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What does glutamine do?

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Quick Answer

Glutamine is an amino acid found in the body that helps to lessen the side effects of certain medications. It also helps in removing excess ammonia in the body, as stated by the University of Maryland. Glutamine also has a role in the effective functioning of the immune system.

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Full Answer

Glutamine help HIV patients to avoid excessive weight loss. People who have undergone bowel surgery or a bone marrow transplant can use glutamine to speed up the recovery process. It also protects the digestive and immune systems in patients who are having radiochemotherapy for esophagus cancer. Additionally, glutamine can help with several conditions, such as sickle cell anemia, cystinuria and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as stated by WebMD.

In the body, glutamine is made in the muscles and distributed to other parts of the body through blood. It is required in making certain body chemicals, such as glucose and amino acids. The reserves of glutamine in the body can be depleted by intense exercises, surgery, trauma and infections. A person can get glutamine by eating foods, such as raw spinach, beef, milk, pork, cheese, yoghurt and cabbage. A person who does not have enough glutamine in his or her diet can opt to use supplements.

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