L-Glutamine for Anxiety: Effectiveness, Uses and Benefits, and Side-Effects
L-Glutamine is often mentioned as a useful supplement to help with reducing anxiety.
But is there any actual evidence of it's benefits, and if so just how helpful might L-Glutamine be in helping to reduce anxiety?
Anxiety is something that we all deal with at one point in our lives. The key is to finding the best way to cope with it specific to you. Everyone’s body functions in its own way, therefore everyone might have a different way of coping with anxiety.
For some, psychiatrists or primary care physicians may recommends prescription medication. These pharmaceuticals may include Valium, Xanax, or Ativan . However, sometimes the body can have a negative reaction to these medications.
Others may desire to use a more holistic and natural approach through non-pharmaceutical supplements. Most of the time, these are natural supplements that are originally produced in the body, but can be taken as a digestive supplement when the body is lacking the correct amount.
One of these digestive supplements is called L-glutamine, or sometimes just called glutamine. This article will explore when glutamine is, how it can benefit/be used, and potential side-effects.
Our Favorite L-Glutamine Supplements for Anxiety:
L-Glutamine Capsules from The Myers Way Protocol
Our top choice
Solgar L-Glutamine 1000 mg
Budget friendly option
Klaire Labs L-Glutamine Powder
What is L-glutamine?
Essentially, glutamine is a natural amino acid produced in the brain. This specific amino acid assists in the production of the amino acid GABA. GABA is known as the amino acid that slows down and calms the nervous system.
Therefore, an increase in glutamine means an increase in GABA, thus helping with anxiety symptoms such as mood changes, sleep disturbances, excessive worry, and fatigue .
Glutamine also assists in the following: “protein synthesis, lipid synthesis, regulation of acid-base balance, cellular energy, nitrogen donation, carbon donation, and nontoxic transfer of ammonia, according to nutritionist Samantha Gilbert .
Everyday Health suggests that glutamine “affects the processes of growth and function of cells in the stomach and intestines,” as well . The supplement can be used to treat glutamine deficiency or loss of glutamine due to an injury.
This amino acid can also be found in foods, such as beef, chicken, eggs, cabbage, beets, and spinach, according to Healthfully . However, others prefer to take the supplement via tablet, as well.
The dosage should be taken with caution, however, as glutamine is also a precursor amino acid in the production of glutamate, an excitatory amino acid. While some natural supplements used to help reduce anxiety symptoms are anxiety-specific, glutamine has a few other uses and benefits, as well.
What are the uses and benefits for using L-glutamine for anxiety?
As stated above, glutamine supplements are used when there is a deficiency or loss of glutamine due to injury. However, there are many uses and benefits to utilizing this supplement.
Glutamine can be used to help decrease anxiety symptoms. In order for a supplement to work successfully in treating anxiety symptoms, it must cross the blood line. Unlike GABA supplements, glutamine does cross the blood line, therefore it can have some successes in reducing anxiety symptoms.
However, studies suggest that using glutamine for anxiety should be taken with caution. Glutamine is an amino acid that helps create GABA, a neurotransmitter that can stable and slow the mind. However, it can also produce glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter that can “over-stimulate or agitate the brain” .
Healthline states that “glutamine supplements may improve health, decrease infections and lead to shorter hospital stays after surgery” source 5.
Glutamine is a key component in the immune system and healing after a major injury.
This amino acid is also important when it comes to intestinal health. Glutamine serves as an energy source for intestinal and immune cells and helps keep the barrier between the intestines and body strong so no toxic fluids spill.
Another major use of glutamine is how it assists with muscle gaining and intense workouts. There are no specific studies that correlate glutamine with improved muscle mass.
In fact, one study examined half of the participants taking a glutamine supplement and half taking a placebo while enduring muscle gaining exercises for a duration of six weeks. At the end of the study, both groups had gained muscle mass and there was not a difference between them.
However, another study shows that glutamine can be helpful in the recovery process after a long workout by decreasing muscle soreness and boosting the immune system.
What is the effectiveness of using L-glutamine for anxiety?
While it may seem like common sense that glutamine supplements help reduce anxiety symptoms, there is not enough evidence to say that it is effective.
Because glutamine crosses the blood barrier, there are more chances of it working than other dietary supplements. However, as noted above, increasing glutamine may not only meaning increasing the neurotransmitter GABA (the calming neurotransmitter), but also increasing the excitatory neurotransmitter, glutamate. That will had the opposite effect than what is wanted.
There is not a lot of evidence suggesting that glutamine is effective, but there is also not a lot of evidence proving that it is not effective.
