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Glutamine Intolerance


Dr. Kasia Kines, Nutritionist, CEO and founder of EBV Educational Institute
Seattle offices at 6016 NE Bothell Way, Suite G, Kenmore, WA 98028
Virtual clinic serving the US and globally

In this video, I describe an unusual situation that may happen when you use l-glutamine for your gastrointestinal needs, e.g. for leaky gut recovery- when you actually become reactive to this otherwise very safe amino acid. Why would that be? It is highly unusual, but it has happened enough times in my practice to look into it, which I did for you here! The video goes into the details of it for you and tells you what to do with it. The solutions are remarkably simple.

When working with complicated gastro-intestinal patients, I use glutamine as an essential part of the protocol for the recovery of the gastrointestinal tract, and for good reasons. L-glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body, readily available. It is the main source of nutrients for enterocytes, the cells lining your intestines, and your body can make it. But we also call it conditionally-essential because in certain situations such as trauma or burns glutamine levels drop severely, the body cannot make enough, and in extreme cases that can even lead to death.

Clinicians generally use as much 25g l-glutamine a day if needed, and I present you with research behind the safety levels. Interestingly, glutamine is needed not only for the gut, but also for the muscles, the lungs and even your brain!!!! So the needs are quite high. If all nutrients are in place, glutamine helps form GABA, the neurotransmitter of calm and happiness. When GABA is deficient, you experience anxiety fear, brain fog, insomnia, so of course you want a steady level of GABA.

Enjoy the video to get a walk through this fascinating topic!

Dr. Kasia Kines, Nutritionist, CEO and founder of EBV Educational Institute
Seattle offices at 6016 NE Bothell Way, Suite G, Kenmore, WA 98028
Virtual clinic serving the US and globally


  1. Posted on January 28, 2017 at 12:34 PM by Candice

    I have been looking for the answer to this for months! I think it is one of my key issues. I do not tolerate more than 2.5g of l glutamine and I am wondering if I could tolerate collagen powder or bone broth. I hate to use trial and error. Should I avoid bone broth and collagen powder for now?

  2. Kasia Kines

    Posted on January 28, 2017 at 2:35 PM by Kasia Kines

    I would do testing first, for GAD, for magnesium level, for B6 level, etc., so that the body can use glutamine from whatever sources. Try collagen or even better gelatin and see how you do. 🙂

  3. Kasia Kines

    Posted on January 10, 2018 at 6:46 PM by Kasia Kines

    Glutamine is used for enterocytes (cells of your gut lining), your skeletal muscles, your lungs and then your brain. In the brain, glutamine converts into glutamate and if you have enough B6 and Mg, it makes your GABA, and that is your neurotransmitter of happiness and relaxation. More is not better. it is conditionally essential, so normally your body makes enough for you from other components. Take a look at the answers I just posted above, i hope they will help.

  4. Posted on November 3, 2017 at 5:27 PM by Heather

    My reaction to only 500mg is extreme joint pain. Is this a herxing reaction of some sort?

  5. Kasia Kines

    Posted on January 10, 2018 at 6:43 PM by Kasia Kines

    As I mentioned above, glutamine is complicated: it requires Magnesium (commonly lacking in American diet) and Vitamin B6 (which depends on the integrity of the stomach for absorption and is depleted in stress). Glutamine is not a long term supplement. There may be various reasons for your reactions: contamination/low quality of the product, overuse/used too long or too high of a dose, or perhaps you do not have need for the extra you are providing. Remember that glutamine is a conditionally essential nutrient. That means that in normal circumstances, your body makes enough of it from foods you eat. In trauma, survey, injury, gut injury, severe athletic endeavor (marathon) your glutamine needs are not met and then you need to supplement. I do not know the background of your story, so i cannot make more comments here, but i hope it is helpful.

  6. Posted on January 10, 2018 at 4:13 PM by Fran

    Hi, I have a leaky gut, and I’m doing the autoimmune protocol, and every time I take glutamine, I feel worse. I’m relieved to know that someone knows about this topic. I will choose to take natural gelatin (grenetina) and bone broth. Do you agree or do I need something else? Thanks.

  7. Kasia Kines

    Posted on January 10, 2018 at 6:39 PM by Kasia Kines

    Glutamine should be used once any pathogenic infection is cleared. If you watch that video, the key point is that you may not have enough B6 and magnesium to run the glutamine into GABA. Also, glutamine is not a long term supplement. I only use it with patients for 2 months max. Or shorter.

  8. Posted on January 12, 2018 at 6:12 AM by Fran

    Thank you very much for answering fast. I am Spanish and my English is not so good, so in the video I didn´t understand it very well. I was just to tell you that thanks to your information, I am thinking of eating spirulina, since this seaweed has B6 in addition to other nutrients. As I have read in other comments, I may not need to take glutamine, however I will check it after being eating this seaweed for several days. Thank you very much again.

  9. Kasia Kines

    Posted on January 28, 2018 at 3:59 PM by Kasia Kines

    Good luck. Yes, the presentation is a little technical, i am afraid. Glutamine should not be taken indefinitely. It as its purpose for specific support!


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