L-glutamine is an amino acid. There are 20 amino acids found in the body of which l-glutamine is the most abundant.
L-glutamine is classed as a nonessential amino acid. Nonessential means that it is synthesized (produced) in the body. It is therefore not essential that l-glutamine is taken from external sources (e.g. from the diet).
However, under certain conditions, such as stress, illness or injury, l-glutamine levels can become very low.
Under these circumstances, l-glutamine can become a conditionally essential amino acid in which low levels of l-glutamine require boosting from external sources; e.g. through diet (see also benefits of l-glutamine ).
L-glutamine: Other Names
L-glutamine is often referred to as 'glutamine'. Abbreviations for l-glutamine are Q and Gln.
Structural Formula Of L-glutamine
The structural formula of l-glutamine is: C5 H10 N2 03
Where is L-glutamine produced?
Within the body, glutamine is predominantly synthesized in the muscles. Around 90% of the body's glutamine is made in the muscles and over 60% of glutamine in the body is found in the skeletal muscles.
Organs, including the brain and lung, can synthesize glutamine but in fewer amounts . The liver can also synthesize glutamine. The liver helps regulate existing levels of glutamine within the body. The liver takes a larger role regulating large quantities of glutamine from the gut .
Sources Of L-glutamine
Within the body, higher concentrations of l-glutamine are found in the:
- skeletal muscles (approximately 90% of all glutamine)
- gut lining
Dietary / food sources of l-glutamine
L-glutamine is found in many foods. These include:
- herbs - e.g. parsley
- dairy products – e.g. yogurt, cheese
- meats – e.g. beef, pork & poultry such as chicken
- vegetables – beet, cabbage, spinach