Saturday, June 6, 2009

Glutamine for stomach ulcer ?

We know that Glutamine is the most abundant naturally occurring, non essential amino acid in the human body and one of the few amino acids which directly crosses the blood brain barrier. In the body it is found circulating in the blood as well as stored in the skeletal muscles. It becomes conditionally essential (requiring intake from food or supplements) in states of illness or injury.

Dietary sources of L-glutamine include beef, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, dairy products, wheat, cabbage, beets, beans, spinach, and parsley. Small amounts of free L-glutamine are also found in vegetable juices and fermented foods, such as miso.

In one of my earlier blog, I did mention that broccoli, has been found useful against the H. pylori infection, now its the turn of Glutamine-that has been found useful against the infection. Dr. Susan Hagen, Associate Director of Research in the Department of Surgery at BIDMC and Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and group has found that extra glutamine in the diet could protect against gastric damage caused by H. pylori.

Gastric damage develops when the bacteria weakens the stomach's protective mucous coating, damages cells and elicits a robust immune response that is ineffective at ridding the infection. Eventually, she notes, years of infection result in a combination of persistent gastritis, cell damage and an environment conducive to cancer development. Dr. Hagen and her co-authors had previously shown that glutamine protects against cell death from H. pylori-produced ammonia. And further studies revealed that, the damaging effects of ammonia on gastric cells could be reversed completely by the administration of L-glutamine," explains Hagen. "The amino acid stimulated ammonia detoxification in the stomach - as it does in the liver - so that the effective concentration of ammonia was reduced, thereby blocking cell damage', which encouraged the group to hypothesize that a similar mechanism might be at work in the intact stomach infected with H. pylori.

The results are encouraging and are of great importance, because of the fact that the animals exhibited increased expression of three cytokines - interleukin 4, interleukin 10 and transforming growth factor-alpha mRNA. According to the authors these all play an important role in the stomach's ability to protect against damaging effects resulting from other responses to H. pylori infection. And more interestingly-glutamine supplementation may be an alternative therapy for reducing the severity of infection. Thus ptoviding a relief to the patients suffering from H.Pylori. H. pylori bacteria infect more than half of the world's population and were recently identified as a Group 1 carcinogen by the WHO. Hope this inexpensive, easy-to-use treatment could be used to modify the damaging effects of H. pylori infection inthe near future.
Congrats Dr. Susuan and group. ....

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