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Glutamine for Sports & Fitness

Why Use

Glutamine

Why Do Athletes Use It?*

Some athletes say that glutamine helps boost the immune system.

What Do the Advocates Say?*

Glutamine is the most utilized amino acid in the body. Based on its biochemistry, glutamine is a good supplement for athletes. Glutamine is best taken consistently, on a daily basis, rather than just before or after a hard workout, to build up tissue levels.

Although glutamine is inexpensive and non-toxic, realize that you run the risk of upsetting the balance of the body’s amino acids (as is the case with supplementing with only one of any of the amino acids.

*Athletes and fitness advocates may claim benefits for this supplement based on their personal or professional experience. These are individual opinions and testimonials that may or may not be supported by controlled clinical studies or published scientific articles.

Dosage & Side Effects

Glutamine

How Much Is Usually Taken by Athletes?

The amino acid glutamine appears to play a role in several aspects of human physiology that might benefit athletes, including their muscle function and immune system.1 Intense exercise lowers blood levels of glutamine, which can remain persistently low with overtraining.2 Glutamine supplementation raises levels of growth hormone at an intake of 2 grams per day,3 an effect of interest to some athletes because of the role of growth hormone in stimulating muscle growth,4 and glutamine, given intravenously, was found to be more effective than other amino acids at helping replenish muscle glycogen after exercise.5 However, glutamine supplementation (30 mg per 2.2 pounds body weight) has not improved performance of short-term, high-intensity exercise such as weightlifting or sprint cycling by trained athletes,6 , 7 and no studies on endurance performance or muscle growth have been conducted. Although the effects of glutamine supplementation on immune function after exercise have been inconsistent,8 , 9 double-blind trials giving athletes glutamine (5 grams after intense, prolonged exercise, then again two hours later) reported 81% having no subsequent infection compared with 49% in the placebo group.10

Side Effects

At the time of writing, there were no well-known side effects caused by this supplement.

Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

At the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.

Interactions with Medicines

Certain medicines interact with this supplement.

Types of interactions: Beneficial Adverse Check

Replenish Depleted Nutrients

  • none

Reduce Side Effects

  • Bicalutamide
    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Busulfan

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.11 , 12 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,13 , 14 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.15 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,16 but not all,17 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.18

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.19 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.20 , 21

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.22

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Capecitabine

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.23 , 24 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,25 , 26 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.27 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,28 but not all,29 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.30

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.31 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.32 , 33

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.34

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Carboplatin

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.35 , 36 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,37 , 38 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.39 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,40 but not all,41 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.42

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.43 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.44 , 45

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.46

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Carmustine

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.47 , 48 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,49 , 50 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.51 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,52 but not all,53 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.54

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.55 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.56 , 57

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.58

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Chlorambucil

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.59 , 60 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,61 , 62 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.63 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,64 but not all,65 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.66

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.67 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.68 , 69

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.70

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Cisplatin

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.71 , 72 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,73 , 74 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.75 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,76 but not all,77 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.78

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.79 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.80 , 81

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.82

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Cladribine

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.83 , 84 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,85 , 86 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.87 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,88 but not all,89 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.90

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.91 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.92 , 93

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.94

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Cyclophosphamide

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.95 , 96 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,97 , 98 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.99 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,100 but not all101 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.102

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.103 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.104 , 105

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.106

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Cytarabine

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.107 , 108 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,109 , 110 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.111 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,112 but not all,113 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.114

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.115 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.116 , 117

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.118

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Docetaxel

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.119 , 120 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,121 , 122 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.123 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,124 but not all125 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.126

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.127 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.128 , 129

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.130

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Erlotinib

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.131 , 132 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,133 , 134 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.135 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,136 but not all,137 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.138

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.139 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.140 , 141

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.142

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Etoposide

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.143 , 144 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,145 , 146 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.147 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,148 but not all,149 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.150

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.151 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.152 , 153

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.154

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Floxuridine

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.155 , 156 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,157 , 158 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.159 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,160 but not all,161 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.162

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.163 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.164 , 165

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.166

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Fludarabine

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.167 , 168 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,169 , 170 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.171 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,172 but not all,173 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.174

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.175 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.176 , 177

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.178

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Fluorouracil

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.179 , 180 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,181 , 182 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.183 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,184 but not all185 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.186

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.187 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.188 , 189

