glutamine-not-recommended-leaky-gut

GLUTAMINE: NOT Recommended for Leaky Gut

Megan Essential Oils & Supplements, Healing Diets, Health & Nutrition 62 Comments

Many articles recommend using glutamine (also labeled L-glutamine) as a supplement to help heal leaky gut. It provides energy to the small intestines and when converted to glutamate can accelerate healing. Tangentially, it is also recommended by some to abate sugar cravings, or among body builders and athletes for performance and recovery. Certainly many doctors prescribe glutamine for their patients with leaky gut.

Glutamine concentrations decrease during periods of disease or stress, thus one motivation for supplementation. And the body’s ability to expel glutamine means that many doctors see glutamine as benign, with no side effects even at high doses. Its depletion causes compromises in gut function…so why not supplement?

As mentioned, glutamine is a precursor to glutamate or glutamic acid. When this conversion occurs, the properties and effects of glutamate can be attributed to glutamine. Glutamate is one of two excitatory neurotransmitters in the brain that can cause anxiety. Excesses in brain tissue (remember the gut-brain correlation) can also cause cell damage. So while glutamine in excess seems benign, once it converts to glutamate, that status is called into question.

Glutamate is heralded for abating alcohol and sugar cravings, healing wounds, and increasing energy, but it is also an amino acid that can cause extreme damage when in excess.

Paul Jaminet Ph.D., author of Perfect Health Diet, adds an insight regarding glutathione, of which glutamine is also a precursor:

Glutamine, a supplement frequently recommended for gut ailments, can also enhance glutathione production. However, I would generally avoid this, because it can promote proliferation of pathogenic bacteria.

In addition to promoting pathogen overgrowth, several studies are emerging with additional concerns or supporting, cautionary data: One study on oral hygiene and disease (1) shows that glutathione produces bacterial growth, proving it can become food for invasive pathogens. Another study (2) shows the virulence of cancer cells when exposed to glutamine. A third study (3) shows increased mortality among patients given glutamine. Glutathione has also been linked to the thinning of gut lining when used long term.

There are many more articles and testimonies available about the honorific effects of glutamine and glutathione than the converse. What we’re discussing here is not a black and white issue. (Often in life we must understand the subtleties.) The complexities of amino acids, their roles in the human body, and also the complexities of antioxidants and pathogens is still beyond the full scope of our understanding. The benefits of glutamine and glutathione supplements have been studied far more than their pejorative potential. Because noteworthy and well-respected practitioners are beginning to recognize and acknowledge the dangers of this amino acid and this antioxidant in certain settings, it is wise for us to know their potential not only for good but also for harm.

glutamine-not-recommended-leaky-gut

This post contains affiliate links. I am not a doctor and do not advise you to take any course of action regarding your health before first consulting your healthcare practitioner.

One of the reasons glutamine is a beneficial amino acid in general is that it increases glutathione. Glutathione is a key antioxidant in the human body, one which protects the body from inflammation and pathogens. Glutathione also helps the body to detoxify and promotes proper liver function.

Yet there are better ways to encourage glutamine’s (and glutathione’s) presence naturally without supplementing with isolated glutamine.

Yes, that’s right: we’re again talking about co-factors and a balanced diet.

Glutamine is good. But it is best and safest when it is found amidst the other amino acids around which it’s found in nature. So…supplement with glutamine by consuming gelatin, in which case you will actually be consuming the healing glutamate/glutamic acid and, in turn, promoting healthy levels of glutathione production. Remember, too, that gelatin is most effective when consumed with its co-factors, whole food sources of protein and fat.

Whole food, digestible sources of glutamine are meat, fish, eggs, soaked beans, raw milk and cheese, human breast milk, bone broth, raw spinach, raw parsley, kombu and cabbage.

Here is the grass-fed gelatin that I recommend. Collagen is also wonderful, and even easier to digest than gelatin. Stir collagen into hot or cold beverages.

