Is there a link between L-glutamine and depression?  Definitely!  It certainly appears that L-glutamine is a vital amino acid that increases positive outlook and relieves depression.  

L-glutamine is one of the major energy sources for the brain and without enough L-glutamine the brain relies on glucose for fuel which is why we crave sugar when we are stressed or sad.  Without enough fuel to function, the brain slumps and the result is a decrease in mental function, a sense of ‘the blues’ and a fundamental lack of motivation.

L-glutamine provides a healthy fuel for the whole body, not just the brain. Too much glucose can cause obesity, diabetes and many other diseases including cancers. Illness contributes to depression as well and it is important to keep the body healthy in order for the mind to be happy.  L-glutamine is a better fuel in this respect then glucose.

Connection between L-glutamine and depression may be in glucose balance

L-glutamine also helps relieve depression by being a more sustained, long burning fuel then glucose.  Glucose gives a large surge of energy that is inevitably followed by a crash that leaves the body craving more sugar and feeling depressed.  The result of this is addictive behaviour, a constant need to increase the amount of sugar ingested and that results in more feelings of depression.

Stress is also a frequent culprit for causes of depression.  Constant stress causes wear and tear on the whole body as a system, including the brain.  Stress also releases many hormones that result in feelings of unhappiness that can lead to long term depression. In order to heal from stress, the body needs to heal the damage done to its proteins and all of these damaged proteins can be synthesized from L-glutamine.  By taking L-glutamine to heal the damage caused by stress you can also prevent or help to recover from depression.

L-glutamine is a precursor to GABA – another relaxing amino acid

L-glutamine also enhances nervous system functions and is a precursor to the amino acid GABA.  GABA is an anxiety quelling amino acid and increased levels of GABA can help to prevent the stress from too much worry.  Worry can quickly lead to feelings of helplessness and depression.  L-glutamine helps by giving your body the building blocks to replenish its supply of GABA and gives the sense of competency to deal with anxiety and depression.

L-glutamine can be found in many high protein foods such as chicken, fish, beef, beans, dairy products, cabbage and beets. It can also be very useful to use a supplement to be sure to get all the L-glutamine you need to recover or prevent depression.

The author of this story, Michelle Carraway, is a freelance contributor to National Nutraceuticals’ online news portals, which include Medicinal Mushroom Information Center, Amino Acid Information Center, Vancouver Health News and Today’s Word of Wisdom.  The opinions are the writer’s own and the owner and publisher of the site assume no responsibility for the accuracy of the content. Our articles are for informational, educational and entertainment purposes only. Please do your own due diligence, verify any health claims by doing additional research and consult your doctor before starting any supplementation program or making any lifestyle changes, including changes to your medication and supplementation.

Sources:

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23031251

http://www.livestrong.com/article/477074-glutamine-depression/

http://www.sundancevideoonline.com/glutamine.html

http://www.practicalpainmanagement.com/treatments/nutraceutical/precursor-amino-acid-therapy