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bibliography * The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Garlick 2001.

Chronic use of lots of glutamine could mess with your head

updated
Garlick PJ. Assessment of the safety of glutamine and other amino acids. J Nutr. 2001 Sep;131(9 Suppl):2556S–61S. PubMed #11533313.
Tags: treatment, self-treatment, nutrition, harms, pain problems

PainSci summary of Garlick 2001?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★☆☆?3-star ratings are for typical studies with no more (or less) than the usual common problems. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

Four studies of the safety of glutamine supplementation in a medical context found that it was “safe in adults and in preterm infants,” but that data was not relevant to concerns about “chronic consumption by healthy subjects.” The authors attempted reviewed more literature on high dietary intake of proteins and amino acids in general, and found more problems, particularly neurological damage in preterm infants. Infants are particularly sensitive to neurological effects, so if they have problems, it certainly means trouble for adults too — just less dramatically. “Because glutamine is metabolized to glutamate and ammonia, both of which have neurological effects, psychological and behavioral testing may be especially important.” In other words, a high dietary intake of glutamine may mess with your head.

original abstractAbstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

Glutamine is used to supplement intravenous and enteral feeding. Although there have been many human studies of its efficacy, there have been very few studies with safety as a primary goal. This article analyzes the literature on the safety of glutamine and also examines the available information on high intakes of total protein and other amino acids, so that additional indicators of potentially adverse effects can be suggested. Four studies that specifically addressed glutamine safety were identified, from which it was concluded that glutamine is safe in adults and in preterm infants. However, the published studies of safety have not fully taken account of chronic consumption by healthy subjects of all age groups. To help identify potential undetected hazards of glutamine intake, the literature on adverse effects of high dietary intake of protein and other amino acids was examined. High protein is reputed to cause nausea, vomiting and ultimately death in adults, and has been shown to result in neurological damage in preterm infants. Individual amino acids cause a variety of adverse effects, some of them potentially fatal, but neurological effects were the most frequently observed. Because glutamine is metabolized to glutamate and ammonia, both of which have neurological effects, psychological and behavioral testing may be especially important.

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This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights: