucial amino acid when it comes to the health and repair of the intestinal lining.
I could go on from here with even more roles that this amazing amino has in our overall health, but what I really want to discuss is why and how Glutamine is so important for Gastrointestinal health, and then how you can start to use this powerful supplement to help you with your own healing journey.
By the way, just as a quick segway here before we move onto the more specific details regarding Glutamine and it's possible uses for improving gut health, if you're looking for a really solid overview of all things related to gut health, and healing a leaky gut, then this book “Fix Your Gut” written by John Brisson (AMZN link) is one of the best overviews I've come across so far.
How Does This Amino Acid Seal The Gut?
Out of the twenty amino acids that are present in the body, L-Glutamine is the one that acts as a direct fuel source for the cells in your gut lining. The cells in the gut lining are able to absorb the amino acid Glutamine directly, which makes it an important part of building and maintaining a healthy gastrointestinal environment.
When the cells in your gut take in L-Glutamine, which as mentioned they do readily and directly, then they produce higher levels of something called “Secretory Immunoglobulin Type A” (the acronym being SIgA) full wikipedia description here. Basically this is a critically important antibody for the function and performance of the body's immune system.
The benefits of the cells absorption of Glutamine also directly helps for what are known as the “tight junctions” in the gut lining to improve their integrity, and therefore their ability to function correctly and basically keep out the bad stuff (including pathogens, toxins from food, and particles which are too large). This is crucially important, as the damaged gut lining and its subsequent poor “gatekeeping” of the material allowed into the bloodstream via the gut, is the cause of so many of the downstream issues that leaky gut creates in the body.
The cycle of inflammation in the body created by leaky gut , and the transference of that inflammation to other bodily systems cannot be stopped until the issue of intestinal permeability is addressed and healed. This is why L-Glutamine is such a powerful supplement to take when trying to overcome leaky gut syndrome.
L-Glutamine has been positively correlated with the healing of various digestive health problems, including IBD, IBS, and also inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, crohn’s disease, diverticulosis, and leaky gut (not to mention all the separate conditions and concerns that can stem from leaky gut, for instance; weight issues, skin problems, and brain/mood health).
Here is one scientific journal paper published all the way back in 1993, which discusses the important value of Glutamine in keeping the gut healthy.
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Apart From Healing Leaky Gut, What Other Health Benefits Does L-Glutamine Provide?
Here's a quick overview of the other reported non gastrointestinal benefits that this versatile amino acid has been known to provide:
- Increased athletic performance and improved recovery times from workouts
- Increased muscle growth, decreased wasting
- Improved tissue healing
- Improved mental focus and concentration
- Improved cellular detoxification and metabolism
- Craving reduction
- Reduction in toxicity from chemotherapy
- Improved blood sugar, and the ability to combat diabetes (type 2)
Most Popular L Glutamine Choices
Common Questions Regarding Using L-Glutamine For Leaky Gut:
Powder Or Tablet Form For Leaky Gut?
The popular opinion when it comes to the form in which you should take your Glutamine supplement is that powdered form is better. This is for 2 reasons:
- L-Glutamine in powdered form is a LOT cheaper in general than in tablet form. For example, Jarrow Formulas L-Glutamine at 100 Tablets of 1000 mg per tablet for example are about 3 x the price than if you were to buy this supplement in powdered form.
- Besides the cost factor, obviously it's far easier to consume the powdered form, mixed with something like water or juice, than trying to ingest 20 pills of L-Glutamine twice a day (if and once you get up to that dosage level). Some of us take a lot of supplements a day already, but that's a little ridiculous.
How Should I Take L-Glutamine Powder?
Most people find that simply mixing the powder with a cold beverage like water or juice works well. One thing you want to avoid doing is to mix the Glutamine with any sort of hot food or liquid, as it will lose its potency if heated (become denatured).
Do I Take It With Or Without Food?
The debate on whether or not to take L-Glutamine with or without food is unclear from our research. It seems that many integrative Doctors, such as Dr Axe, recommend taking it with food. Some other dedicated leaky gut websites say that it absolutely should NOT be taken WITH food, and then other experts seem to be of the opinion that it doesn't matter if you take it on an empty stomach or not.
For those of us taking this supplement to heal leaky gut, it's required that we take fairly high doses (10-20g per day) to get the positive benefits, so due to the high dosage, it may be better to go with taking it with food, rather than away from food. As always, this is one of those questions that you should really verify with your trusted practitioner before implementing a regime, to get their opinion.
Correct L-Glutamine Dosage For Leaky Gut
The correct dosage will depend on your personal situation, and how you respond to supplementing with L-Glutamine. As always, before starting your supplement regime, seek the advice of a qualified practitioner first. Although most people seem to benefit and start noticing positive changes at a dosage somewhere between 20 and 40 grams per day.
This is why using the titration method is so valuable in assessing your own body's personal response to any supplement, and decreasing the risk of any potentially negative side effects.
What Time Should I Take My L-Glutamine Powder?
Generally speaking the best time to take your daily dosages of Glutamine powder are with breakfast, and then with your evening meal. According to common advice, it does not matter if you take it before or after your meal, as long as there's food in your stomach in at around the time you're dosing. This is of course, assuming you are taking it WITH FOOD, and as stated, the opinions on this differ greatly depending on who's advice you are getting. So again, be sure to consult with your Doctor regarding this question.
Are There Side Effects To Look Out For When Using L-Glutamine Supplements?
