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Potential Benefits of Glutamine Supplementation for Type 2 Diabetes

An addition of the amino acid glutamine to the diet may help with weight loss and diabetes management…. 

According to studies, type 2 diabetic patients have significantly lower concentrations of the amino acid glutamine circulating in the body.

A six week double-blinded, placebo controlled trial was conducted in 66 type 2 diabetic subjects randomized to receive oral glutamine supplementations or a placebo. There were 53 patients who completed the trial with 27 in the glutamine group and 26 in the placebo. Each patient took 30g/d of the amino acid three times a day with each main meal. At the end of the study, there were significant differences between body mass, waist circumference, blood glucose levels, and average HbA1c levels between the two groups. A difference in body fat mass (+0.05 kg with glutamine vs +1.05 kg with placebo group, p=0.01) and % body fat (+0.01% vs +1.36%, p=0.008) was observed between the two groups. Moreover, a significant reduction was seen in waist circumference (-1.33 vs +2.34 cm, p<0.001). Fasting blood glucose levels significantly decreased in the glutamine group compared to the placebo (-0.79 vs -0.06 mmol/L, p=0.04) as well as the mean HbA1c (p=0.04). In addition, there were significant differences in systolic blood pressure favoring glutamine over placebo (p=0.005). Glutamine had no effects on cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, and C-reactive proteins.

The study showed that 30g/d of glutamine following each main meal helps reduce blood glucose levels as well as body fat, waist lines, and systolic blood pressure to some extent. More studies are warranted in this area of concentration because these clinical benefits can be advantageous for diabetic patients who have a hard time managing their metabolism.

Practice Pearls:

  • Type 2 diabetic patients have significantly lower concentration of amino acid glutamine circulating in the body.
  • The study showed that 30g/d of glutamine following each main meal helps reduce blood glucose levels as well as body fat, waist lines, and systolic blood pressure to some extent.
  • Glutamine had no effects on cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, and C-reactive proteins.

Mansour A, Mohajer-tehrani M, Qorbani M, et al. Effect of glutamine supplementation on cardiovascular risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes. Nutrition. 2014 July 9.