A study investigated the protective effects of L-glutamine in coronary bypass surgery, with positive results. 

Ischemic heart disease, often known also as myocardial ischemia, is characterized by reduced blood supply to the heart muscle. The heart becomes weaker, unable to pump blood effectively round the body. This is usually caused by coronary artery disease, or atherosclerosis, which is hardening of the arteries.

Ischemic heart disease is the most common cause of death worldwide. However, it can often be prevented. Risk factors include obesity, smoking, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, which can all be addressed with lifestyle changes.

However, the risks of developing heart disease also depend on age, genetic factors, and diabetes.

Coronary artery bypass surgery  is one of the treatments for ischemic heart disease. A Cardiopulmonary bypass  is often a part of this heart surgery. The cardiopulmonary bypass is a technique which temporarily takes over the functioning of the heart, because it’s extremely difficult to operate on a beating heart.

Researchers W Lomivorotov, S Efremov, et al, wanted to see if the amino acid L-glutamine had cardioprotective effects during a cardiopulmonary bypass. They published their findings in the Russian journal Anesteziologiia i Reanimatologiia, or Anesthesiology and Intensive Care.

L-glutamine to be part of perioperative care for heart surgery?

Patients were divided into the study group and the control group. The study group was administered L-glutamine, specifically a 20% solution N(2)-L-alanine-L-glutamine. The control group received a placebo solution.

The solutions were given during the perioperative period, which is the entire surgical procedure including admission, anesthesia, surgery, and recovery. The goal of perioperative care is to provide better conditions for patients before, during, and after their surgery.

In this study, the L-glutamine solution provided an excellent perioperative addition for patients with ischemic heart disease up to 24 hours after surgery. The L-glutamine solution had a significant cardioprotecive effect, and could become a standard part of treatment for these ischemic heart disease patients if they need to have heart surgery.