(BeWellBuzz) Proteins are the very building blocks of the human body. They are the integral part of every living cell and all its components. Proteins also have several other functions. In the form of enzymes, they are indispensable for making all the biochemical reactions possible.
Besides this, every protein differs from each other by structure and function. The fundamental unit of a protein is called amino acid. There are a total of 20 amino acids, which are used in different ways to form proteins. Amino acids themselves vary in composition and properties from each other. Broadly classifiedamino acids can be differentiated into two categories:
- Non-Essential amino acids: Amino acids that are synthesized by the body
- Essential amino acids: Amino acids that have to be included as a part of the diet as the body is incapable of synthesising them.
What Are D And L Amino Acids?
To understand D and L amino acids, one must be familiar with the term ‘isomer’. Isomers are compounds that have the same chemical composition but vary structurally. D stands for Dextrorotatory and L for Levorotatory. D and L forms of a particular amino acid are isomers of each other.
Both D and L forms of all amino acids exist in nature, but only the L isomers form proteins.
What Is L-Glutamine?
L-glutamine is a non-essential amino acid that is found in high concentrations particularly in the skeletal muscle tissue. They are an integral part of various physiological processes such as protein synthesis and immunity. They are also involved in brain function and digestion. The reason it is so important for brain function is because it is one of the few amino acids that can cross the blood brain barrier.
What Foods Contain High Levels Of L-Glutamine?
Animal proteins are found to be abundant in L-glutamine. Besides this, all dairy products and fish are rich sources of L-glutamine. As L-glutamine is one of the most commonly found amino acids, it goes without saying that most proteins contain L-glutamine, in varying concentrations. Among some vegetables, beans, spinach and parsley are also considered good sources.
Now, proteins when heated start to denature. Denaturation is a process where the structure and function of a protein is altered due to extremes in temperature and pH (acidity). Because of this, raw vegetables are better sources of the amino acid, then their cooked counterparts.
What Are The Benefits Of L-Glutamine Supplements?
It is established that this amino acid is one that can be synthesised by the body. So the question arises as to why one would require supplements at all? Why would we want to consume additional foods that contain greater concentrations of glutamine?
- For those involved in fitness and muscle building, L-glutamine is a miracle solution. Glutamine is involved in protein synthesis and hence helps to develop muscle and is responsible in increasing the overall body mass.
- Besides this, consumption of these supplements becomes imperative in times of illness and injuries where there is a significant loss of proteins (due to illness) or tissue damage (due to injury).
- For those on a diet, where one is trying to rid the body of fat while still maintaining the muscle, glutamine makes an ideal supplement.
- For those workouts buffs, susceptible to illnesses, L-glutamine helps to boost the immune system. It is a primary amino acid which is found all cells involved in both the innate and adaptive immunity.
- Because of its property to develop and maintain muscle mass, glutamine has the ability to cure ulcers.
What Are The Bad Effects Of L-Glutamine Supplements?
Now, there are no side effects to taking an amino acid that is produced by the body anyway provided that it is not taken in excess. However in the event that there is a cumulative excess of supplements consumed, some of the following side effects may be experienced.
- Gastrointestinal problems: Excess glutamine in the system can cause a variety of issues such as vomiting, ulcers, frequent urge to defecate, constipation and rectal bleeding. If these symptoms persist, one must discontinue the supplement and contact a medical professional.
- Urination problems: These include dark urine, sudden decrease in urine, a burning sensation while urinating, etc.
- Allergic reactions: This is a rare side effect but excess of the amino acid causes several allergic reactions such as swelling in the face, breathing problems, and tightness of the chest. MSG (Mono sodium glutamate) is a derivative of glutamine and is used mostly in readymade foods etc can cause allergic reactions, as well.
- Upper Respiratory tract problems: Sore throat, mouth pain and runny nose are to name a few.
What Is The Prescribed Consumption Of L-Glutamine Supplement?
On a daily basis, body builders should consume at least 10 to 15 grams of L-glutamine. They can consume about 5 grams twice or thrice a day depending on their workout schedule.
So, make sure you include L-Glutamine in your daily diet. It’s good!