Adverse glutamine side effects can include nausea, spiked blood sugar, and possibly increased cancer tumor size. There are positive glutamine side effects, however. These include the ability to carve more defined muscles and an increase in the body’s power to produce of human growth hormone (HGH).
Glutamine, also known as L-glutamine, is a natural chemical found in all humans. The body secretes this amino acid as a fuel for muscles. Muscles have more power and grow larger when supplied with nitrogen through glutamine. Stress and strenuous exercise, however, can deplete natural glutamine reserves. When this happens, many turn to glutamine supplementation because the body can take up to seven days to replenish its own glutamine stores.
People who elect to take supplements are often pursuing better or healthier physiques and desire the benefit of the muscle-related glutamine side effects. The extra HGH produced by a body supplied with glutamine supplements allows muscles to be lean and surrounded by little fat. This is because glutamine breaks down fat and encourages the body to burn fat while sparing muscle tissue. Such glutamine side effects halt, however, once supplementation is stopped.
The common dosage for glutamine supplements is roughly 10 g a day. Many alternative medicine advocates, however, recommend taking 0.5 g for every 2.2 lbs. (1 kilogram) of body weight. It is not uncommon for athletes, fitness buffs, or those recovering from disease to take 40 g to 50 g of glutamine daily. Most users mix a powdered form of the amino acid in juice, water, or milk.
The negative glutamine side effects happen when people go over the recommended amount. This causes excess glutamine to accumulate in the body. Many nutritionists claim that the excess breaks down into glucose, which can be very dangerous for diabetics or others who need to manage blood sugar. Some who take the supplement claim to have suffered stomachaches and nausea as a result of excess glutamine.
The most extreme side effect of excess dosages of glutamine has been reported by cancer sufferers. Some people with cancer and other diseases take glutamine because the supplement can alleviate some of the pains and weakness associated with radiation and chemotherapy. A few studies, however, show that in excess, glutamine can purportedly increase the diameter of cancer tumors.
Few undesirable glutamine side effects are reported for those who follow the 0.5 g of supplement per 2.2 lbs. (1 kilogram) of body weight rule. For many people, nutritionists say excess glutamine can simply be excreted from the body without causing illness. Most herbalists discourage people with liver or renal problems from taking the supplement at all.