L-Glutamine supplementation, like with any type of supplementation is highly individual, and it's hard to say if you will or will not experience any side effects. It seems from the research that most people don't seem to experience any negative side effects, but there are some anecdotal reports of negative side effects from SOME users.
We found one user reported that L-Glutamine usage at a dosage of 5 grams just once per day made them severely constipated. Another anecdotal report of negative side effects noted that the person had experienced severe side effects including insomnia, loss of appetite, and some degree of social phobia and/or fear of interpersonal confrontation. These reports seem fairly isolated, but it's still worthy of consideration before you go ahead and try L-Glutamine supplementation.
This is another good reason to make sure you get advice from your Doctor before taking any supplementation. Glutamine is a precurser to both of the two excitatory amino acids, aspartate (Asp) and glutamate (Glu) and for this reason, having too much of it in the body may bring negative side effects (take a look at this scientific literature published on pubmed here), and so this could be a cause of an anxiety response to the supplement in some people. As with many supplements, using titration (wikipedia explanation), and gradually increasing your doses over time, whilst monitoring for feedback from your body is a wise practice to employ.
Can't I Just Get Glutamine From My Diet?
In most cases you'll be getting glutamine from your diet on some level, for example turkey, asparagus, venison, bone broth, spirulina and cottage cheese all contain good amounts of dietary Glutamine. The problem is that dietary Glutamine has to compete for uptake along with all the other amino acids that you consume in your foods, and you're simply not going to get enough of the required Glutamine this way (at least not if you're suffering from any kind of abnormal digestive health issues).
For those of us trying to heal leaky gut, we need higher and purer forms of L-Glutamine, and this is why supplementation is necessary.
How Long Does It Take To Work, And Heal My Leaky Gut?
If you've read up to this point, probably one of the most pressing questions for you will be something along the lines of “how long does L Glutamine take to work to repair my intestines?”. Well that's again going to be a very personal question, with the answer depending on several factors relating to your current intestinal health.
The main factors that will contribute to the length of time that it'll take to heal your leaky gut are; whether or not you have any chronic underlying causes which need to be addressed before your gut will be able to heal (like parasitic infections as a common example) your diet and how well it allows the inflammation in your gut to decrease so your gut lining can have a better chance of healing, and the type and quality of supplementation that you are using to heal leaky gut (there are other supplements which you may want to add onto the use of L-Glutamine that are very effective for healing leaky gut and restoring GI tract functionality – a good quality Colostrum for example).
Having said that, anecdotal reports suggest that trying L-Glutamine at the maximum recommended dosage for healing leaky gut syndrome (20 grams, twice daily with food) for a period of 60 days is a good amount of time to test the supplement and its effectiveness for your personal situation.
These reports then suggest to taper off slowly, (similar to the titrated method of increasing dosage but just the opposite) and then go off L-Glutamine completely for one or two weeks and closely observe the difference, by paying attention to the way you feel, and watching for any symptomatic changes in your condition.
How To Find A Doctor Who Understands Supplementation For The Repair Of A Leaky Gut
It's important to understand that if you have something as serious as leaky gut, which can have so many negative offshoots and seemingly disconnected symptoms, that you need to seek the consultation of a good integrative Doctor who fully acknowledges and understands leaky gut and can help you with your healing journey.
A good resource to start off with is functionalmedicine.org. From there, depending on your location, you should at least be able to get pointed in the right direction of an integrative or functional medicine practitioner who can assist you.
Some Things To Make Sure You Do Whilst Taking L-Glutamine For Leaky Gut
Seek Qualified Advice Before Starting
This is just common sense, but because we're discussing health and supplementation on this website, we have to continually refer back to it for your safety and to make sure we're doing things the right way. This website, like most of if not all websites, is for information purposes only, and for you to gather ideas. Make sure you ALWAYS GET the advice of a qualified medical professional before actually starting your supplement regime. Check out this website to find leads for a good integrative practitioner if you are having trouble finding a Doctor who really understands leaky gut and how to treat it.
Always Test And Titrate
As with testing any new supplement or product that you have to ingest into your body, it's sensible to use the technique of titration, which means to gradually increase your dosage over time, often starting at a very low dosage to assess if you personally have any negative reactions to the substance.
Once you've been at a low dose for a couple of days with no obvious negative reactions, then you can gradually bring it up to the full dosage that's been reported to have positive effects for most people, which is around 10-20 grams each day, and varies case to case.
The key thing to remember is that slowly increasing your dosage is the best practice for safety and assessing your personal tolerance. It's also best practice (in terms of getting the best data) to only test and titrate up with one supplement at a time, so that you know the reactions, either positive or negative, are from that particular supplement. This is ideal, but not always possible in all cases.
Here's a sample titration plan from the great guys over at SCD lifestyle:
Most Popular L Glutamine Choices
Use L-Glutamine To Defuse Cravings
Very often people who are suffering from leaky gut syndrome have to be quite restrictive with their diet, and for this reason they will often have to cut out most if not all sugary things like cakes, sweets, chocolate, etc. This can cause many people to have cravings for sweet foods, and adds another layer of suffering to the already grueling daily challenge of diet restriction – not to mention all the other things associated with having a leaky gut, like all the various unpleasant symptoms, and the inhibitory affect having this health issue can have on one's lifestyle.
