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Foods That Contain Glutamine

Glutamine is another amino acid the body can produce, but such products may be insufficient in certain situations. Glutamine is an important energy source for macrophages, lymphocytes, and other immune system cells.

Due to its role in the body, many different tissues have glutamine-consuming activity. Muscle cells, intestinal mucosal cells, leukocytes, and renal tubule cells, among other sites, also use glutamine for some action.

Types Of Amino Acids

Amino acids are small-sized molecules that makeup proteins, essential molecules that make up muscles. Critical, non-essential, and conditionally essential. Essentials must be consumed via the diet due to the body’s inability to manufacture them.

The body can manufacture non-essentials from some nutrients. In contrast, conditionally essential ones can be manufactured by the body. Still, in certain situations, endogenous production (the one made by the body) cannot meet the demand for this nutrient presented by the body.


For example, the body’s production of this nutrient is not enough during metabolic stress; arginine plays a vital role in the immune system and is essential in maintaining the intestinal barrier.


Immune system cells use glutamine as an essential fuel and may have significant immunostimulatory effects. For this reason, when the organism needs an effective immune system action, glutamine becomes vital (dietetically necessary).

We understand that physical activity can be an activity that results in damage, injuries, and disturbances to the body’s homeostasis, especially to muscle tissue. Therefore, we understand that the more intense and frequent the training sessions, the lesser the dietary capacity for this nutrient and the greater the need for a glutamine supplement via the diet.

This amino acid has numerous functions in the body, and it is possible to find foods with glutamine of animal and vegetable origin. It is essential to understand that glutamine in food is not in its simple form; isolated glutamine is not found in food. As we saw at the beginning of the text, proteins are composed of the junction of amino acids; remembering that glutamine is an amino acid, we can understand that glutamine is in food together with other amino acids, forming more significant structures, proteins.

Foods With Glutamine

Glutamine is present in the composition of vegetable and animal proteins; considering the percentage of protein by its number of amino acids, it was found that glutamine represents 35.1% of the gliadin protein present in wheat; 24.2% of bean protein; 9.6% of the glycine present in soy; 8.9% of cow’s milk β-casein; and 3.8% of egg albumin present in the chicken egg.

Using the gene sequencing method, the percentage of glutamine arrived at the following results: 4.4% in egg, 4.8% in beef, 8.1% in milk, 9.1% in tofu (soy cheese), 11.1% for white rice, and 16.2% for corn protein. Thus, the total amount of this nutrient per 100 g among the six glutamine-containing foods was between 0.28 g in milk protein and 1.23 g in meat protein, with intermediate values ​​for white rice protein, corn protein, egg protein, and soy protein.

Kinetic studies estimate that about 80 g of glutamine circulates in the bloodstream daily, but only 5 to 8 g come from food; Some available food sources of L-GLN have been cited: meat, eggs, milk, and soy derivatives. Note that the greater the amount of protein in the food, the greater the supply of amino acids.

Beyond Glutamine In Food

In addition to the glutamine found in food, we still have the one that the body manufactures/synthesizes. Such production happens from glutamic acid, valine, and isoleucine, other amino acids that can be found in food; our body produces through an enzyme called glutamine synthetase using energy stored in the cell in the form of adenosine triphosphate.


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