For more ways to incorporate gelatin into your diet, I recommend this post.

If you’ve noticed a gut-healing benefit from taking a glutamine supplement, this post may or may not apply to you. But I believe we are safer, based on recent studies, consuming gelatin and whole food sources.

 

SOURCES

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9661123?dopt=AbstractPlus

RHR: You Are What Your Bacteria Eat: The Importance of Feeding Your Microbiome – With Jeff Leach

http://www.livestrong.com/article/278366-glutathione-glutamine/

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v517/n7533/full/nature14029.html

RHR: The Afternoon Sugar Crash, Green Smoothies, and Liver Detoxification

http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search2/r?dbs+hsdb:@term+@rn+56-85-9

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC127775/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8510983

http://www.vitaminworkshop.com/supplements-of-merit/glutathione-l-glutamine-or-glutamic-acid.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1243066/

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1212722

  • Renee Kohley

    No WAY. Thank you for this information – I had not heard of this side of the story and have definitely been prescribed LGlutamine to take in the past. I appreciate this! Thank you!

  • Megan Stevens

    You’re welcome, Renee. Thank you for commenting. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Emily @ Recipes to Nourish

    I had no idea about this! Thank you for sharing. I have never taken it, but I’m glad to know about this now. I’ll stick with gelatin ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Megan Stevens

    Thankfully there are so many easy and yummy ways to enjoy gelatin.

  • linda spiker

    Always an education. I have known many people who have treated leaky gut with glutamine. Good to know.

  • Jessica from SimplyHealthyHome

    Good post. I didn’t know this. I will be sharing as I see this recommended so often.

  • Sandrine Love

    I tend to trust whole foods over supplements in most cases! So, I like the list of whole foods you provided! Thank you for this education!

  • Megan Stevens

    I agree, Sandrine! You’re welcome.

  • Megan Stevens

    Thanks, Jessica.

  • Megan Stevens

    I hope more research will continue to clarify the complexity and dangers of this supplement, and that more folks will be treated with whole foods in the future instead.

  • Andrea Wyckoff

    So interesting! You brought up a lot of good points. Years ago I was told to take Glutamine, but I never took it for very long, especially since I have just never been much of a supplement taker, preferring whole food sources for nutrients and vitamins. Mother Nature knows best! Thanks for the great info!!

  • Zen Jen

    There are a lot of enthusiastic reviews of Knox gelatin at Amazon. Seemingly it oonfers the same benefits as the more high-end products. Sometimes I wonder how much difference there really is between all the various brands.

  • Megan Stevens

    Thanks for commenting, Jen! I do think that Vital Proteins and Great Lakes are superior to Knox. I appreciate you bringing up that issue. Knox likely has MSG residue in it. Also, VP and GL brands both use grass-fed cows for their gelatin, which means more nutrition for the cows, thus the right nutrition for us. I like the idea of porcine (pork) gelatin as well, but Knox’s pigs are raised in confined, closed spaces their whole lives and fed genetically modified feed, not real food; so their gelatin will not be as healthful or support kind husbandry. For me, kindness to animals is crucial, as well as the nutrition and taking care of the earth’s resources that comes from them eating the right foods. I hope this helps.

  • Megan Stevens

    Thank you, Andrea!

  • Angela

    From personal experience I used L-Glutamine to heal my 7 yr olds leaky gut. So I know this absolutely not to be true.

  • Megan Stevens

    Thanks, Angela, for commenting. I’m so glad for your experience. The article doesn’t state that glutamine doesn’t ever work. It definitely states that we should seek out glutamine, but rather in the forms of gelatin and whole foods than by using the isolated amino acid in supplement form. The article states that much research and many people affirm the usefulness of the supplement, but that many new studies and noteworthy doctors ALSO warn against its use because of dangers involved with the supplement. So while many, like your daughter, were helped by the supplement, it is impossible to know who will be harmed. It is safer to use other forms. I hope that helps to clarify. Glutamine is good. But it’s safer if taken from gelatin or from whole foods like bone broth.

