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Glutamine: For a strong immune system

Colds and flu-like infections are in high season in winter. To strengthen the immune system, many people turn to vitamin C or zinc tablets. However, amino acids glutamine is much more important for strong defences. Read our blog post to find out how it can help you stay healthy during the cold season.

Our immune system is a complex system made up of a large number of different cells. Lymphocytes such as B and T cells, for example, play an important role in the acquired immune defence and ensure that every pathogen is specifically rendered harmless thanks to the right antibody. In the event of an acute infection, e.g. with a virus, these cells multiply particularly quickly and produce antibodies and hormone-like substances (known as cytokines).

Table of contents:

  1. Glutamine: component and food of defence cells
  2. Increased protein requirement
  3. Do supplements help with infections?

Glutamine: Component and food for defence cells

The most important building block of all these defence mechanisms is protein. The amino acid glutamine plays a special role here, as it is not only involved in the formation of immune cells, but also serves as a source of energy for them. In contrast to the rest of our body cells, lymphocytes and other immune cells do not prefer glucose (i.e. sugar) as fuel, but glutamine. During an acute infection, our body therefore uses 10 times more glutamine.

Increased protein requirement

The immune system requires free amino acids from the blood in order to produce defence substances and cells. Glutamine makes up the largest proportion of this amino acid pool at around 25%. However, the supply is quickly depleted, as billions of immune cells and antibodies are formed within a very short time. During an acute infection, our protein requirement therefore increases by 30-40 %. Fortunately, our muscles provide us with an enormous store of glutamine. At 40-60 %, glutamine makes up the majority of skeletal muscle. So it's good to know that we are prepared for an emergency.

Do supplements help with infections?

Ideally, you shouldn't let it get that far and cover your increased protein and glutamine requirements through your diet.

However, as an acute infection is often accompanied by a loss of appetite, this is not always so easy. Our protein and L-glutamine powders help to cover the increased requirement and can thus prevent muscle loss. To reduce the effects of the flu and activate the immune system, some experts recommend taking 5 g of L-glutamine in the morning and evening or 10-20 g per day at the first signs of a cold.

Glutamine can not only help with an acute infection, but is also often taken as a preventative measure, especially by athletes. For example, one study showed that taking glutamine after intensive training reduced runners' susceptibility to infection.