Glutamine is a basic amino acid that is important in protein metabolism and also, secondary to glucose, an energy source. It is a combination of glutamic acid with a functional amine group. Wikipedia reports it is the most abundant free amino acid in the blood. Glutamine is very influential on brain tissues and it crosses the blood brain barrier. Dr. Joe Mercola calls it “brain fuel”.
The enzyme glutamine synthetase along with glutamate and ammonia produces glutamine. Muscle mass produces 90% of all glutamine. Body builders like glutamine and use it as supplement for help in building muscle. It is stored in muscles and unlike most amino acids does cross the blood brain barrier.
Good dietary sources of L-glutamine include beef, fish, eggs, chicken, dairy products, wheat, beets, cabbage, beans, spinach and parsley.
Glutamine is valuable in protein building as an abundant provider of nitrogen. (according to Wikipedia) Too much of anything is not good but dieters find that some glutamine reduces the cravings for carbohydrates. Several grams of glutamine powder can be added to water and drunk to stave off the carbohydrate cravings. Glutamine is not to be confused with glutamate.
According to Wikipedia health encyclopedia, research in recent years has found glutamine is beneficial in treatment of serious illnesses, injury and trauma. It is known to help in wound healing and in post operative supplementation for cancer patients. Studies have shown accelerated healing after surgeries.
Researcher and Neurosurgeon Dr. Blaylock says glutamate is harmless when inside the cells where concentration are normally “1000% higher” than outside the brain cells. When brain cells are exposed to glutamate from the outside, Dr. Olney found cell death within one hour.
Neuroscientist John Olney in 1968 found the amino acid glutamate could cause brain cells to overexcite and self destruct. (excitotoxicity) Glutamate , such as that found in, Aspartame (sugar substitute) and MSG (monosodium glutamate flavor enhancer), are killers of brain cells. Neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, M.D. says he sees 50% more brain tumors in those patients who consume these products regularly. Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS are all associated with destruction of brain cells.
Dr. Blaylock reports glutamate does account for 90% of the communication in the cortex and over 50% of all brain communications. It is extremely important to proper brain function, inside the cells, but too much of it is destructive to brain health.