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Get on Track with Better Living

Find information, tips, and resources on managing your diabetes

Live a healthier, fuller life by learning more about the types of diabetes, potential complications, and ways to receive insurance coverage.

L-Glutamine Promotes Lean Muscle and Stable Blood Sugar

L-glutamine is a powerful amino acid. Not only does it build proteins, but it helps boost metabolism. Unlike essential amino acids found in milk, wheat, eggs, and meat, this nonessential amino acid is produced naturally by the body. Glutamine has gained recognition from athletes for its ability to build lean muscle; however, scientific studies are suggesting that this amino acid may also help people with diabetes by regulating the hormones that manage glucose metabolism. In addition to being beneficial for diabetics, glutamine may also help those suffering from other serious illnesses.

Insulin and glucagon work together to metabolize glucose. While insulin regulates blood sugar in between meals and overnight, glucagon is responsible for controlling levels during meals. Without both, your body cannot properly control your glucose levels. By regulating these hormones, glutamine ensures that this process runs smoothly.

Not only does glutamine regulate insulin and glucagon, but studies suggest that the amino acid may also improve insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes. This is especially important for people with Type 2 diabetes because they are insulin resistant. Another study states that glutamine, when paired with exercise, can significantly reduce your levels. With so many health benefits linked to glutamine, it is an ideal supplement for diabetics.

In addition to lowering blood sugar levels, glutamine may also help those with deteriorating muscle mass, gastrointestinal issues, and immune disorders. Since glutamine is excellent source of proteins, the supplement can improve muscle mass in people. For instance, cancer patients can experience significant weight loss following chemotherapy. Using glutamine may help prevent this from happening. By protecting the stomach lining and ridding your body of toxins, glutamine can also alleviate gastrointestinal issues like constipation and diarrhea. Glutamine also prevents viruses and infections from harming your immune system. Glutamine is an excellent preventative measure when it comes to certain illnesses.

Glutamine, like other nonessential amino acids, is not found in food; however, glutamine supplements are available at your local health food store or gym. You can purchase the supplement as a gel capsule, powder, drink or shake. Unlike some dietary supplements, glutamine is tasteless. This means you can also easily add a spoonful to your smoothie in the morning.

Although evidence exists to support scientists' claims about glutamine and diabetes, not enough research has been done to cement its status as a supplement that can lower glucose levels. As with any nutritional supplement, side effects are always a risk. Consuming glutamine may cause pain, swelling, and rashes. Moreover, if you have kidney or liver disease then you should not be taking glutamine. For people with diabetes, it is important to consult a licensed nutritionist or physician before using glutamine. Since the effect of glutamine and diabetes is still uncertain, the most effective way to manage the disease includes healthy eating, exercise, and medication.