L-Glutamine not only heals the gut, but is an effective appetite suppressant as well. No one understands the exact science behind how L-Glutamine does this, although some researchers suggest that it may be to do with the Glutamine converting easily into glucose in the body, thus somehow reducing sugar cravings. Their is no evidence of this however and it's purely anecdotal.
That being said, regardless of no one knowing the science behind the appetite suppressant qualities of the supplement, it's been used for this purpose alone by many with great success. Like with the testing of Glutamine for improving the status of your gut, once you've worked out your protocol and dosing, the next time you get cravings simply take your L-Glutamine supplement and observe the results. Sometimes self experimentation is the only way to know, and your body will let you know if this is an effective method pretty quickly.
Only Use Powdered Form
As discussed previously on this page, it's simply smarter in terms of saving time and money to go with the powdered form of Glutamine. Unless you have some unusual love for swallowing large amounts of pills each day, then it makes zero sense to opt for the tablets over the powdered form, especially when it comes to taking higher doses than normal, as is often required for repairing the gut.
See below for our recommendations on which powdered L-Glutamine supplements are the best quality.
Choose Only A Quality Brand
It's always important to make sure you're going with a brand that is good quality, and that's actually going to contain the stated amount of active ingredients you want. This is no different with L-Glutamine supplementation. Check out our best L-Glutamine supplement reviews below to get a good idea as to which are the top brands.
Use High Enough Doses
If you're trying to repair your leaky gut using the supplementation of Glutamine, it's very important that you are in the dose range that's actually been shown to be effective for leaky gut. Many people have been found to be erroneously using a lower dosage because that's the standard protocol that's USUALLY recommended for L-Glutamine supplementation when using it as an athletic performance enhancer, etc. This is usually a dose of something like two to five grams each day.
Unfortunately in most cases, using this supplement in doses less than the range of ten to twenty grams per day is not going to be enough to help heal the gut. So make sure, once you have tested and titrated your dosing, that you are getting up to that optimal dosing range, if you really want to get the gut healing benefits out of using L-Glutamine.
Things To Avoid Doing While Running Your L-Glutamine Supplementation Protocol
Stop And Reassess If You Experience ANY Bad Reactions
If you follow the test and titrate model, then you can generally proceed without too much trouble or anxiety when beginning your L-Glutamine supplementation protocol. However, common sense prevails, so make sure that you are well on the lookout for ANY signs that you might not be reacting well. Signs and symptoms that could be indicators are increases of diarrhea or constipation, increased heart rate, anxiousness, brain fog or headaches, along with anything else that's just abnormal for you.
Unfortunately with using supplements for any kind of healing, there are no golden rules, we are all unique in our own ways, whether that be down to lifestyle elements, or genetics, it means everyone can react differently to any given supplement regime, and thus why testing and gradually shifting dosage amounts is of paramount importance.
This is the main reason why IDEALLY you want to test and titrate with only one new supplement at a time, although this can be a challenge, and sometimes is not possible (like when you're taking a whole new protocol that involves many different new supplements as a combination).
Informal reports, indicate that there seems to be a negative brain based symptomatic response in about 5% of people who use the supplement. This could be experienced as a general “brain fog” or other cognitive impairment issues experienced as a side effect even when taking small amounts right at the start of the titration testing period.
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Avoid “Pre-Mixed” Gut Healing Supplements
There are many pre mixed gut healing supplement blends available these days, this has increased even more so in the last 5-10 years with the huge increases in people who are suffering from intestinal permeability. There are a couple of issues with using these supplement blends though, and when trying to heal leaky gut and focusing on supplementing with L-Glutamine, they are not ideal.
The reasons for avoiding these types of supplements are the following:
- They include multiple ingredients, and sometimes these added ingredients will actually intensify the leaky gut issue, instead of helping it to heal. This will depend on how bad a persons gut health is, and the amount of healing required, but generally it's just a smarter idea to use L-Glutamine on its own so that you can be confident that you're not getting anything else in there that's going to be problematic and slow down, stop or even reverse the healing process.
- In most cases, if you're trying to use any of these supplement blends for addressing your leaky gut, It's going to be hard to get enough isolated Glutamine, without taking high doses of the other ingredients, and this could be problematic. It's also just much more logical to use the L-Glutamine as a separate supplement, again going back to the point about testing and titration, which will be much easier when the product is isolated.
Be Realistic With Your Expectations
It's easy to get hyped up and over excited about starting a new supplement, especially when you're on the internet reading all the marketing sales material that's used to suck you into buying. We've all been there, but it's a good idea to be conscious of this process, and remember that healing your gut is unlikely to be covered just by taking one or even several different supplements. You may have to use a holistic approach, and also alter some lifestyle factors as well.
In nearly all cases there are going to be lifestyle factors involved, and these will need to be addressed along with anything else that's been a contributor to your current health situation.
Supplements can be very powerful, but we need to be sure to keep them in their place, which is as an adjunct to a holistic overall healing plan that covers all the elements.
L-Glutamine For Leaky Gut – Supplement Reviews
There are a few generally recommended brands of L-Glutamine which are reported to be both 1) a reliable source of good quality product, and 2) decent value for money compared to the competition. Let's take a quick look at those here.
This is the one I've used personally, it's not overly expensive (more than half the price cheaper than the other 2 brands listed below) and it seems to be a good quality product from what I can tell so far. It's listed on both iHerb and amazon.com currently for a competitive price.
Jarrow Formulas L-Glutamine is available here on:
Jarrow Formulas seems to be a very reputable company, with a steady stream of positive reviews and recommendations on all the main platforms such as Amazon, iherb.com, and vitacost.com.
