Glutamine for Digestive Health

Amanda Goncalves

Written by: Amanda Goncalves

Updated: January 23rd, 2024

Glutamine is an amino acid, which is a fundamental building block of proteins. It is a natural amino acid in the human body and is important in the aging population and for general digestive health. Structurally, it’s the most abundant free amino acid in the bloodstream. This article uses current literature and clinical studies to provide insights into potential benefits and considerations associated with supplementing glutamine. We’ll also dive into the use of L-glutamine supplements for older individuals, considering their specific health conditions.

What is Glutamine?         

Glutamine, a key amino acid in the body, is essential for a strong immune system. It helps build immune cells like white blood cells, boosting their ability to fight infections. Additionally, it provides energy for these cells to grow fast and work efficiently. Plus, it helps maintain the gut’s defense system, keeping harmful germs out and reducing infection risks overall. It is made in our bodies from other amino acids, or we can get it from the food we eat, or glutamine can be supplemented for specific health reasons (Cruzat et al.).

Glutamine in Aging

As mentioned, glutamine is important for our digestion, and helps strengthen our immune system by building immune cells like white blood cells. As we age, our bodies do not make as much glutamine as they used to.

This reduction in glutamine can influence how our digestion works and the general fitness of our belly and intestine. Glutamine is a key player in nitrogen and carbon transport between tissues. During periods of intense physical activity or stress, the demand for glutamine may exceed the body’s ability to produce it, making it conditionally essential. So, for the aging population, getting enough glutamine from meals or occasionally via supplements can be effective. It might assist with some of the demanding situations that come with getting old and keep matters running nicely. But it is continually an excellent plan to speak to doctors to figure out the best method for you. (Sheloukhova, 2022)

doctor explaining glutamine to patient

Glutamine and Digestive Health

As we get older, glutamine becomes even more important for our digestive health. Our bodies naturally make less of it, and that can really affect how well our digestive system functions. This reduction can impact how well our stomachs work. Therefore, having sufficient glutamine is particularly important, especially for older individuals. This lower amount of glutamine can cause problems like not getting enough nutrients, having a weaker stomach barrier, and being more prone to stomach issues.

Taking extra glutamine as a supplement for older folks can give their stomachs a boost. It provides the essential stuff to restore and strengthen the belly lining, making it simpler for everything to digest nicely. This can help older human beings have healthier stomachs and avoid a few of the commonplace stomach problems that come with growing older.

Clinical research displays the association between glutamine supplementation and decreased mortality in trauma and seriously ill individuals. Additionally, glutamine has shown promise in assisting the immune system, lowering infection risks, and aiding in preventing or treating multiple organ dysfunction after injuries (Glutamine, n.d.). The recommended dose of glutamine varies on different needs. Consult a health care professional before starting a glutamine supplement.

Dietary Sources of Glutamine

Glutamine, a vital amino acid, is evidently found in plenty of ingredients. Animal-derived choices like pork, bird, fish, dairy, and eggs offer plenty of glutamine. Plant-based options, encompassing beans, lentils, soy, nuts, and seeds (especially almonds and sunflower seeds), in addition to complete grains like wheat, rice, and corn, and various vegetables like cabbage, spinach, and parsley, also make contributions to our glutamine consumption. Glutamine supplements, to be had in powder or capsule form, cater to health or fitness goals. However, keeping a well-rounded eating program to ensure enough glutamine is essential. It’s helpful to consult with a healthcare expert or a registered dietitian before making big nutritional adjustments or thinking about supplements. (Tinsley, 2018).

L-Glutamine as a Supplement for the Elderly

As we get older, our bodies won’t make a sufficient amount of this crucial amino acid. Glutamine can keep our stomachs wholesome, assisting our immune system, and supporting our muscular tissues to live sturdy. But we want to be cautious, mainly if a person has troubles with their kidneys, liver, or other health concerns. Older individuals ought to talk to their medical doctors before including L-Glutamine dietary supplements in their routine to ensure it is the healthy for them. (Glutamine, n.d.).