  • Noelle

    I was wondering if the great lakes collagen is good to use?

  • Megan Stevens

    Yes, Noelle. ๐Ÿ™‚ It is every bit as excellent as gelatin. Cheers.

  • Anya | Prepare & Nourish

    This is such an eye-opening article for me. I have been prescribed by an integrative doctor to take this supplement but always wondered why if I can take a whole-food collagen/gelatin instead. I did consume L-glutamine sporadically but not consistently and not in dosages my doctor wanted me to take. I think I knew intuitively that it was not the best for my gut or my health.

  • Megan Stevens

    I love that intuition plays a role in our healing! Thanks for sharing!

  • Marnie

    An additional question about the Great Lakes brand. I have heard that the source of their gelatin is cows from Argentina and that lye is used in the processing. Is this true and harmful (my guess is yes to the latter and possible to the former). Any idea Megan?

  • Megan Stevens

    Hi Marnie, I haven’t read about lye being used. Yes, I have also read that Great Lakes’ cows come from Argentina and Brazil. I do trust their product and suspect that while the gelatin making process is extensive, enigmatic, and complex, the end result is healthful. I’m sorry I can’t speak with more insight about lye specifically. I do think that Vital Proteins is an even more reliable gelatin, with more closely guarded quality control.

  • I am on a leaky gut protocol that prescribes supplemental l-glutamine, but you know, my gut instinct (haha) keeps telling me not to take it. Now I know why. I bought a case of Great Lakes collagen hydrolysate instead, and add it to my morning coffee and evening water. I’m not certain if it’s helping my gut, but my nails are growing so fast!

  • Megan Stevens

    Thanks for sharing! I had the same gut ๐Ÿ˜‰ instinct you did. I had the supplement and kept hesitating. Then I stumbled on one article why to avoid it, then another and finally started digging to see what others’ experiences had been. Yay for collagen and gelatin. True blue goodness.

  • Zen Jen

    Hey Megan! I missed your reply previously. Well, I did some digging, and it turns out that neither Great Lakes nor Vital Proteins is actually grass-fed. Plus Vital Proteins is from Brazil, where pesticides are used a lot. You might check out this review:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1OHODONOW646G/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_viewpnt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00NLQXXDQ#R1OHODONOW646G

    Given that Knox is way cheaper and there are tons of favorable reviews at Amazon, I’ll continue with the brand. If I could find another that was truly superior, I would switch.

  • Megan Stevens

    Hi Jen, I’m going to write the 2 companies and hear what they have to say. I’ve been pleased with the information I’ve received so far from Perfect Supplements. This is what they say about theirs:

    “Our
    Collagen and Gelatin are 100% natural and free of pesticides, hormones,
    chemicals GMOs and other contaminants. They are sourced from
    Brazilian Grass Fed, Pasture Raised Cows that spend their entire life free
    grazing on grass. There is regular testing to verify the area is natural and
    free of pesticides as well as regular testing on the products. The
    establishment that takes the cows for finishing ensures that they feed the cows
    grass while they are there, but they cannot guarantee the cows have not gotten
    into other animals food sources such as grains. I hope this information is
    helpful! You can read more here:
    http://www.perfect-supplements.com/perfect-hydrolyzed-collagen/
    I’ll write again when I hear back from VP and GL. In the meantime, I personally would not use Knox because of the msg and the fact they definitely don’t take any steps to care for animals. Those are nasty feedlot animals that make Knox. Ugh, couldn’t be any worse. Thank you for writing and caring so much!! I recommend Perfect Supplements! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Zen Jen