Klaire labs is a brand that's commonly more expensive than many others, but is reported to be one of the highest quality suppliers available. A tub of 300g L-Glutamine from Klaire labs seems to be the most popular option.
I've personally not tried this brand, so I can't really comment on its efficacy as of yet, but at nearly triple the price of Jarrow, it seems like it's a bit overpriced in my opinion. However, for those who believe high quality supplements are generally better, then this may be a good choice for you.
Klaire Labs L-Glutamine is available here on:
Another very highly priced “premium” brand that costs about 3 times as much as Jarrow's version, but again, good reports and reviews are common when it comes to this brand, so if you're looking for a really premium quality L-Glutamine supplement, then this could be a good choice for you.
Numedica L-Glutamine is available here on:
What's The Verdict? Final Thoughts
L-Glutamine is an essential amino acid that can have powerful effects on the process of healing a leaking gut, and maintaining a good level of intestinal health, it has the potential to assist in other areas of personal health as well.
That being said, It's also a supplement that's use should not be taken at all lightly, as it can be highly stimulating in its role as a precursor to excitatory neurotransmitters. Some people may experience increased anxiety and other unpleasant side effects based on this fact.
As stated several times previously, after checking in with your Doctor for his or her professional advice, it's really important to make sure when using this supplement that you test thoroughly with a small dose, and then gradually increase your dosage slowly. Keep an eye out for any symptom changes, and if you notice anything unpleasant, stop immediately and consult your practitioner for further advice.
That being said, if you are careful and mature about your usage of this supplement, you may find that it's as miraculous for healing your leaky gut issues as many others have. As long as you're testing and adjusting the right way, then your risks are low, and the potential benefits are high. With that consideration in mind, you can pick up a tub of the powder at a competitive price here on Amazon.
Personally I think it's a great addition to my leaky gut supplementation, along with other powerful and scientifically validated supplements for healing digestive issues, like a good quality colostrum, which I use too. Also, getting as much education on gut health as possible is always smart, and I recommend John Brisson's book here (AMZN link) for that purpose.
What's Your Experience With Using L-Glutamine Supplements?
Have you personally used L-Glutamine supplements in the past, if so what's your experience been? Have you used them specifically for the repair of a case of leaky gut, and if yes, then was it successful? Please share your experience with this amino acid supplement below and be sure to leave us any feedback regarding the content on this subject. As always, apart from commenting below, you can make use of our contact page, if there's anything you'd like to ask us privately.
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About The Author - Founder at Healthvibed.com, Nick is passionate about learning and implementing all information related to achieving optimum health. He's since made it his mission to learn, live and share these principles, many of which you can find on this blog. Read more of Nick's personal story here, as well as our mission here on this site, here.
This was a very informative article, such valuable information. does taking L-Glutamine have an effect on other conditions like diabetes?
I suffer from leaky gut and have found that L-Glutamine to be one of the most beneficial supplements. I find the best value L-Glutamine supplements are the big tubs that you can order from body building websites.
I also recommend Amy Myers books “The Autoimmune Solution” for anybody with Leaky gut and for info on the autoimmune paleo diet.
A friend of mine had great results for leaky gut using French Green Clay.
Hey Nick, super informative article on L-Glutamine! I’ve been educating myself on the subject for the last few months since finding out that I am suffering from Leaky Gut Syndrome. Interestingly enough, it seems that there are many more of us out there who are but are totally unaware of it. Great site. Thanks and keep up this good work!
Thank you Marian!! It’s more than likely that you are indeed suffering from LGS, as it’s been said that up to 80% of the US population (Dr Hyman in the book “The Ultramind Solution” if memory serves correctly), and would be similar in other western cultures.
And yes, you’re correct, many people have some degree of intestinal permeability but are asymptomatic. We’ve just done a podcast with a wonderful man John Brisson, who’s very clued up about gut health, that will be the first released episode of Health Vibed Radio, and should be up to listen to in a week or 2.
You will get a lot of good ideas to move you in the right direction from that podcast, so stay tuned! 🙂
I’ve read Glutamine can help with both workout recovery and dementia. The first was for me and the second was for a family member.
I’ve purchased some for me but sadly haven’t been able to convince my loved one to try it.
In your research did you happen across data on mixing it with either a pre or post workout shake? I have researched it but have found many conflicting reports as to if it’s a good practice or not.
Wonderful article. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.
Thanks so much for your feedback Gwen, it really does make my work worthwhile to get thoughtful comments such as this! I didn’t come across anything regarding that specifically. To be honest, I was focusing more on the leaky gut/intestinal health connection, so I might have missed those studies/reports, etc.
I think sometimes the only way to know with trying supplements such as L-Glutamine, is to do a controlled self-experiment. That’s what I did, and it just increased my anxiety so much that I decided to cut the experiment off quickly. I’m now learning that may be another thing that’s to do with my genetic makeup. That’s something that requires further study and testing…
Thanks again for the compliment on the content, and look out for the new podcast, we’ve got a lot of value to share here on this site! First episode should be up within the next couple of weeks!
i just finished reading all of your article onL-glutamine, i bought some two days , after suffering diarrhea very bad for the past month. ,i should mention i have colitis, for year. . in two days my diarrhea has been so much better. will continue to use. keep up the good advice rena
Awesome Rena! Thanks for sharing, and I’m super happy for you, hope that it continues to work!