Glutamine-Rich Tacos


  1. Tinsley, G. (2018, January 13). Glutamine: Benefits, Uses and Side Effects. Healthline.
  2. Cruzat, Vinicius, et al. (2018). Glutamine: Metabolism and Immune Function, Supplementation and Clinical Translation. Nutrients, 10(11): 1564. .
  3. Glutamine. (n.d.). Mount Sinai Health System.
  4. Sheloukhova, L. (2022, July 27). Glutamine Supplementation Has Anti-Aging Potential.

About George Brown’s Culinary Management Nutrition Program

Students from the Culinary Management Nutrition Program at George Brown College Chef School participated in an academic writing content to create an article or video on glutamine for CDHF. The course, Nutrition Issues, is taught by nutrition professor, Dr. Linda Gillis. Mukti Modi was the winner for the article submission and Aamina Sheikh was the winner for the video submission. George Brown College provides students with real world applications and opportunities for learning.

Related Articles:

View all News & Articles

pregnant women feeling nauseous

8 Types of Foods that Fight Nausea During Pregnancy

fibre filled foods

Fibre Fuel: A Nutritional Adventure

kids school snacks

Healthy School Snacks for Kids: Recommendations from a Dietitian

Turmeric and Ginger: 5 Benefits for Gut Health

nutritionist discussing how you can digest best over online call

How You Can Digest Best: Breaking Down Food with Help from our Gut Microbes

The Important Role of Diet in IBS Management

person eating probiotic yogurt with berries

What is Probiotic Yogurt and What are its Benefits?

the low FODMAP diet and the Mediterranean diet

The Low FODMAP Mediterranean Diet Approach for IBS

gallbladder removal

Gallbladder Removal: Understanding the Procedure and Postoperative Care

Decoding Gut Health Trends on TikTok: Trending Now Presentation

Family Nutrition Across the Lifespan: Trending Now Presentation

Glutamine for Digestive Health

The Power of Anti-Inflammatory Foods

managing malnutrition across gi conditions

Malnutrition Across GI Conditions 

woman with cough and cold

How to Protect Yourself this Cough & Cold Season


Trick or Treating Safely with Digestive Conditions

#TrendingNow – Putting the Biggest Gut Health Trends under the Microscope 2023

cdhf talks supporting the immune system for back to school

CDHF Talks: Supporting your Child’s Immune System for Back to School

Acne and Digestive Health


Benefits of Turmeric

man eating processed foods

What are Processed and Ultra-Processed Foods?

hockey face-off

Nutrition Guide for Athletes

RISEUp banner

RISEUp for Digestive Diseases Cycling Fundraiser Presented by Organon

WDHD Banner

World Digestive Health Day: A Healthy Gut

low fodmap vegetarian meal

Plant-Based Eating & the FODMAP Diet

woman eating functional foods

Functional Foods: The Power of Probiotics

parent and child discussing kids nutrition

Nutrition Tips for Children

digestive health microbes

Why Should We Care About Our Digestive Health?

Young female doctor consulting an elderly patient in her office on a low-residue diet

Low Residue Diet: What is it and Who is it for?

coffee beans in mug

Is Coffee Bad for Digestion?

fast food stacked on table

Low FODMAP Fast-Food Meals

bowel model and fresh fruit

How to Aid Healthy Digestion

Gifts for Guts

man on grey background with puzzle pieces surrounding head

The Link Between the Gut and Mental Health 

low fodmap diet on a phone

Understanding the low FODMAP Diet

Women speaking online on computer with a registered dietitian

Online Nutrition Courses from Registered Dietitians

Family eating healthy meal

Family Friendly Snack Ideas

Yoga for Digestion

5 Strategies for Living Gluten-Free

salad with apple beets and chickpeas

Increase Your Fibre Intake

Types of Berries

The Power of Berries- Colourful and Kick-Ass Nutrition


Creamy, High Protein Breakfast Porridge

Bowl of Slaw

Crack Slaw Stir-fry

Grocery shopping with list

Make your Weekly Grocery Shop a Breeze: Amanda’s Top 5 Tips


Peppermint Fixes More Than Just Bad Breath

Spoons full of different prebiotics

Gut Health and Prebiotics

Family smiling into camera

5 Nutrition Tips for You and Your Family this Summer

Does Hot Weather Affect Digestion?

