Glutamine to The Rescue
(Are You Truly Getting Enough?)
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body. It is also considered ‘non-essential’ – but don’t let that term fool you. It just means that your body can produce this compound itself. It is not ‘essential’ in that it comes from your diet.
The reality is that glutamine is incredibly essential. A review conducted in 1990 and published in the Journal of Surgical Research agrees…
“Its classification as a nonessential amino acid in biochemistry and nutrition textbooks is misleading and underestimates its importance as a nutrient. Newer studies suggest that glutamine may be indispensable in times of critical illness.”1
And many of us are critically low in this vital nutrient. According to research, psychological and emotional stress depletes glutamine.2 And that’s bad news since its job is to keep us healthy and keep chronic disease at bay.
By including glutamine in your ancestral diet, you support your body’s ability to manage common daily ailments… and help to prevent them from turning into something worse.
So, let’s take a look at how glutamine benefits your health and the most nourishing (and tasty) way to get it daily.
IBS? Your Gut Wants 30% of Your Glutamine
If you suffer from bloating or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), you may have leaky gut. This is when the integrity of your gut lining becomes compromised, allowing food particles and even toxins to pass into the bloodstream. Not only can this cause gastrointestinal symptoms, it also sets the stage for allergies, autoimmune conditions, widespread inflammation, brain fog and chronic fatigue.
But glutamine can help…
You see, glutamine acts as fuel for your digestive system. While most of your organs and muscles use glucose to power their functions, your digestive tract uses glutamine!3 And your small intestine utilizes 20-30% of what you eat!
But it does not only serve as fuel for your gut… it can also heal it.
The cells that line your intestines are replaced approximately every three days. Glutamine is required to build strong and healthy new gut cells… and to seal up any damage to the delicate epithelial lining.
A study published in the Lancet demonstrated this with patients who were fed nutrients intravenously. Those fed with the addition of glutamine experienced no change in the permeability of their gut. This was considered a positive result, because the participants who were not given glutamine, experienced an increase in gut permeability.4
But the benefits of glutamine go far beyond gut health…
Glutamine Benefits: Support Detoxification, Prevent Disease and Slow Aging
Detoxing is big business. If you’ve been low on energy or felt ‘old’ before your time, there’s a good chance you’ve tried some sort of “cleanse”. But if you know where to look in nature, you can support your innate ability to detoxify… all by itself.
Glutamine plays an important role in boosting glutathione – which is known as your body’s master antioxidant and detoxifier. From a 2002 review, published in the journal Nutrition...
"Experimental animal studies have shown that the administration of GLN [glutamine] increases tissue concentrations of reduced glutathione [GLT]”.5
Not only does glutathione fight free radicals and help to neutralize toxins… it actually slows down the aging process. But stress and illness deplete it. So if you want to keep your detoxification systems working and slow the hands of time... be sure to get enough glutamine!
And that brings me to the healing ancestral food that’s chock-full of this important nutrient…
Get All Your Glutamine Benefits from One Healing Recipe
Taking a high quality glutamine supplement is a good idea in times of illness or acute stress. It is especially important if you know that you have leaky gut – or if you suffer from food allergies, autoimmune illness or digestive ailments (which can all be related to leaky gut).
Most health experts recommend that you ramp up the dose over a few days or weeks until you are taking between 10 and 40 grams per day (with food).
But there is also a delicious food you can enjoy every day to get the benefits of glutamine…
As one of the richest sources of glutamine, bone broth helps to heal the gut, detox the body and support your immune system.
Here are two super simple ways to whip up a batch of superfood bone broth!
- 3 pounds grass-fed beef bones, chicken feet, pastured pork bones (frozen is fine)
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 2 leeks, cleaned well and cut in half, or 1 medium sweet onion, quartered
- 8 cups filtered water (no more than 2/3 full)
- 2 Tbsp. high-quality sea salt
- 2 tsp. organic apple cider vinegar
Pressure Cooker Method: Add all ingredients to a large pressure cooker (at least 6 quarts). Do not exceed two-thirds full. Add remaining ingredients. Lock the lid, select high pressure. If you're using an Instant Pot, cook for 2 hours. If you're using a standard pressure cooker, let the contents of the pot reach high pressure, then immediately decrease the temperature to the lowest possible setting. Cook 40-50 minutes (use more time for large shank bones). Remove from heat and let pressure release naturally (10-15 minutes).
Slow Cooker Method: Add all ingredients to a slow cooker. Place on a medium heat and slow cook for 24 hours. Stir occasionally to infuse the broth with the most nutrition.
Then simply strain and enjoy!
For optimum health, base your diet around ancestral foods high in healing fats (like tallow, lard, duck fat, coconut oil), grass-fed beef, pastured poultry, wild fish and organic vegetables and fermented foods… and be sure to add a daily cup of glutamine-rich bone broth for its deep healing benefits.
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- Souba WW, Klimberg VS, Plumley DA, et al. The role of glutamine in maintaining a healthy gut and supporting the metabolic response to injury and infection. Journal of Surgical Research. 1990;48(4):383-391.
- www.aminoacid-studies. Glutamine. http://www.aminoacid-studies.com/areas-of-use/sleep-mood-and-performance.html
- Reitzer LJ, Wice BM, Kennell D. Evidence That Glutamine, Not Sugar, Is the Major Energy Source for Cultured HeLa Cells*. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 1978;254(8):2669-2676.
- Van der Hulst RRWJ, von Meyenfeldt MF, Deutz NEP, et al. Glutamine and the preservation of gut integrity. The Lancet. 1993;341(8857):1363-1365.
- Roth E, Oehler R, Manhart N, et al. Regulative potential of glutamine-relation to glutathione metabolism. Nutrition. 2002;18(3):217-221.