Thank you for your article. I actually bought the Jarrows prior to reading it. I started a week ago with a smaller dosage and just upped it to 2 TBS a day, which I believe to be 24 grams? I probably went up in dose a little quicker than I should of, but hadn’t read this yet. I have experienced a few weird dreams, is that a common side effect? Thank you again, am going to read more of your blog and will update with any leaky gut curing after taking this a while!
Hi Susan, if you are not experiencing any obvious anxiety or anything like that, then it should be okay. That being said, I’m not a Doctor, so always get advice from a professional. But in many cases in my own experience, I can say that I’ve simply had to try things out. I guess just keep a close eye on it, and taper back if you see any negative effects that you might correlate to taking the L Glutamine.
I discovered that I had some genealogy that doesn’t really allow me to handle glutamine supplementation well, via 23andme.com. More on what that means coming up on the blog soon, so stay tuned!
Hey I have a single mutation for both c677t and a1298c.
I read through the Live Wello testing post but couldn’t fully grasp how one’s genes may impair glutamine absorption. To be honest, I’m not very good with the technical a& in-depth medical aspects & do have quite a lot of brain-fog too.
Would really appreciate you explaining in layman terms why we cannot handle the glutamine supplementation.
I have a severe case of leaky gut and really need the glutamine. Thanks
I’m really not qualified to answer that for you, but I suggest you seek the help of John Brisson over at: fixyourgut.com
He’s much more knowledgeable on the topic than I am.
I started having what I thought ibs but also had joint flare ups. I seen a rheumatologist and was prescribed methotrexate, plaquinil, and prednisone. It didn’t help. Eventually I was prescribed humira. I opted not to take it. I found this article and tried glutamine. Within 1 week my ibs symptoms were gone. I knew something was happening. Eventually I came off all the 1st medicines I mentioned. My flare ups have diminished by 2/3rds and my energy levels are 10x better. Im still upping my glutamine dosage. All I can say is this has been a life changer. Thanks for the article.
Woah! James, you’ve inspired me so much by making your comment! Thank you so much for taking the time to write that!! This is so awesome! Please keep me posted on your progress! Ironically as I mentioned in the last comment while I did all the research and wrote this article out, it turns out that I have certain genetic mutations which make L Glutamine a big no no for me. But the fact that this article has educated you and made a big difference in your life makes it all worth while! Thank you again James! 🙂
What gene mutations are you talking about? Wondering if I may have it too. I did a MTHFR test and a 23 and me…..
Let me know : )
Hi Cara, Look for GAD1 mutations, that should lead you in the right direction 🙂 I recommend you get someone like John Brisson to help you decipher what’s going on with you.
I am so hopefully after reading this article and comments in your comment you mentioned you have genetic mutations there for you are not able to take it can you please tell me what symptoms did you noticed and you found out that you are not able to tolerate it? any alternative you tired for that?
How much did you increased your glutamine dosage and how do you know when to?
I started at about 6000 mgs. Eventually I got up to 12000. The only side effect I suffered was acid reflux. I’d never had it before. I went back down to 7000-8000 mgs. My joint flare ups have still been minimal and no more reflux. My last flare up was over 18 days ago. I was having 2 a week. Hope this helps.
Very informative !! Good work 🙂
After a bout of food poisoning 2-1/2 years ago, I began experiencing odd symptoms including severe dairy intolerance, inflammation and pain in joints, eyes, etc. After negative allergy testing, screening for rheumatoid arthritis, etc. I was left with no medical solutions or diagnosis. My reading online has convinced me that “leaky gut” is the problem. I just purchased a tub of L-glutamine powder and am going to give it a try for 60 days. Hoping to be able to eat normally again! I will post updates.
Great Susan!! I hope it works out for you! keep us posted yeah? 🙂
Thank you so much for this article, Nick! I was totally desperate… It has been continued for 5 years: food allergies, сolitis, brain fog and etc. I’m scared of going out, coz I know whatever I eat I will feel awful. Sometimes I feel how blood comes to my face and heart starts to beat faster when I look through the menu or stay in the supermarket and can’t make a choice. I suffered from anorexia as I was scared of eating. I took antibiotics and probiotics to treat dysbiosis and then repeated this treatment again and again. Finally, my doctor said that it’s IBS and gave me antidepresants. It didn’t help either.
Today I’ve bought 500g L-glutamine and now trying to make a list of good food. The problem is I have allergy for almost all fruit and most vegetables, can’t eat nuts. If I eat some raw fruit or vegetables (for which I don’t have allergy) I feel bad in 20-30 minutes, because of colic in small intestine. It feels like a million needles, it’s so awful that I even can’t stand.
I tried to drink broth but It was impossible. It’s too fat for my pancreas.
Most of the time I eat boiled meat, fish, some steamed vegetables but don’t feel good after them, oats, rice, eggs, yoghurts, potatoes, cottage cheese and light cheese. With such a list I can study and work. Of course, I feel myself very weak, with brain fog and lose weight a lot. Sometimes I let myself some chocolate or bread then I feel much better but not for a long period of time. When they come to intestine I start to regret.
According to a leaky gut diet, I can’t eat dairy, grains, starched vegetables. I’m really confused I don’t know what to eat. I really want to help l-glutamine to treat my intestine, but don’t know how. I don’t want to come back to anorexia. Please give me a piece of advice, if you can!!! Will wait for your answer!
