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Drugs and Health Products

Monograph: Glutamine, L-

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Date: 2008-02-11


L-Glutamine (O'Neil et al. 2012)

Proper Name(s)

L-Glutamine ( NIH 2007 , USP 2007 , O'Neil et al. 2001 )

Common Name(s)

Source Material

L-Glutamine (USP 2007)

Route Of Administration


Dosage Form(s)

  • Liquids and solutions are not permitted due to lack of stability of the finished product (Fürst et al. 1997).
  • The acceptable pharmaceutical dosage forms include, but are not limited to capsules, chewables (e.g. gummies, tablets), liquids, powders, strips or tablets.
  • This monograph is not intended to include foods or food-like dosage forms such as bars, chewing gums or beverages.

Use(s) or Purpose(s)

Statement(s) to the effect of:



Dose(s): 5 - 9 Grams per day

Duration of use

No statement is required

Risk Information

Statement(s) to the effect of:

Caution(s) and Warning(s):
  • Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you are following a low protein diet  (Goldman and Ausiello 2004)
  • Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

No statement is required

Known Adverse Reaction(s):
No statement is required

Non-medicinal ingredients

Must be chosen from the current Natural Health Products Ingredients Database and must meet the limitations outlined in the database.


  • The finished product specifications must be established in accordance with the requirements described in the NHPD Quality of Natural Health Products Guide.
  • The medicinal ingredient must comply with the requirements outlined in the Natural Health Products Ingredient Database (NHPID).
  • The medicinal ingredient must be pharmacopoeial grade (for a list of acceptable pharmacopoeia, see the NHPD Evidence for Quality of Finished Natural Health Products Guidance Document) or cited in an approved NHP Master File, authorized by a letter of access issued to the applicant by the NHP Master File's registered owner.

References cited

  • Bowtell JL, Gelly K, Jackman ML, Patel A, Simeoni M, Rennie MJ. Effect of oral glutamine on whole body carbohydrate storage during recovery from exhaustive exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology 1999;86(6):1770-7.
  • Castell LM, Newsholme EA. The effects of oral glutamine supplementation on athletes after prolonged, exhaustive exercise. Nutrition 1997;13(7-8):738-42.
  • Fürst P, Pogan K, Stehle P. Glutamine dipeptides in clinical nutrition. Nutrition 1997;13(7-8):731-737.
  • Goldman L, Ausiello D, editors. Cecil Textbook of Medicine, Volume 1, 22nd edition. Philadelphia (PA): Saunders; 2004.
  • Griffiths RD. Glutamine: establishing clinical indications. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care 1999;2(2):177-82.
  • IOM 2002: Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Washington (DC): National Academy Press; 2002.
  • Krzywkowski K, Petersen EW, Ostrowski K, Link-Amster H, Boza J, Halkjaer-Kristensen J, Pedersen BK. Effect of glutamine and protein supplementation on exercise-induced decreases in salivary IgA. Journal of Applied Physiology 2001;91(2):832-8.
  • Newsholme P, Procopio J, Lima MM, Pithon-Curi TC, Curi R. Glutamine and glutamate-their central role in cell metabolism and function. Cell Biochemistry and Function 2003;21(1):1-9.
  • Newsholme P. Why is L-glutamine metabolism important to cells of the immune system in health, postinjury, surgery or infection? Journal of Nutrition 2001;131(9 Suppl):2515S-22S; discussion 2523S-2524S.
  • NIH 2007: National Institutes of Health. ChemIDplus Lite. Bethesda (MD): Specialized Information Services, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health & Human Services. 5-Hydroxytryptophan; RN: 56-69-9. [Accessed 2007-08-09]. Available from:
  • O'Neil MJ, Smith A, Heckelman PE, Budavari S, editors. The Merck Index: An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals, 13th edition. Whitehouse Station (NJ): Merck & Co., Inc.; 2001.
  • Shils ME, Olson JA, Shike M, Ross AC, Caballero B, Cousins RJ, editors. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 10th edition. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2006.
  • USP 30: United States Pharmacopeia and the National Formulary (USP 30 - NF 25). Rockville (MD): United States Pharmacopeial Convention, Inc.; 2007.

References reviewed

  • Antonio J, Street C. Glutamine: a potentially useful supplement for athletes. Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology 1999;24(1):1-14.
  • Castell L. Glutamine supplementation in vitro and in vivo, in exercise and in immunodepression. Sports Medicine 2003;33(5):323-345.
  • Elia M, Lunn P. The use of glutamine in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders in man. Nutrition 1997;13(7-8):743-747.
  • Garlick PJ. Assessment of the safety of glutamine and other amino acids. Journal of Nutrition 2001;131(9 Suppl):2556S-2561S.
  • Keast D, Arstein D, Harper W, Fry RW, Morton AR. Depression of plasma glutamine concentration after exercise stress and its possible influence on the immune system. The Medical Journal of Australia 1995;162(1):15-18.
  • Lacey JM, Wilmore DW. Is glutamine a conditionally essential amino acid? Nutrition Review 1990;48(8):297-309.
  • Neu J, Shenoy V, Chakrabarti R. Glutamine nutrition and metabolism: where do we go from here? The FASEB Journal: Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology 1996;10(8):829-837
  • Noyer CM, Simon D, Borczuk A, Brandt LJ, Lee MJ, Nehra V. A double-blind placebo-controlled pilot study of glutamine therapy for abnormal intestinal permeability in patients with AIDS. American Journal of Gastroenterology 1998;93(6):972-975.
  • Oppong KN, Al-Mardini H, Thick M, Record CO. Oral glutamine challenge in cirrhotics pre- and post-liver transplantation: a psychometric and analyzed EEG study. Hepatology 1997; 26(4):870-876.
  • PDR Health. Glutamine Information Sheet. [Accessed 2008-01-31]. Available from:
  • Peeters MA, Salabelle A, Attal N, Rethore MO, Mircher C, Laplane D, Lejeune J. Excessive glutamine sensitivity in Alzheimer's disease and Down syndrome lymphocytes. Journal of the Neurological Sciences 1995;133(1-2):31-41.
  • Peng X, Yan H, You Z, Wang P, Wang S. Clinical and protein metabolic efficacy of glutamine granules-supplemented enteral nutrition in severely burned patients. Burns: Journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries 2005;31(3):342-346.
  • Peng X, Yan H, You Z, Wang P, Wang S. Glutamine granule-supplemented enteral nutrition maintains immunological function in severely burned patients. Burns : Journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries 2006;32(5):589-593.
  • Scolapio JS, McGreevy K, Tennyson GS, Burnett OL. Effect of glutamine in short-bowel syndrome. Clinical Nutrition 2001;20(4):319-323.
  • Shabert JK, Winslow C, Lacey JM, Wilmore DW. Glutamine-antioxidant supplementation increases body cell mass in AIDS patients with weight loss: a randomized, double-blind controlled trial. Nutrition 1999;15(11-12):860-864.
  • Walsh NP, Blannin AK, Robson PJ, Gleeson M. Glutamine, exercise and immune function. Links and possible mechanisms. Sports Medecine 1998;26(3):177-191.
  • Yoshida S, Matsui M, Shirouzu Y, Fujita H, Yamana H, Shirouzu K. Effects of glutamine supplements and radiochemotherapy on systemic immune and gut barrier function in patients with advanced esophageal cancer. Annals of Surgery 1998;227(4):485-491.