    I guess we will have to agree to disagree about Knox. I don’t think there would be so many positive reviews on it at Amazon, if it was really an inferior product.
    Great Lakes states that gelatin does not contain MSG. Note, they don’t specify that THEIR gelatin doesn’t contain it. They are talking about gelatin, period

    http://www.greatlakesgelatin.com/consumer/noMSG.php
    And what that guy says about there being no difference between the gelatin brands, because they get broken down into their constituent amino acids in the stomach, rings true to me. Bottom line, I think this is more about what _feels_ right to the person, so by all means, use the kind that appeals to you.
    End note: just found this in another thread about the benefits of gelatin. Someone posted that her mother got great results eating JELLO every day! I very much doubt she found any grassfed Jello. ๐Ÿ™‚
    “My mother is 88 sheโ€™s been eating jello for the last 40 years everyday.
    She has thick hair all her teeth no wrinkles her skin is tight very
    little cellulite and moves around like a teenager. I always wondered
    what her secret was but even she had no idea that it was the gelatin she
    was eating. I started doing the same as her but using a kosher bovine
    grass feed kind. I notice the difference already and wish I had known
    much sooner. Better late than never. My mother should advertise jello
    she looks 20 years younger than her age. In adding her bones are strong
    she fell twice in the past 2 years and never cracked a bone her bone
    density test always come back great.”

  • Lisa Truitt

    I have to respectfully disagree. I have achieved healing of my gut to a far greater degree using glutamine supplementation than with just WAPF whole food principles. I have spent a lot of time over the years doing the bone broths and gelatin etc, the whole program and never healed to the level that adding a glutamine healing regimen has done.

    Here is my theory on that: there is simply such a constant barrage of insults in the form of naturally occurring food toxins and chemicals from pesticides and antibiotics and numerous other chemicals from manufacturing and modern technology combined with poor food quality even if a person gets the best food available and compromised digestive functioning so that not as much of what is in food is digested and absorbed that many people especially with health problems can’t get enough of this and other amino acids to support the fueling and repair of their intestinal lining as well as for other functions. Even doing every Wapf thing that is possible to do. Especially people who have serious health issues.

    As far as these “stories” of harm whether they be theoretical in studies or anecdotal I am definitely going to be following up to see if this is true. I highly doubt it. And it won’t be the first time that I’ve caught Weston price purists in untruths. For example Sally Fallon’s claim that manufactured so called synthetic b vitamin supplements don’t cure b vitamin deficiency diseases such as beri beri and pellagra that only whole food sourced vitamins do. I researched that and every single medical record I could find of the treatment of beri beri and pellagra outbreaks in various parts of the world indicates that it was found that people were cured much more quickly with b vitamin supplementation than with food sources of b vitamins alone. And it was plain old cheap lab manufactured b vitamins that were used.

    The Weston Price people have this romantic idea that nature is perfect and if we can just all live naturally enough no man made interventions are necessary and not only are the not necessary they are harmful. I believe this is a false paradigm. I think the reason they fall for this false paradigm is because they have an atheistic evelotionart worldview. I don’t hold this or believe it’s correct but instead hold to a worldview that the world was created with the level of perfect that the WAPFers think exists in nature but that that got ruined and we are in a process of break down and are devolving not evolving in the sense of gaining greater order and perfection. Thus as a result the proper man made interventions can do a lot to counter act and make up for this.

    I have experienced nothing but healing and benefit from periods of glutamine use and I’ve read and heard the same stories from many many other people and rarely heard a negative story and never one of any kind of serious harm. Just that it didn’t work for them and it’s likely that in these cases the person simply wasn’t taking enough. I’ve heard one or two stories of nausea or some like thing but these can be herx symptoms which I experienced a bit as well but they are temporary. Some people just don’t know this and immediately give up thinking its harming them.

    As far as glutathione goes deficiency as a far bigger problem for the vast majority particularly for ill people who also often have detoxification defects. More glutathione means better detox and is why substances that improve glutathione levels improve energy and stamina and overall health in people who are ill and chronically fatigued.

