Glutamine and Sugar: Fighting the Addiction to Sweets

Glutamine PowderOver the past few decades, the quantities of sugar we consume has grown tremendously. In the past, the sugar we got in our diets came from the natural foods we ate. Today, over one third of the sugar we consume comes from white flour or sugar. These foods are refined and so quickly digested that it can overwhelm our blood streams. The prevalence of sugar in our diet has led to an explosion in the number of people being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Excess sugar has also been linked to other health problems, like lowered immune system function, autoimmune diseases, chronic infections, pain syndromes, heart disease, and chronic fatigue. The latest research has suggested that decreased immune system function is the result of sugar blocking Vitamin C from entering white blood cells.

When you consider how damaging excess sugar is to the body and how commonplace it is within our diets, the need for some way of reducing sugar levels becomes apparent. Recent research indicates that a common, inexpensive dietary supplement hold great promise in the search for a safe way of reducing sugar cravings.

What is L-glutamine?

L-glutamine is an amino acid present in many areas of the body, particularly skeletal muscle. Amino acids are proteins that are the building blocks of the body, and L-glutamine is one of 20 such amino acids. It can be found in various foods and can also be taken in the form of a dietary supplement. L-glutamine supplements are often used by bodybuilders and athletes to help increase their muscle mass. Others use it to treat some types of health conditions.

L-glutamine has several important functions inside the body, like the synthesis of protein. It is also critically important to immune system function and helps promote proper digestion and brain function. L-glutamine also supplies glutamic acid to the brain, which it uses as fuel. It also is helpful in providing the needed nitrogen for the proper functioning of immune system cells.

L-glutamine Deficiency

According to Dr. Julia Ross, most of us are deficient in certain brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These chemicals help regulate our moods and behaviors and L-glutamine helps our bodies produce them. When we are lacking in them, we tend to crave sugary foods to give us a temporary mood boost and energy rush. Of course, that boost leads to a crash later, which makes us crave even more sugars.

L-glutamine has also been found to become depleted under conditions of stress. If you have been experiencing stress at work, home, or at school, your levels of L-glutamine may be depleted, which can leave you more vulnerable to illness.

Even if you are not experiencing stress, exercising vigorously can also deplete body levels of L-glutamine. Studies show the muscles become depleted after intense exercise.

Importance of Supplementation

L-glutamine is found in varying amounts in our diets, but the only way to be sure that you are getting enough is through supplementation. Adding this vital amino acid to your diet in the form of a supplement should help lower your cravings for sugar. If you are able to alter your cravings for sugar, you will find it much easier to control your mood and lose weight. If you are already at or near your ideal weight, supplementation with L-glutamine can help you maintain a healthy weight.

Sugar Addiction

The excessive consumption of sugar can effectively become an addiction because of the way that our bodies and brains respond to it. Similar to drugs of abuse like nicotine and cocaine, sugar can give reward signals to the brain that can overcome one’s feelings of self control, leading to a type of addiction.

A 2007 study conducted in France found that when rats were give a choice between sugared water and cocaine, 94 percent chose the sugared water. When they were offered increased dosages of cocaine, it made no change in their preference for the sugared water. In short, sweetness was preferred by the brain over the highly addictive drug cocaine.

Studies like these highlight the dangers of excessive sugar consumption and the need for a safe, natural means of reducing sugar cravings.

Forms of Supplementation

L-glutamine comes in several different forms, which gives you several options in how you would like to take it. It is available as a powder, capsule, tablet, or in a liquid form. Many people take their L-glutamine in a form of a tablet mixed with water, juice, or their favorite beverage. Others prefer to just take a capsule or tablet with a beverage.

Supplementing with L-glutamine can be the missing ingredient in your sugar reduction plan. This safe and effective method of eliminating sugar cravings is helping a growing number of people manage their weight and reduce the likelihood of developing diseases like diabetes.