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Glutamine is an amino acid found in the proteins of all organisms. It is classified as a semi-essential or conditionally-essential amino acid because the body can synthesise all the glutamine it requires. Notwithstanding that, there are times when the body cannot produce sufficient amounts of glutamine.

Glutamine is considered by many in the medical profession as one of the most important amino acids when the body is subjected to metabolic stress situations such as trauma (including pre- and post-surgical trauma), cancer, sepsis and burns. Under these conditions, glutamine becomes much more vital to the welfare of the body and so it is recommended that adequate amounts of glutamine then be taken.

Glutamine is used by the body in many different reactions. It helps regulate the body's acidity and enables the kidneys to protect the body against acidosis. This is accomplished by the production of ammonia, which binds hydrogen ions to produce ammonium cations, which are excreted in the urine along with chloride anions. Glutamine aids in protecting the body against ammonia toxicity.

The average person consumes approximately 5 to 10 grams of glutamine daily. Most glutamine that people ingest comes from animal and plant proteins.

Dosage and Administration

Glutamine supplements can be purchased in capsule, tablet or powder form. A suggested dosage for individuals with cancer, AIDS, trauma, burns, infections and other stress-related conditions may range from 4 to 21 grams daily. Those with stomatitis caused by chemotherapy or radiation have taken doses of 2 to 4 grams twice daily or 2 grams four times daily.

Note: Only take glutamine under the supervision of your doctor.

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