It sounds like you have been through hell, and I’m crossing my fingers that I can help at least put you on the right path! I would recommend you read this book (AMZN), John is a really knowledgeable guy, and has helped me figure out my own issues and make steps in the right direction. The book is a good overview of how to heal the gut, and a great place to start, however, personalized help will probably be necessary. So you might want to contact john via his website fixyourgut.com to see if he can help you directly.
Please let me know how you get on, I hope it helps!
What do you do if you have a leaky gut and cannot tolerate glutamine? I started at 2g per day and felt great energy, slept well, less joint pain immediately the next day. I was absolutely thrilled. I slowly increased to 6g over the next 3 days. Then I got horrible insomnia, sleeping only 2 hrs here and there. My rosacea that had been quiet, flared with horrible facial burning, flushing and redness numerous times a day. I pressed on thinking my body would get used to it over time, but it has been 2 wks now and I finally decided to stop it today after another sleepless night and flushing +++. How long before it will clear my system? I was also unable to tolerate bone broth d/t similar flare ups of my rosacea. What can I take to heal my gut without having such severe reactions? I am really choked that I cannot seem to tolerate the glutamine because it did have obvious benefits. I just cannot tolerate the side effects any longer. Any suggestions?
Hey Mary, I recommend getting a good functional Dr who can help you, along with self education. Have you read this book, if not I recommend it as a great place to start:
Fix your gut
John is very knowledgeable on the gut, and a really nice guy too. I would also recommend contacting him to see if you might be a good fit for coaching:
His website is here.
I hope you can figure it out!
I had similar problems but just got stomach pains, bone broths I can’t handle gives me autoimmune symptoms of RC Relapsing Chondritis, red ear burning like hell, I tried Collagen and same problems, bone broth may be inflammatory cause of heavy metals in the broth, namely LEAD.
You can take Quercetin, this apparently helps to tighten the junctions in the gut.
Hey Nick, thanks a lot for making this comprehensive article, it’s super useful!
I’m a bit confused about the combination of the timings and combinations of the following: L-Glutamine, Probiotics, Digestive Enzymes, Apple Cider Vinegar
When do I take which, and do they interfere?
Yeah timing can be a question for sure. To be honest I’m not a professional health expert, so I can’t advise on this. I have heard that apple cider vinegar ain’t necessarily that great, despite the recent fad. Personally in terms of timing, I just group stuff together that’s meant to be taken with food, or conversely without food. Even a lot of Doctors will debate about timing regarding supplements, etc, so it’s a hard thing to know for sure.
I have been mixing Jarrow glutamine powder in water each morning as you suggested. My question is how much water should I drink with the 5 teaspoons of glutamine powder (20 grams)?
Great Christine, how’s it working out for you?
Honestly, I am not a Dr, so I can’t give really specific personal advice, and you should always seek the advice of a qualified professional. That being said, I would GUESS that it doesn’t matter too much, just something sensible like 1 medium sized glass of water with it is what I would personally try.
I took too much the first couple times I took it and it made me manic and couldn’t sleep. I am taking it in smaller doses now. I have gut issues from autoimmune. I seen a big difference in my gut and overall well being.
Hi Lori, how much do you take and do you only take it in the morning? Last time I tried it I got insomnia so got nervous about taking it but I’ve developed chronic gastritis so I want to try again. Thanks 🙂
This was super informative. There’s so much BS/uncertainty when reading about natural health, but this article was very informative and objective
I have had terrible GERD for the past 10 years, causing an esophageal stricture and requiring very powerful meds, along with a very restrictive diet. Two years ago I started seeing a chiropractor that put me on glutamine and took me off the meds. The glutamine was a wonder drug! I suddenly could eat normal again. I rarely had flareups and when I did, the glutamine made me feel better within 2-3 days (with previous meds it would take weeks). The only problem is that I started excessively sweating (causing skin and rash problems) last year and I recently figured out it was because of the glutamine. As soon as I stop the glutamine, the sweat and heat intolerance goes away but the GERD comes back in full force. I had been taking 3,750mg twice a day and am currently experimenting with 625mg twice a day. Have you ever heard of this symptom before? I am a HUGE supporter of taking glutamine for stomach related issues, since it completely changed my life…so this sucks pretty bad. 🙁
I’ve not heard of this issue before, are you getting the help of a good functional Doctor? I really can’t advise on specific issues, as I’m really just a researcher. Have you tried other things for the GERD?
I am super impressed with the vast array of information on this website, it includes everything anybody suffering with increased intestinal permeability should ever need to know. I am currently seventeen years of age and became quite ill during the ending months of college, I put it down to my newfound diagnosis of tonsillitis. After five long months of antibiotics and an unresponsive case of large, inflamed, red and white spotted tonsils, I finally gave up on my general practitioners endeavour to treat me with antibiotics and turned to iodine, which ridded me of my tonsillitis in just three days, I couldn’t have been happier. Shortly after getting rid of tonsillitis I went back to my general practice to request a blood test for food intolerances as I was having a lot of sensitivities to food with no known explanation, a few weeks down the line and I was feeling unlike myself, and without any exaggeration I felt as though I was slowly dying off, a feeling I’m sure nobody wants to experience. I was fatigued after my 10 hour nights sleep and with the reintroduction of gluten due to needing to be on a gluten diet for the upcoming blood test, my break outs returned and I felt a familiar unwanted bloating in my intestines, not pleasant at all. Within the last few months I am under the theory that I am suffering with a yeast overgrowth and leaky gut due to years of exposure to gluten and the antibiotics I have taken recently, which seams to have damaged my intestines to the point of apparent symptoms. My tonsillitis has returned and I am unable to treat it effectively due to low immunity, which is making my body all the more unwell. I have been taking probiotics and prebiotics to restore the healthy bacteria that the antibiotics have killed, as well as digestive enzymes to help break down my food. I am on a low carb, low sugar, free from dairy, gluten, alcohol, caffeine, and all irritants alike diet, yet, I still feel like this is going to be a journey too long to comprehend and I can’t help but feel dejected just thinking about it.
