Our topic of conversation in today’s blog post is l-glutamine and leaky gut. Can it help to repair a leaky gut? Is it a viable option for restoring the lining of your small intestine? And is there any research to demonstrate it’s ability to improve gut health?
As more and more research is being done on the Microbiome, scientist are coming to the conclusion that your gut is the foundation to your overall health and wellness.
And if it’s not the foundation, then it plays a significant factor in both good and bad health.
It’s estimated that our intestinal lining covers approximately 4,000 square feet of surface area. To help put this in perspective Serena Williams just competed in the finals of the US Open. The tennis court she played on is 2106 square feet.
This means that the surface area of your intestinal lining is approximately 2 tennis courts.
This surface area is lined with cells called enterocytes.
Because of the amount of activity that occurs in your gut each day, this lining regenerates itself every 2-3 weeks.
And like other parts of your body it’s subject to the damaging effects of inflammation.
As I’ve shared in previous blog posts there are other contributing factors that can create the environment for gut inflammation. They are:
Modern Day Wheat
And one of the best ingredients to help repair your gut lining is the amino acid L-Glutamine.
L-Glutamine and Leaky Gut
Ideally, your intestine is designed to be a very selective barrier to everything you consume. It does this by creating what are known as “tight junctions.” As you can see in the image below, created by Dr. Vincent Pedre for Happy Gut, these tight junctions are loosened so that undigested food particles, toxins, and pathogens can enter your blood stream.
This condition is commonly know as a leaky gut or what the medical profession likes to term intestinal permeability.
Damage caused by inflammation effects the enterocytes (cellular lining of your small intestine), which over time can increase the probability that unwanted toxins are entering your blood stream to trigger vascular and joint inflammation.
L-Glutamine is an essential amino acid to help treat leaky gut and improve your overall health. The first wide spread use of this amino acid was in the fitness industry to help preserve muscle tissue.
But as science began to study this amino acid, the following benefits were documented:
1. Improves gastrointestinal health by helping the intestines rebuild and repair.
2. Helps heal ulcers and leaky gut.
3. Helps with memory, focus, and concentration as a neurotransmitter in the brain.
4. Improves IBS and diarrhea by balancing mucus production.
5. Promotes muscle growth and decreases muscle wasting.
6. Improves athletic performance and recovery.
7. Improves metabolism and cellular detoxification.
8. Curbs cravings for sugar and alcohol.
9. Improves blood sugar levels.
L-Glutamine helps for restoring the health and integrity of your gut lining. It also helps to curb one of the major contributing factors to gut inflammation, which is sugar.
One study examine how 107 children benefited from the use of L-glutamine on their gut health. Half of the children took a placebo and the other half took L-glutamine. This study showed that in 120 days those that took the L-glutamine supplement had improved intestinal barrier function.
How does L-glutamine do this?
By helping your gut lining (enterocytes) regenerate more quickly. By reducing inflammation. By regulating your body’s metabolism to normalize insulin levels and stabilize blood glucose. And by helping to normalize the immune response to again help control overall inflammation.
This means that the use of L-glutamine, for a leaky gut and overall gut health, is an important ingredient.
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