Glutamine is taken by mouth for sickle cell disease, to improve nutrition and help people recover from surgery, injuries, burns, bone marrow transplant, complications of HIV/AIDS, radiation, and cancerchemotherapy, and for many other uses. Glutamine is given intravenously (by IV) for improving recovery after surgery and other conditions.
Glutamine is commercially available as capsules or in packets as a powder form. There are two prescription glutamine products approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Endari (Emmaus Medical, Inc) and NutreStore (Emmaus Medical, Inc). Glutamine for commercial use is made by a fermentation process using bacteria that produce glutamine.
How does it work ?
After surgery or traumatic injury, nitrogen is necessary to repair the wounds and keep the vital organs functioning. About one third of this nitrogen comes from glutamine.
If the body uses more glutamine than the muscles can make (i.e., during times of stress), muscle wasting can occur. This can occur in people with HIV/AIDS. Taking glutamine supplements might keep the glutamine stores up.
Some types of chemotherapy can reduce the levels of glutamine in the body. Glutamine treatment is thought to help prevent chemotherapy-related damage by maintaining the life of the affected tissues.
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