Thus, if you are considering taking glutamine dietary supplements to improve anxiety symptoms, consult your physician first. Your physician will be able to help you find the right supplement for you with limited side-effects.
What are the side-effects when using L-glutamine supplements?
Just like any other supplement, glutamine supplements have side-effects that the consumer should be aware of before using the product.
Because glutamine is a natural amino acid that can be found in food, the side-effects are similar to that of an allergic reaction, but not limited to that. If glutamine is only being consumed through specific food intake, rather than a supplement, than side-effects are quite limited.
According to Everyday Health, signs of allergic reactions may include: “hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat”. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek immediate help.
To ensure the best use of the supplemental product, be sure to follow dosage instructions and physician-specific instructions. This can also limit the side-effects.
L-glutamine Supplements for Anxiety: Product Reviews
L-Glutamine Capsules from The Myers Way Protocol- 120 Capsules 850 mg per Capsule
The Myers Way Protocol’s L-Glutamine Capsules are not advertised to specifically work for anxiety symptoms.
It suggest that the product balances blood sugar and supports healthy weight loss, supports the thyroid, immune health, muscle tissue repair, and maintains a healthy gut barrier.
Customers state that the product works well to reduce appetite and repair torn muscle tissue
Premium Brain, 60 Capsules
Premium Brain boosts memory, focus, and clarity. The product is advertised to soothe anxiety and clear a mental fog. It includes natural ingredients such as Ginko Biloba, St. John’s Wart, Glutamine, and Bacopin.
This product is made in the USA. It is also advertised to have a 100% money back guarantee. Customers gave positive feedback of the product working well to reduce a mental fog and bring clarity.
There is also report that the product is set at a great price.
LFILabs Fitness, Natural Energy Brain Booster Supplement
This glutamine containing supplement offers an increase in active focus, anxiety relief, and memory support.
The product contains ingredients such as St. John’s Wart, L-Glutamine, Gingko Biloba, and other essentials. It is advertised to reduce stress and anxiety and maintain focus.
This product can be used by adults and kids, and is specified for students. Customers report having an increase in memory and focus.
Rejuva Brain is enriched with L-glutamine and Bacopa Monnieri to support cognitive health. The formula was created to help increase memory, focus, and clarity.
It is advertised to boost energy and increase focus as well. Each capsule helps to regulate the flow of oxygen throughout the brain, allowing an increase in cognitive functioning.
Customers report the product working well in bringing alertness and clarity, as well as helping with memory loss. However, there was one slight side-effect from the amino acids of a sore on the mouth.
BulkSupplements Pure L-Glutamine Powder (1 Kilogram)
This L-glutamine powder has been lab tested for verification and guaranteed purity.
It is advertised to promote muscle growth and prevent muscle loss. This non-GMO supplement is pure L-glutamine.
Customers left great reviews about the product and the pricing, but there is no discussion of it working for anxiety.
Mind’s Eye, #1 Natural Brain Function Support for Memory, Focus & Clarity
Mind’s Eye is clinically proven to increase memory, focus, and clarity. The blend of ingredients also works to improve your mood.
This all natural, non-GMO made in the USA supplement is advertised as 100% money back guarantee if the product does not work for you.
Customers reported it as an excellent product that works and is a good price.
Arazo Nutrition, Premium Brain Function Supplement
Arazo Nutrition’s Premium Brain Function supplement is a nootropic booster that contains Bacopa, Monnieri, L-Glutamine, multi-vitamins, and multi-minerals.
This blend of ingredients is advertised to help with memory, focus, and clarity. It also provides stress and mood support, allowing you to be at your fullest mental potential.
The supplement is listed as 100% money back guarantee if you do not see results. Customers reported improvements in memory and overall cognitive.
Klaire Labs L-Glutamine Powder - 5000mg Free-Form Amino Acid, 12.38 Oz
Klaire Labs’ L-Glutamine Powder was developed closely with practitioners to meet the criteria of healthcare providers. The free form amino acid supplement is hypoallergenic and is free from popular allergens, such as milk, eggs, nuts, and gluten.
The supplement is supposed to help with cell proliferation and intestinal immune function.
Customers reported the supplement as working more effectively than other L-Glutamine powders and successfully improving neuropathic issues and healing the gut.
Solgar – L-Glutamine 1000 mg, 60 Tablets
Solgar’s L-Glutamine supplement is a free form tablet that is a food supplement. This supplement is a major fuel source for immune, intestinal, and brain cells.
It also serves to help with transport regulation. The tablet is kosher, gluten-free, and suitable for vegetarians.
Customers reported the supplement being extremely effective in assisting with muscle repair, healing the gut, and therapeutic purposes.