Patients’ Own L-Glutamine
L-Glutamine is an amino acid that has several important roles in metabolism, including removing toxic ammonia from the body. It helps to maintain normal blood glucose and acid levels, and is essential during times of stress and when recovering from an injury, infection or surgery. L-Glutamine is also used by the brain to make chemical messengers, and helps to overcome anxiety, mental fatigue and also to boost mood.
L-Glutamine is a vital muscle-building amino acid that helps replenish glycogen stores after exercise. It has been suggested that it may also have an anti-ageing effect as it preserves muscle, encourages fat metabolism and boosts growth hormone levels.
It is also used as a source of energy and for the synthesis of genetic material in rapidly dividing cells such as immune cells, red blood cells and cells lining the gut. It is this particular quality which makes it a vital ingredient in improving the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. There is increasing evidence that abnormal gut bacteria pass through a “leaky” intestinal lining into the blood, triggering an immune response – an L-Glutamine supplement is therefore a sensible addition to your daily routine if you have ME/CFS.
The following Chronic Fatigue Syndrome specialists recommend L-Glutamine supplements for CFS: Dr Butt and Dr Downing-Orr.
How L-Glutamine can help you
Studies are regularly showing that gut bacteria are a major factor behind many seemingly unrelated illnesses from Autism and Alzheimer’s to Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases. It is therefore not surprising that it may play a role in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Leaky gut and abnormal gut bacteria play a role in CFS
A ground-breaking study published in 2016 from work conducted at Cornell University identified biological markers of the disease in gut bacteria and inflammatory microbial agents in the blood. They correctly diagnosed myalgic encephalomyeletis / chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) in 83 percent of patients through stool samples and blood work, offering a non-invasive diagnosis. At the same time, the researchers discovered specific markers of inflammation in the blood, likely due to a leaky gut from intestinal problems that allow bacteria to enter the blood. This suggests that L-Glutamine which can repair the lining of the gut may help reduce symptoms.
An influential 2015 study assessed changes in gut and plasm bacteria between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients and healthy controls after an exercise challenge. The results provided evidence for a systemic effect of an altered gut microbiome in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients compared to controls. Upon exercise challenge, there were significant changes in the abundance of major bacterial phyla in the gut in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients not observed in healthy controls. In addition, compared to controls clearance of bacteria from the blood was delayed in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients following exercise. These findings suggest a role for an altered gut microbiome and increased bacterial translocation following exercise in ME/CFS patients that may account for the profound post-exertional malaise experienced by ME/CFS patients.
A 2017 study led by the world famous “virus hunter” Ian Lipkin at Columbia University found that patients with ME/CFS had significantly different gut bacteria compared with healthy controls regardless of whether they had comorbid Irritable Bowel Syndrome or not.
Taking L-Glutamine reduces ME/CFS symptoms
A 2008 study analysed inflammatory markers and Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS syndrome rating, before and after intake of natural anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative substances (NAIOSs), such as L-glutamine, N-acetyl-l-cysteine and zinc, in conjunction with a leaky gut diet for 10-14 months. They found that NAIOS supplementation significantly reduced inflammation caused by certain bacteria. Up to 24 of the 41 patients showed a significant clinical improvement or remission 10-14 months after intake of NAIOSs.
A 2012 study completed at the University of Melbourne used NMR metabolic profiling to analyse blood samples from 11 ME/CFS and 10 controls. The researchers found a significant reduction of glutamine in the blood of the ME/CFS samples. They conclude that the results indicate a possible disturbance to amino acid and nitrogen metabolism.