Women looking at labels in the grocer store

Understanding Fibre Nutrition Claims

Beginning frame of Understanding Fibre Animation

Understanding Fibre Animation

Fibre Benefits

Fibre & Its Benefits

Hand squeezing a grapefruit

Diets Used for IBS

friends smiling in kitchen

7 Day Gluten-Free Diet Plan

Women and male bathroom stall

Managing your Digestive Health in the Workplace Webinar

Taking a photo of food

Diet & Lifestyle Changes for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Cutting up meat and vegetables in the kitchen

Eating for 1 Trillion

Women laughing in yoga pose

Wait… My Gut Affects My Mental Health?

heart shaped bowls filled with fruits

10 Ways to Strengthen Your Microbiome


What is Kefir and is it Good for You?

Women holding a salad

Busting Gut Health Buzz Words

Exercising and drinking water

Trying to Eat Healthier? Make it a Habit!

Bowl of healthy salad and tofu

Mental Health and Nutrition

Turkey pesto meatballs

Turkey Pesto Meatballs

Person on computer at home working

Staying Healthy at Home!

Man drinking water

Pre and Post Surgery Nutrition and Lifestyle Strategies to Optimize your Recovery

Brown bag of groceries spilling out of bag

How to Manage Stress Eating and Snack Smart at Home

Drinking water side eye pink background

The Importance of Staying Hydrated: General Hydration and Virus Recovery

Egg and leeks

How to Stay Fuller Longer

Pregnant women in pink shirt smiling down at stonach

Prenatal Health and Your Baby

woman comforting elderly man

Preventing GI Disorders in Adults and the Elderly

CDHF Talks: The Role of Nutrition/Diet in a Healthy Gut Microbiota

Bone broth

Is Bone Broth Healthy?

Leafy greens on purple background

Gut Bacteria and Leafy Greens

CDHF Partners with Metro and their Wellness Program Catered to Digestive Health Issues

World Digestive Health Day: Obesity

Person grocery cart shopping

Help with Choosing Healthy Grocery Products

Senior and adult cooking in the kitchen

Diet & Nutrition Tips for Seniors and their Caregivers

Dietary Fibre vs Prebiotics: Animation

CDHF Talks: Protein and Fibre


Tips for Eating Well with Rising Food Costs

man holding takeout box and clutching stomach

What is a Food Intolerance?

meal planning sheet

Two Day Meal Plan with Lactose Intolerance

nutrition plan for immune system and gut health

How Nutrition Can Support Gut Health and the Immune System

Common food allergies o blue background

What is a Food Allergy?

The Power of Oats: Can They Play a Role in the Gluten Free Diet?

Feeding your Microbiota Fibre, Prebiotics, and Probiotics

Women drinking wine with pink microbe background

Alcohol and IBS

Digestive Health 101 Webinar

healthy foods

Diet & Lifestyle Changes for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Clipboard that says diet plan surrounded by healthy smoothies and vegetables

Diet Plan for Gastroparesis

healthy food at dinner table

Nutrition Tips for Aging Well

Astro yogurt on a kitchen counter

Lactalis Canada Introduces Astro® PROTEIN & FIBRE Yogourt

The Cultured Coconut bottle on a kitchen counter

The Cultured Coconut – CDHF Certified Product

apples and a bottle of apple cider vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar for Digestion. What’s the Deal?