However, I have one question to ask if anybody has any significant feedback.
Is it possible that leaky gut can cause inflamed, dry and red skin around the eyes? I can no longer wear contact lenses and makeup is out of the question, which Is really disheartening when I am due to be studying another year of college in September. Thank you!
Thanks very much for your story! Have you experimented with Glutamine? Also, have you had your gut bacteria levels checked via a proper study? I had mine done about a year and a half back, and it was very revealing. I discovered I had high levels of the Streptococcus bacteria in my gut. Which I later learned was very relevant to a bunch of different health issues that I’d experienced throughout my life time.
I have not heard of a connection between leaky gut and skin issues, as you asked about, but then there is so much to learn, and everyone is different in the way that they react to these issues. Do you have a good Dr helping you?
I have been taking L-Glutamine for almost 2 years for IBS-D (diarrhea prominent). I had this condition for 7 years before starting L-Glutamine. I started out titrating up the L-Glutamine powder in a glass of water to 15g morning on empty stomach and 15 =g before bed. I found the low FODMAP diet, University of Stanford Website, and used it as a guide to find which foods irritated me and kept those foods out of my diet as best I could. Stress also irritated the IBS. I also took a 50 billion CPUs, at least 10 strain probiotic once or twice a day. During the first year, up to about 2-3 months ago, I definitely improved, very gradually, 85%. Stress stopped irritating the IBS. About 2-3 months ago, I began taking the whole 30g of L-Glutamine powder in the morning on an empty stomach. I also cut the water with that down to just enough to make it palatable, and within a month or so I improved to almost 100%!! I am now able to eat foods I couldn’t eat before, like peaches, mushrooms, some onions, etc. I’m still testing some foods like garlic, tomato paste, etc. I’ve been able to cut way down on the OTCs I had to take and hoping to wean off. I can’t stress what a big change I had after I began taking the whole dose in the morning on an empty stomach with a little water. I think I would have healed much quicker, maybe 6 months to a year, if I had done that from the start. Everyone is different, but that’s what worked for me. I can go out and do what I want now without having to worry. I plan to eventually decrease the amount of L-Glutamine I’m taking just to maintain my GI tract. I will probably keep taking the probiotic, at least 1 a day, for good. I buy the 1000g bags of L-glutamine online for best cost. I wasn’t taking any prescription meds or antibiotics during this time, had’t taken antiobiotics for several years prior to my IBD. The L-Glutamine with probiotic does work!!
Forgot to mention, when I feel ready I’m going to titrate the l-glutamine down to find what I think will maintain my GI health, but I will probably keep taking one of the probiotic daily.
You suggest very high doses of this supplement. How do they affect kidney and liver function? Does this get processed by these two organs? A lot of supplements and medicines can contribute to the failure of these two organs if taken in very high doses. How is L-Glutamine different? I understand the titration but you would still only know once the damage is already done.
This is just from the research I did DJ. I didn’t come across any stories of kidney or liver damage, of course, otherwise I wouldn’t be sharing that high doses can work for helping leaky gut. As always, I have to tell you, I’m not a Doctor, I’m just writing things based on the things I have been learning in my own life for my own health. Always make your own decisions based on your own research, and get advice from a professional too. Thanks for reading! 🙂
Thanks for this very informative article, as I now realise that it is best to gradually dose on L-Glutamine, instead of taking full dose and suffer side effects. Have had leaky gut for some time and after making lifestyle changes still had difficulties. Am hoping this supplement will now help the healing process. Thanks again
I am on my 2nd day of 20 grams of glutamine/day. I’ve also been using digestive enzymes and aloe vera. It all started with someone suggesting that I chew each bite of food 20 times. A coworker was having stomach pain two or three days ago. I gave him some aloe vera and it wasn’t long before it was gone. His headache went away too. It makes sense that it would soothe digestive distress since it’s used as a burn lotion. Just as an FYI, aloe vera is nasty so it’s best diluted with water. It’s also better to put it in a blender because stirring doesn’t get rid of the chunky consistency. Also be aware than when it’s blended, it will foam up and turn white. At first I thought the blender just had some soap in it but after thoroughly rinsing it out, it foamed and turned white again. Good luck to everyone out there on your quest for a healthier gut. I have high hopes for mine.
A bit more helpful info to everyone out there. When first beginning digestive enzymes, don’t be discouraged if you experience digestive discomfort. Protease has a disinfecting/cleansing action in the gut, so if there’s inflammation, irritation, or damage, it’s going to be uncomfortable just like cleaning out a scrape or cut on your skin. According to what I read, the cleansing action isn’t going to harm you. I experienced some discomfort when starting enzymes and now I take a much higher dose with no problems.
Another supplement that literally changed my life is Purebody by Touchstone Essentials. I am not an affiliate and I do not receive any compensation or financial profit from recommending their products. Purebody is a full body detox (including the gut). Purebody extra strength is purely a cellular detox. As far as a I know it will not detox the gut.