    As far as studies on nutrients it’s important to understand there are a lot of methodologically flawed studies out there that are done to purposely make nutritional interventions look useless or even harmful. There is a lot of incentive by various entities to make nutrition and alternative health care options look bad because they are competition to the mainstream. It is important to look at the source of the studies.

    With studies that show the benefits of nutritional supplementation many well conducted studies are done by independent researchers and while research being fudged by supplement makers is not non existent there is a lot less of it than the negative studies many of which are done by entities that have serious conflicts of interest and have loads of money to conduct these expensive studies and stand to gains billions by flawed studies that discredit the competition.
    This just isn’t the case with the positive studios most of the time. Especially when your talking about some totally unpatentable substance that no one can make massive money off of or make enough money from to afford to have expensive double blinded studies conducted.

    Mainstream research is full of positive studies on glutamine. I just read info from the blog of a holistic gastroenterologist Gerard Mullin that the consensus of meta analysis of peer reviewed research is showing that glutamine heals leaky gut and shifts the microbiome from an obesogenic dysbiotic one to a normal lean person microbiome. I think that is pretty exciting!

    If you go look at reviews say on Amazon for instance of various brands of glutamine you will see almost nothing but rave reviews. It is a tiny number that have any negative comment and those are minor. Many say this stuff is a one item tool kit and helped my health in so many ways. It healed me of ibs or ulcerative colitis.

    Also this generally only takes a short course of high dose glutamine and then either a small maintence dose or many discontinue it. Some just occasionally do a round of it. Maybe once every few months.

    Andrew Saul of doctoryourself.com asks the question: if supplements are so dangerous where is the evidence? Where are the reports and the bodies? If you look at the data the government keeps on adverse events reporting deaths by supplements are like 1 or 2 per decade and minor adverse events of ill health effects of some kind are higher but very low in the tens up to hundreds out of millions of people.

    I think you are taking the knee jerk “this is not a whole food” so it must be bad WAPF position and that this is flawed and does an injustice to the people you are influencing that might have their health revolutionized by taking advantage of it.

  • Lisa Truitt

    That is not enough for everyone. Plain and simple.

  • Roy Edwards

    You are confusing MSG with Glutamine and therefore you are a liar and a fraud. You are confusing people by spreading lies. Glutamate and Glutamine are NOT the same fucking thing. You fucking loser moron.

  • Cheryl H.

    I used L-Glutamine for leaky gut and had a HORRIBLE reaction!! I agree that it affects the brain negatively as I had disturbances in my vision and could actually feel my brain “mis-firing” for lack of a better description. I felt “drugged” when supplementing with this. I have even reacted to the Glutamine in a vegetable protein powder I purchased. Will never use that supplement again!
    My leaky gut is severe and have food intolerances as a result. Looking to try the Great Lakes Gelatin, but unsure which one to try. There seems to be 3 difference kinds? Anyone have experience with the right one for Leaky Gut?

  • Megan Stevens

    Hi Cheryl, thank you for sharing your experience! When buying Great Lakes (or Vital Proteins or Perfect brands) you can choose either collagen (also called collagen peptides) or gelatin. Gelatin is the one that sets up to make “jello”-like desserts. It must be added to cool water then be heated or have hot water added to dissolve. Collagen is the one that can be stirred into any temperature liquid. Both are great. I have both in my pantry for different needs. They are both helpful for leaky gut.

  • Cheryl H.

    Hoho Megan- thank you for your reply! Is there one you prefer over the other?

