Glutamine is an important nitrogen donor in intracellular metabolism and is used in the body for repair of skin, hair,
gastrointestinal tissue, muscles, hormones and much more.
Like all nutritional deficiencies, when a body is low in adequate amounts of glutamine or catabolic state, the physiological demands
are increased to distribute reserves to tissue in need of glutamine.
In conditions of cancer, often many vitamins, minerals and overall nutrition are deficient. It could be argued that this is due
to lack of appetite in times of cancer or tumors consuming more to feed growth, but the foundation still remains that the body is
Is Glutamine Safe to Take in Cancer?
When attempting to research information on the internet around herbal medicine, nutrition and particularly glutamine, we may find
repeated pages telling us that "glutamine feeds cancer and should not be taken."
But is this true?
According to a paper by Anderson and Lalla (2020) both people with
and without cancer tumors have high plasma levels of glutamine. Furthermore glutamine, as stated previously, is essential for most
tissue repair and optimal function.
For this reason it is better to focus on holistic health and avoid theoretical risk. The beneficial effects of glutamine in the repair
of damaged tissue and increased demands of the cancerous body are more imporant in the best recovery from disease.
Conventional Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy Effects
Patients undergoing conventional cancer treatment experience many side effects such as-
- hair loss due to damage of the follicle
- Skin damage/sores to damage of the epithelium cells
- Gastrointestinal tract irritation - eg mouth sores, stomach discomfort, oesophagus burning, etc
- Bone marrow pressure - white blood cell production
- Cardiovascular inflammation
How Can Glutamine Help in Cancer Treatment?
Human clinical trials of glutamine use in cancer treatment have shown the following positive effects-
- Reduces mucosal inflammation in Radiotherapy
- reduces stress response and cortisol response
- reduces inflammation in chemotherapy
- promotes immune recovery after chemotherapy
- Reduces peripheral neuropathy
- Prevents inflammation in the oesophagus
- Prevents Radiotherapy-induced dermatitis
- Reduces intestinal gut permeability in Chemotherapy
- Reduces diarrhoea in radiotherapy
- Reduces oedema in chemotherapy
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cancer therapy. Nutrients. MDPI AG. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061675
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