Yes Glutamine works. As a coffee drinker I suffer with reflux occasionally. Combined with Slippery Elm powder this Glutamine is brilliant .
Hello, thank you for this great article. I have battled eczema for years and eventually sought nutritional advice (having been told by doctor after doctor that diet makes no difference to eczema). I am still stunned by the positive difference made by taking L Glutamine, along with some additional supplements, and amending my diet. It is life-changing! I even had someone comment on how nice my skin looked the other day (previously a rarity with angry blotches all over my face!) Eczema is such a horrible and physically painful condition, that can also have such a negative impact on a person’s mental state. To find a supplement that can help to alleviate it, is just wonderful! I’ve also noticed I have more energy (even despite having little sleep recently) and generally feel healthier. Thanks again.
Hi! Does L-Glutamine make one sleepy? This is my 2nd day of drinking L-Glutamine. Yesterday I tried 1 gram & after a few minutes, I felt sluggish & sleepy. Today I tried 1 gram again before breakfast & before lunch and felt the same thing—sluggish & sleepy again. Does this mean that my body is still adjusting to it or is it a sign that I should not take it? I’m taking it to heal my Gastritis.
Based on the fact that we’re all different, it would be hard to say. It would depend on your biology, and what current health issues you’re facing. Again, I’m not a Doctor. The best advice I can give is to be careful, and experiment with close observation on 1-3 supplements at a time. The more things you’re taking at once, the less you’re going to know what’s working. I’m actually going through this (again) in my own life right now.
I had a horrible reaction to L-Glutamine the second I started taking it. Horrible headaches, thirst, dry mouth, anxiety, dizziness and vomiting. Please use with extreme caution
I was trying to reply directly to the comment but couldn’t.
Hi Nick. Thanks for replying. The only new supplements I was taking were L-glutamine & Probiotics but not at the same time. I have stopped L-Glutamine but am thinking of trying it again but taking it with my evening meal only instead of in the morning, so that if I get sleepy then it won’t be a problem. It’s hard when our bodies react negatively to the supplements we need, I hope that you are doing okay now with the supplements you are taking.
To Fatima, thanks for the heads-up, that’s a scary reaction.
Thank you for this article. I have an Glutamine allergy and cannot do L-glutamine. It’s unfortunate that nutritionists, naturopaths and physical trainers continue to recommend this for gut issues and for protein building.
Thank you for your wonderful article and sharing of information. Thats why I love the internet.
I have had very good results with l-glutamine although I have felta touch of anxiety while using it. But I had to take antibiotics for more than 3 weeks and you know those really do a number in you. So I decided to be careful while taking them. First 1 tsp of glutamin in a little bit of water on an empty stomach, slightly more than like a shotglass at the bar. Wait a few minutes, then 1 tbsp omega3/vitamin d3 oil on an empty stomach
Thank you for your wonderful article and sharing of information. Thats why I love the internet.
I have had very good results with l-glutamine although I have felt a touch of anxiety while using it. But I had to take antibiotics for more than 3 weeks and you know those really do a number on your digestive system. So I decided to be careful while taking them. First 1 tsp of glutamin in a little bit of water on an empty stomach, slightly more than like a shotglass at the bar. Wait a few minutes, then 1 tbsp omega3/vitamin d3 oil. Then what we call ab milk (containing good dairy bacteria). These 3 steps by themselves make my digestive system just feel good. But it also helped keep all the bad reactions to the antibiotics at bay. What I have found through some research and personal trial and error is that fiber may not be as good for us as most seem to think. Just makes sense if you think about the function of each individul part of your digestive system. I stay away from fiber as much as I can and try not to go over 10 g a day of it. It’s in almost everything so it’s pretty much impossible to eliminate 100%. And it doesnt help that most ppl scream how good it is for the human body so most ppl just consume it without thinking and buy into this 40 year long hype and brainwashing based on very questionable research. I have done a complete 180 on this as you can see. Most ppl think Im full of it when I start talking about this. So I have stopped talking about it for the most part. Doesn’t really matter if the fiber is water soluble or not, each has it’s own set of problems. And, I for one think fiber can actually cause leaky gut. Before anyone starts ripping my head off for saying this about fiber; 1. our stomach doesn’t have juices that break down fiber. The chyme in the small intestine is not supposed to have ANY solid material, it’s supposed to be all thick liquid. Fiber doesn’t digest at all and therefore the chyme is not strictly liquid but has solid particles too. There’s the first clue.
2. Our intestinal lining is delicate mucus. Fiber is a solid so it will get stuck in any crevasses and pouches on its way down. The older we get the more we have of those and the more easily these particles get stuck and infected. Boom you get colitis like my mother. She didn’t start feeling better until she quit the fiber. Its just hard to wean off fiber as opl tend to get constipated at first. But once your gut bacteria takes over its intended purpose (to bulk up your stool) the fiber stops being necessary. This transition can take months depending on the damage that has been done by fiber. Good bacteria supplements, fish oil, glutamine and ab milk helps tremendously. And keeping an open mind helps too, its dangerous to swallow information raw, especially when this information is talked about and treated as some “universal truth”. Not telling anyone what to do, just google and read about how the human digestive system functions. Things aren’t always as the seem at first. But yeah, I was just going to praisel glutamine but ended up talkin s*** about fiber lol