  • Megan Stevens

    I prefer Perfect’s gelatin of all the products: http://amzn.to/2caWsd6

  • Robin

    I think the main reason L-glutamine doesn’t work for everyone is probably because some people with leaky gut also have a leaky BBB (blood brain barrier). I am one of those unlucky people it seems. L-glutamine gives me migraines (as do any excitatory amino acids and foods/supplements that are stimulatory). Here are a few links that discuss “leaky brain”:
    http://www.drperlmutter.com/leaky-brain/
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140602104749.htm
    http://www.ei-resource.org/easyblog/entry/treatments-to-protect-and-heal-the-blood-brain-barrier/

  • Anna Burns

    I have leaky gut and systemic candida, or at least I did. I have been on high dose probiotics, digestive enzymes, as well as 20 mg per day of glutamine. I have not had any trouble with the glutamine. I have no idea if it is healing my gut or not, but have been religiously taking it. I just tried Vital Proteins collagen peptides last night for the first time and had an adverse reaction to it. It gave me a headache and it really bothered my stomach. I did not take a full dose. So, I don’t know what to think. I don’t understand why I had such a bad reaction to the collagen peptides. I know in my case, my ‘gut’ has been resistant to the collagen for a long, but my health care professional convinced me to try it. Everyone is so different. I’m open to input. I just want to heal my body, in the fastest way without conventional medicine if possible.

  • Megan Stevens

    I’m glad you’re in the good hands of knowledgeable practitioner. Healing does take a lot of troubleshooting, and glutamine is not at all problematic for many patients. I certainly never had a negative response to it, but I also never it saw it help me. I’m sorry for your negative reaction to collagen. Blessings in your process and figuring out what works best for your body.

  • c.difficile

    Hi Megan, for Hashimoto’s people who have low antibodies (paleo autoimmune is working) but zonuline elevated and head symptoms (migraines etc. not hystamine caused) what do you think about OKG or OKG+glutamine for leaky gut? I guess glutamine only could give some sides (probably microglia issues)

    BTW low calproctine and no indican/scatol disbyosis suggest to approach directly leaky gut, isn’t it?

  • m cook

    Glutamine worked great for me for a few months. Unfortunately over Xmas I became Glutamine intolerant. I can handle 1gm max a day now. If I have over 10gm I gut full blown D and ill for a couple of days (bloating, the runs the lot). There’s a presentation by Kasia Kines that discusses clients she’s seen that have become intolerant.

    So it was good but it always gave me headaches and nausea when I took it. Now having collagen and a simple diet (no gluten, dairy) makes me feel even better and no running to the loo !

  • Megan Stevens

    It’s so helpful to hear testimonies. Thank you for sharing!

  • Vina Keaveney

    Thanks for this great post. I have the MTHFR genetic defect and as a consequence very poor gut function with neurological issues. Everything I looked at, all the “healing diets” recommended glutamine. I had read Dr. Natasha Campbell’s book “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” and for some of the reasons you mentioned she advises caution before adding bone broth because of the glutamine content. I can’t tolerate bone broth at all and had gotten so bad I started reacting to the glutamine in foods. It certainly shouldn’t be taken in supplemental form for a lot of people. You really have to consider the benefits and side effects of amino acids. They have the potential to hinder progress and even aggravate present symptoms. But it is so hard to find someone who even mentions potential negative reactions. I for one learned the hard way with this supplement. Thanks again.

  • Anwar

    Hi i am also in leaky gut protocol last 3 years.l cannot take l glutamine even 500mg, i feel horrible headaches and chest spasms. Now i am using colostrum and digestive enzymes and i feel much better

  • Anwar

    Plz tell me how to heal leaky gut and leaky bbb without l glutamine and bone broth

  • Megan Stevens

    Hi Anwar, many holistic practitioners recommend a grain-free, sugar-free diet to start, as the foundation for healing. After that, supplements are very subjective. I personally have benefited from NAC for 3 months (http://amzn.to/2kPKLf3). Here’s my post on the GAPS Intro. Diet with more information on the specifics that I’ve found to be helpful: http://eatbeautiful.net/2014/05/29/the-essential-gaps-introduction-diet/

  • Hinrich Wrage

    The rats were fed 1 g/kg/d. Pills have only 500-1000 mg. 6,84 g we eat via diet per day. How much glutamine has gelatin anyway?? The other study is with mice. Next study reviews the potential BENEFITS of glutamine nutrition in the patient with cancer. Last study regards critically ill patients with multiorgan failure. I cant follow you.

