Glutamine (abbreviated as Gln or Q) is one of the 20 amino acids encoded by the standard genetic code.
Its side-chain is an amide formed by replacing the side-chain hydroxyl of glutamic acid with an amine functional group. Therefore, it can be considered the amide of glutamic acid. Its codons are CAA and CAG.
In human blood, glutamine is the most abundant free amino acid, with a concentration of about 500-900 µmol/l.
Glutamine is the most abundant naturally occurring, non-essential amino acid in the human body and one of the few amino acids that directly cross the blood-brain barrier.
In the body, it is found circulating in the blood as well as stored in the skeletal muscles.
It becomes conditionally essential (requiring intake from food or supplements) in states of illness or injury.
Glutamine has not been proven to give off energy in energy drinks.
Aiding gastrointestinal function
In recent studies, glutamine-enriched diets have been linked with intestinal effects including maintenance of gut barrier function and cell differentiation.
This may relate to the fact that the intestinal extraction rate of glutamine is higher
than that for other amino acids, and is therefore thought to be the most viable option when attempting to alleviate conditions relating to the gastrointestinal tract.
These conditions were discovered within the gut between glutamine-enriched and non-glutamine-enriched diets. However, even though glutamine is thought to have "cleansing" properties and effects, it is unknown to what extent glutamine has clinical benefits, due to the varied concentrations of glutamine in varieties of food.
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