Glutamine is an amino acid that has been shown to be beneficial to dogs. It can help support a healthy immune system and reduce stress on gastrointestinal and skin tissues, which can make it helpful during times of fasting or illness. Glutamine supplements are available in pill form, powder form, or as a liquid supplement. The dosage of glutamine supplements depends on your dog's weight and the specific type you choose.
In this article, we'll take a look at what glutamine is, how it works in your dog's body, and its benefits.
What is Glutamine?
There are two forms of glutamine: L-glutamine and D-glutamine. The one we are focusing on is L-glutamine because it's used in nearly all of your dog's biological processes. Unlike L-glutamine, D-glutamine is not utilized by the body.
L-glutamine is a naturally occurring amino acid that helps support the immune system, digestion, and muscle recovery. This supplement can also help with skin and connective tissue health. Glutamine supplements have been shown to help dogs who are stressed out or sick, as well as those who are going through chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Glutamine is also a building block for the neurotransmitter GABA, which slows down the activity of neurons so they can communicate with each other more effectively.
What does L-glutamine do?
A few of L-glutamine’s functions include:
- Helps the intestinal lining (gut) absorb nutrients from food
- Supports immune function
- Promotes muscle growth and repair
- Helps increase energy levels and decrease fatigue
- Supports the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the body's tissues and organs
As a non-essential amino acid, glutamine does not have to be consumed through the diet; it can be made by the body from other amino acids. However, because glutamine is so important for so many processes in the body, it is recommended to be supplemented on a regular basis.
Replenishing the supply is critical to your dog’s health, especially if it’s continuously low.
When Should You Supplement L-Glutamine for Dogs?
Holistic veterinarians often recommend glutamine for bowel problems like IBD, leaky gut in dogs, and parvo. These conditions cause inflammation of the bowel walls and may result in diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss. Although these conditions are not life-threatening, they can make your dog very uncomfortable until they resolve on their own or with treatment from your veterinarian.
Dogs that are athletic also tend to have depleted glutamine levels and may need supplementation. In fact, glutamine is especially important for athletic dogs, because they often suffer from muscle breakdown when they train or compete.
Glutamine supplementation helps keep muscles strong and healthy by helping to prevent muscle loss and aiding in tissue repair. Since glutamine reduces inflammation, it may also help prevent or reduce soreness following exercise.
Glutamine has also been recommended for dogs with food allergies. This is based on the thought that food allergies may be caused by a leaky gut. When a dog experiences leaky gut syndrome, proteins may penetrate the wall of the intestines and enter the bloodstream, causing the allergic reaction to occur. Since glutamine may reduce leaky gut syndrome, it could be an appropriate option for dogs with allergies related to food and digestion.
Glutamine for Dogs with Cancer
Glutamine has been shown to support the immune system while simultaneously increasing the ability of chemotherapy drugs to do their job. Essentially, it may make chemotherapy drugs more effective for dogs with cancer. It's been shown to be particularly effective for cancers affecting the liver and intestines.
Glutamine may also help counteract some of the adverse effects associated with chemotherapy drugs, like muscle loss, nausea, and diarrhea. And, it could help reduce the risk of neuropathy-- weakness and pain due to nerve damage that cancer and cancer drugs may cause.
According to the scientific journal, Nutrients, “Evidence supports the benefit of oral (enteral) glutamine to reduce symptoms and improve and/or maintain quality of life of cancer patients. Benefits include not only better nutrition, but also decreased mucosal damage (mucositis, stomatitis, pharyngitis, esophagitis, and enteritis).”
Basically, what the scientific journal is saying is that providing glutamine may improve the quality of life in cancer patients. And, could improve their nutritional state as well as decrease the damaging effects associated with cancer or cancer treatment.
Glutamine in Daily Dog
The reason L-glutamine is in the Daily Dog supplement is to help keep the lining of the digestive tract healthy. Daily Dog contains 312.5 mg of l-glutamine along with other essential ingredients to keep your dog happy and healthy.
Photo by Gabe: https://www.pexels.com/photo/dog-running-with-ball-15175721/