  • Hinrich Wrage

    Just take the pill after a meal. Its so easy ๐Ÿ˜€

  • What’s interesting is that you took all of that time to propose mostly theory, based on things you’ve read, where obviously you’re discounting all of other other quirky factors that pretty routinely underlie normal human physiology.

    You “disagree” with the notion Glutamine might not be beneficial for particular people, which is asinine, because you are not those particular people. You are you, and you benefited from Glutamine supplementation. Perhaps you didn’t have a particularly nefarious pathogenic bacteria infection in your gut.

    I did. And Glutamine, quantifiably, irrefutably made things CONSIDERABLY WORSE. Right away. Without question. I tested it thoroughly, several times. — The author is 100% right as it relates to Glutamine facilitating pathogenic bacteria in the gut that might be overgrown, and manifest in reflux, bloating, or other symptoms similar to SIBO.

    TLDR: You are interpreting the advice as it relates to you, and making an overall, overarching determination of the advice. — This is a logical fallacy.

    You don’t have to go further to disprove your notion that Glutamine is universally beneficial than me (and many many many many many other similar examples you’ll have to hunt for around the web, that do exist), someone with a bacterial overgrowth, that Glutamine directly negatively affects.

    TLDRX2: You’re being short sighted, and thinking everyone’s gut is similar to yours. — I couldn’t even believe I was reading what you wrote. You’re one of those people that truly believes you know what you’re talking about, and that it’s universally applicable. — You folks are literally the worst ;).

  • ronaldosan

    Really?? Ive been taking NAC now 1200g almost everyday for the last 6 months, with a few breaks here and there and although I was feeling better, even before i started taking NAC whatever i have is back again. I believe its leaky gut but could also be an infection – i had it for 3 years and only when i stopped eating grains and just proteins and fat for 2 weeks straight did i feel better. But I started drinking cafe lattes regularly and i think maybe this is why its back, brain fog and the whole shabang. Its such a struggle this thing. But Im surprised you were cured with NAC? Personally it seems like NAc as no effect on me no longer although it did wonders a year ago when i first tried it for a month.

  • Heather

    Thank you so much for this article! I have been doing GAPS now for 6 months for my ASD 15 year old son. He has had remarkable progress on the diet alone, but have been recommended over and over to try him on glutamine. I am always very hesitant to add or change his protocol, since we are seeing such positive results already. That being said, if there is more that can be done to help him, of course i want to do whatever i can. Yours was the only “con” article i could find in reference to glutamine, but also made the most sense. He already consumes bone broth at least 3 times daily, plus a lot of the other foods suggested. So with the exception of possibly adding more gelatin or collagen, i think we’ll just keep on with what we’re doing ๐Ÿ˜‰ Again, thank you for helping me make an informed decision for my child. By the way, your whole website has been a Godsend through this GAPS journey.

  • Megan Stevens

    Great, Heather. Thank you for sharing! So glad the site is helpful. And Yay You! You’re doing great! ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope healing keeps going great!!

  • Heather

    What are your thoughts on digestive enzymes in conjunction with GAPS? I searched your site, but didn’t find anything pertaining to them. I know they GREATLY help my 17 year old daughter with her IBS-D, but was wondering if it would help my son absorb more of the nutrients he’s ingesting. Also, thank you so much for your comment! So encouraging ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Megan Stevens

    Hi Heather, I’m a big fan of using digestive bitters. I like the one by HerbPharm the best; but there are a few good ones. Second to that, I like HCl with Pepsin, one with every meal that contains protein. Yes, I think they’re a necessary aid during the GAPS process and after. I prefer them to digestive enzymes, because they’re adjusting the ph of the stomach, but also positively affecting the liver, gall bladder, small intestine, pathogen issues etc. As far as your son not digesting all of his nutrients, we have had that issue as well, especially with my youngest. Another wonderful supplement if he’s very sensitive is to start with an even gentler digestive aid which contains cabbage juice. It’s here: http://amzn.to/2nz1B3m Cheers and blessings!!

