Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a pain in the ass, literally. Having to plan your life around when and if you need to use the restroom because you’re never really sure when or where you’ll need to go is embarrassing. Not only that but, IBS can leave you frustrated, irritable, and can severely impact your confidence. The worst part is that besides making changes to your diet, there aren’t many reliable treatment options.
But, recent evidence has shown that L-Glutamine; a conditionally essential amino acid could, in fact, be a potential treatment for IBS, specifically by reducing the severity of IBS symptoms and reducing bowel movement frequency.
In this article, you’re going to learn
- What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
- What Is L-Glutamine?
- How Does L-Glutamine Work?
- Is L-Glutamine A Good Treatment Option For IBS?
What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common chronic disorder that affects the large intestine and is characterized by cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and or constipation.
IBS affects anywhere from 25-45 million people in the United States, which is an estimated 10-15% of the entire population. The exact cause of IBS is unknown and symptoms can be extremely unpredictable and sometimes contradictory. Diarrhea can alternate with constipation and cause horrible stomach pain and bloating.
Medications can help with the symptoms of IBS specifically for constipation or diarrhea, yet most medications are designed to relax the colon and often times, provide minimal relief. Because IBS is a syndrome and not a disease, there is no cure for IBS. Therefore, symptoms must be managed through diet, medication, and positive lifestyle choices.
What Is L-Glutamine?
L-Glutamine is the most abundant conditionally essential amino acid in the human body. Conditional, meaning that your body produces it naturally, however in times of increased physical distress, natural glutamine levels can be depleted and need to be obtained from your diet and supplementation.
How Does L-Glutamine Work?
L-Glutamine has a litany of health benefits, however it’s most important characteristic is its key function in the maintenance of the barrier function of the intestine.
L-Glutamine assists in rebuilding and repairing the intestinal tract and lining of your gut by maintaining your body’s nitrogen balance. Glutamine decides when and where to place nitrogen atoms to be most efficient and effective in repairing your body. This can be extremely beneficial for those that have gastrointestinal issues such as leaky gut, and inflammatory bowel diseases such as Chron’s, Ulcerative Colitis and IBS since these conditions are characterized by a high prevalence of intestinal hyperpermeability [R]
Is L-Glutamine A Good Treatment Option For IBS?
Since L-Glutamine plays a key role in feeding the small mucosa of the gut lining and maintaining gut lining integrity, L-Glutamine supplementation could in fact help restore gut permeability in patients with IBS [R]
In a double-blind, randomized control trial (RCT) published in the leading international gastroenterology journal, Gut 115 patients were administered 15g of L-Glutamine or a placebo for 8 weeks. Increased intestinal permeability was defined as meeting a reduction of greater or equal to 50 points on the IBS Symptom Severity Scale. Secondary endpoints included changes in daily bowel movement frequency, stool form as measured by the Bristol Stool Scale, and intestinal permeability. The results were extremely impressive with nearly 80% of the Glutamine group achieving their primary endpoint. Glutamine also significantly reduced daily bowel movement frequency (3 vs. 5) and Bristol Stool Scale scores (4 vs. 6.5) and normalized intestinal permeability. [R]
The fact that L-Glutamine supplementation reduced bowel movement frequency by nearly half and improved intestinal permeability proves that it can be an extremely effective supplement to help treat those with IBS and IBS related issues.
What Is The Recommended Dose Of L-Glutamine For Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
L-Glutamine is most effective when taken on an empty stomach without food. The recommended dose of L-Glutamine for IBS is anywhere from 15-20g per day.
Is Glutamine Good For IBS? Takeaway
Considering that IBS can be completely unpredictable and negatively impact your life, supplementing with L-Glutamine is a no-brainer, to help treat the symptoms of IBS. By supplementing just 15-20g per day, you can reduce your bowel movement frequency by nearly half and reducing the severity of stomach pain and bloating. If you want to improve the quality of your life, then supplementing with L-Glutamine to help treat your IBS, seems like a no brainer.
Do you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?
L-Glutamine is made with 100% pharmaceutical grade micronized L-Glutamine. Glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid, which helps rebuild repair and recover muscle mass after strenuous exercise to reduce muscle breakdown and exercise-induced muscle soreness.* Glutamine also supports healthy immune function promotes a positive nitrogen balance and promotes protein synthesis. Faster recovery times between training sessions will help increase training volume and endurance.*
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Den hond E, Hiele M, Peeters M, Ghoos Y, Rutgeerts P. Effect of long-term oral glutamine supplements on small intestinal permeability in patients with Crohn's disease. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 1999;23(1):7-11.
Zhou Q, Verne ML, Fields JZ, et al. Randomised placebo-controlled trial of dietary glutamine supplements for postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome. Gut. 2018;
Kim, Min-Hyun and Hyeyoung Kim. “The Roles of Glutamine in the Intestine and Its Implication in Intestinal Diseases” International journal of molecular sciences vol. 18,5 1051. 12 May. 2017, doi:10.3390/ijms18051051 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5454963/