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.190

    In a double-blind study, supplementation with 18 grams of glutamine per day for 15 days, starting five days before the beginning of 5-FU therapy, significantly reduced the severity of drug-induced intestinal toxicity.191

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.192

  • Hydroxyurea

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.193 , 194 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,195 , 196 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.197 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,198 but not all,199 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.200

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.201 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.202 , 203

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.204

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Ifosfamide

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.205 , 206 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,207 , 208 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.209 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,210 but not all,211 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.212

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.213 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.214 , 215

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.216

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Irinotecan

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.217 , 218 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,219 , 220 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.221 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,222 but not all,223 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.224

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.225 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.226 , 227

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.228

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Mechlorethamine

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.241 , 242 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,243 , 244 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.245 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,246 but not all,247 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.248

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.249 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.250 , 251

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.252

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Melphalan

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.253 , 254 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,255 , 256 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.257 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,258 but not all,259 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.260

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.261 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.262 , 263

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.264

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Mercaptopurine

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.265 , 266 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,267 , 268 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.269 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,270 but not all,271 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.272

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.273 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.274 , 275

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.276

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Paclitaxel

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.277 , 278 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,279 , 280 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.281 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,282 but not all283 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.284 In another preliminary trial, supplementation with 10 grams of glutamine three times per day, beginning 24 hours after administration of high-dose paclitaxel, reduced the severity of drug-induced nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy).285

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.286 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.287 , 288

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.289

    Paclitaxel commonly causes muscle and joint pain. Five cases of people experiencing these symptoms who responded to the amino acid glutamine have been reported.290 All five were given 10 grams glutamine by mouth three times per day beginning 24 hours after the paclitaxel treatment. Although the report does not state how many days glutamine supplements were taken, it may have been for ten days or less—the typical time it takes for these symptoms to subside following paclitaxel administration. Whereas all five had experienced moderate to severe symptoms from the drug when taken previously without glutamine, none of the five experienced these symptoms when glutamine was added. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 g of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.291

    Glutamate, an amino acid structurally related to glutamine, had previously been reported to reduce paclitaxel-induced nerve damage in animals.292

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Polifeprosan 20 with Carmustine

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.293 , 294 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,295 , 296 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.297 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,298 but not all,299 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.300

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.301 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.302 , 303

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.304

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Thioguanine

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.305 , 306 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,307 , 308 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.309 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,310 but not all,311 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.312

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.313 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.314 , 315

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.316

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Uracil Mustard

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.317 , 318 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,319 , 320 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.321 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,322 but not all,323 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.324

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.325 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.326 , 327

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.328

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Vinblastine

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.329 , 330 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,331 , 332 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.333 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,334 but not all,335 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.336

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.337 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.338 , 339

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.340

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Vincristine

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.341 , 342 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,343 , 344 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.345 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,346 but not all,347 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.348

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.349 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.350 , 351

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.352

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.

Support Medicine

  • Lomustine

    Though cancer cells use glutamine as a fuel source, studies in humans have not found that glutamine stimulates growth of cancers in people taking chemotherapy.229 , 230 In fact, animal studies show that glutamine may actually decrease tumor growth while increasing susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,231 , 232 though such effects have not yet been studied in humans.

    Glutamine has successfully reduced chemotherapy-induced mouth sores. In one trial, people were given 4 grams of glutamine in an oral rinse, which was swished around the mouth and then swallowed twice per day.233 Thirteen of fourteen people in the study had fewer days with mouth sores as a result. These excellent results have been duplicated in some,234 but not all,235 double-blind research. In another study, patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel and melphalan had significantly fewer episodes of oral ulcers and bleeding when they took 6 grams of glutamine four times daily along with the chemotherapy.236

    One double-blind trial suggested that 6 grams of glutamine taken three times per day can decrease diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.237 However, other studies using higher amounts or intravenous glutamine have not reported this effect.238 , 239

    Intravenous use of glutamine in people undergoing bone marrow transplants, a procedure sometimes used to allow very high amounts of chemotherapy to be used, has led to reduced hospital stays, leading to a savings of over $21,000 for each patient given glutamine.240

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.

Reduces Effectiveness

  • none

Potential Negative Interaction

  • none

Explanation Required

  • none

More Resources

Glutamine

Where to Find It

Glutamine is found in many foods high in protein, such as fish, meat, beans, and dairy products.

Resources

See a list of books, periodicals, and other resources for this and related topics.

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