  • Mike Rioux

    Have you looked into turpentine? Their have been great results with autism. Look up Dr Jennifer Daniels.
    Check out this webinar

    http://drjenniferdaniels.com/autism-webinar/

  • Calogero Fiore

    You are so right!!!
    ive suffered with leaky gut (Sneeze my brains out if I eat any gluten and have phlegm from hell if I eat any dairy) Ive, through trial and error doing high fat low carb, low fat high carb, keto, paleo, meditarranean an found finally GAPs, SCD that Bone Broths instead of healing gives me a terrible symptoms not sureif its the autoimmune disease called Relapsing Polychondritis where my LEFT EAR burns like hell and goes totally RED fpr HOURS or the rest of the day, I stopped and after a while took the advise of a ‘nutrionist’ at wholefoods nd purchased Collagen and L-Glutamine, EVERY time I take Collagen BANG!! my ear goes red, so I stopped after a bout a week I thought let me try Glutamine powder, BANG!! My ear throbs and is red again, this stuff is the same or probably made from ground up bones and animal tissue, I have no problem with eggs, chicken in small amounts but those three Bone broth/L-Glutamine/Collagen powder gives me serious gut reactions, I believe the red ear is an autoimmune reaction in my gut to this crap forgive me words but for me this stuff has hurt me and only did this cause i always hear, leaky gut? The eat/drink bone broths, take Glutamine powder, for me it didnt work, infact it hurt me.
    I didnt understand or know of any bacterial connection, but I did know from experience something is happening and my gut is going nuts when I take those powders, now I will give them away, you can get glutamine from cabbage anyway, in my opinion its not the glutamine but the source of that glutamine that gave me problems, i.e. probably some animal bones or carcasses

  • Light Worker

    I’m interested in knowing if maybe the people who experienced a proliferation in pathogenic bacteria had an unbalanced bacterial population prior to glutamine supplementation. If that is the case I think it would be sensible to just add a disclaimer that an important precondition to taking glutamine is supplementing with a broad spectrum, high strength probiotic for 2 months to correct the imbalance.

  • Benni

    unless of course you have a conscience and are vegan… then its red cabbage sauerkraut and other pre and probiotic veg foods. Just saying

  • Benni

    Bone broth and gelatin are byproducts of a very, very cruel and sick industry. Please know there are conscious, vegetable based alternatives! So many foods are pre and probiotic and gut healing… there is no need for this madness.

  • Elliott Kaye

    I had a horrible reaction to glutamine as well. Side effects included increased fatigue, muscle spasms, heart palpitations and increase anxiety. Definitely didn’t agree with my body and I have begun to have reactions to some foods.

  • Jo Bean

    Seems somewhat irresponsible to be drawing widespread conclusions from a few things you’ve read, especially when pushing products. For example, the study you reference that indicates glutamine can help cancer cells proliferate was taken from a study on patients who already had cancer. Yes, it’s always wise to consider the other side of things and not assume any one supplement is a panacea, but to outright say that glutamine is NOT recommended is way out of your range of expertise, sorry.

  • MassiveQuantitiesofPie

    Glutamine easily crosses the BBB in everyone. When it converts to glutamate, it can disturb the glutamine/GABA balance. If it does, it can cause serious anxiety, panic, headaches, and heart palpitations, among other symptoms. It doesn’t happen for everyone obviously, but if you’re prone to anxiety, panic, headaches, or heart palps, it can.

  • MassiveQuantitiesofPie

    Are you recommending this person poison their child with turpentine because he’s on the spectrum?

  • MassiveQuantitiesofPie

    How else would you test a substance’s effect on cancer cells than to give it to people who already had cancer?

    Glutamine has serious effects inside the body and the brain. That’s a fact. It might work out fine for many but it’s a very bad idea for anyone with a mental illness to take it.