Glutamine

Glutamine Definition

The essential amino acids are the ones that cannot be synthesised by our bodies. These essential amino acids have to be a part of our diet necessarily because these cannot be built from other chemicals present in our bodies. On the contrary, on-essential amino acids are the ones that can be synthesised by our bodies from other chemicals and are a dietary source. 


Glutamine is one of the non-essential amino acids that are required by our body. Glutamine is encoded by CAA and CAG. It is the conditional-essential amino acid that is required in a few situations like gastrointestinal disorders or intensive athletic training. Glutamine has one carboxyl group, one amino group and one amide group in the sidechain of the carboxyl group. 


What Is Glutamine?

Glutamine is an integral element which is related to stress. The stress that is caused by trauma, excessive exercise, burns, and several diseases like cancer often results in a deficiency of glutamine in the body. Glutamine is required to perform a number of functions in the body, and it also helps to build a supplement to help the body recover from the stress. 


The molecular formula of Glutamine is C5H10N2O3, and it is abbreviated as ‘Gln’ or ‘Q’. This is an important amino acid and is one of the twenty amino acids that are required by human beings and the animals for proper functioning. Glutamine is an important element that is involved in the synthesis of protein, donation of carbon as well as nitrogen for the cellular energy and also for the proper functioning of the kidney. The structure of glutamine is what makes it such a vital amino acid.


Structure of Glutamine

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In general, all amino acids have an equivalent structure: an amino attached to a hydrogen, a carboxyl, and a sidechain group, denoted by ‘R’ via a central carbon. The amino and carboxyl groups and central carbon are considered the amino acid backbone and are the same in all amino acids. It is the side chain that is specific to each amino acid.


The specific structure of glutamine is indicative of its chemical formula, C5H10N2O3. The side chain or R group of glutamines is a simple amide, NH2; located at the tail end of the R group. Glutamine is a linear molecule and polar in nature that means that it has both positive and negative charges. Polar means the glutamine molecule is both positive and charged. This amino acid is water-loving because of this polar characteristic.


In general, glutamine is made from two other molecules glutamate and ammonia using an enzyme called glutamine synthetase. This is commonly done in muscles but is also in lung and brain tissue and the liver. 


Nomenclature of Glutamine

The IUPAC name of C5H10N2O3 is glutamine. The name according to the nomenclature for the structure of C5H10N2O3 is L-Glutamine (levo) glutamide 2, 5 - Diamino - 5 - oxopentanoic acid, 2-Amino-4-carbamoyl butanoic acid.


Glutamine Function

  • The human body further synthesises more amounts of glutamine which is used in various biological processes. It is used in the metabolic processes taking place in the kidney, liver, etc. glutamine has the capacity of donating carbon and nitrogen atoms that are important for several processes like anabolic, metabolic, cell division, etc. 

  • This amino acid also helps in maintaining the acid-base balance in the kidneys by producing an ample amount of ammonium. It also helps in the synthesis of lipids in the cancer cells.

  • Glutamine acid is vital to protein synthesis. This means that this amino acid is essential in making proteins. Without glutamine, a protein won’t fold correctly or function properly. If a protein is not able to fold correctly, disease or death can happen. If a protein folds but cannot function thanks to a change in amino alkanoic acid structure, death also can occur.

  • Glutamine is a precursor to cell energy, adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The living system typically uses the simple sugar glucose, but when glucose is not available, glutamine is used. Glutamine is the highest concentration of free-floating amino acid in the blood and can cross the blood-brain barrier, unlike many chemicals. This is in addition to its part in energy formation.

  • Glutamine, under special conditions, can donate nitrogen. An anabolic process is a process where energy is needed to make a new chemical in biochemistry. A typical process in humans is the production of purines or one of the four base pairs of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). This requires extra energy, but the amide group is removed and added to other chemical constituents to make purine. 

  • Glutamine can also donate carbon and is a crucial source of carbon within the last half of energy metabolism. The second half of energy metabolism is called the citric acid cycle where ATP is made. The carbon groups from the R group of glutamine are often wont to form ATP to make sure of energy for all times.


Solved Problems

Question 1. How does glutamine benefit athletes?

Answer: Glutamine helps in recovering the muscles faster for the athletes. It also helps in strengthening the immune system, which helps in the betterment of weakened immune systems by intense exercises.


Question 2. How many doses of glutamine should a person take every day?

Answer: On average, a dose of 20-30 grams is suggested for an adult with normal activity rate. But if you’re into intense exercising, weightlifting, athletics, etc. then you’ll need more dose of it to regulate the relaxation and recovery of your muscles.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Question 1. Does Glutamine Have any Side Effects if Taken as a Supplement?

Answer: Glutamine is an amino acid that is found naturally in human body. But additional doses of Glutamine are taken as a supplement for various purposes such as nutrition, recovery from surgery, injuries, burns, cancer treatment, HIV treatment and several other purposes.  Glutamine is available in the form of powder as well as in the form of capsules.


If used in regulated quantities, glutamine does not produce any side effects. But taking glutamine as a supplement in unregulated quantities produces various side effects like gastrointestinal issues including gas, nausea, vomiting; muscle or joint pain, headaches, dizziness, mild rashes, or itching.

Question 2. How does Glutamine Help in Weight Reduction?

Answer: Glutamine are amino acids are present in two forms i.e. D-Glutamine and L-Glutamine. Out of both the variants, L-Glutamine is more beneficial for humans and is included in weight loss supplements as well. As the body can not produce adequate quantities of L-Glutamine, it is readily available in the form of supplements. It helps with weight loss in five different ways i.e. 

  • It reduces the calorie hungry Firmicute Bacteria in the gut.

  • It increases the percentage of lean body tissues in overweight and obese people. 

  • It may improve the blood serum levels of growth hormones in humans. 

  • It can stop the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in humans. 

  • It helps with healing of a leaky gut which holds the key to insulin resistance of the body along with weight loss or gain.