The majority of glutamine is produced within the human body. It is one of the nonessential amino acids that is produced within the body's blood and stored within the muscles. When the body experiences a significant injury or illness, it repairs muscles and aids in the production of immune cells.
When the amino acid is produced in nature, either by animals or in vegetables, it is referred to as L-glutamine. This amino acid can be found in beef, chicken, eggs, fish, milk and other dairy products, such as yogurt. It is also found in nature. Raw cabbage, beets, parsley, beans and spinach contain L-glutamine, as do some vegetable juices that contain these ingredients. Wheat, and products made from wheat, such as bread, also contain L-glutamine. Most individuals who eat a healthy diet ingest approximately 3 to 6 grams of glutamine a day.
As a supplement, glutamine is used to treat numerous conditions and enhance the body's function. It has been used to treat various forms of cancer, physical injuries and burns. It is also used by bodybuilders, weight lifters and runners, because it can enhance one's physical abilities. Glutamine supplements should not be taken by people who have kidney or liver problems, or by women who are pregnant or breast feeding. According to Travis Van Slooten, editor of "Men's Total Fitness," many body builders take up to 40 grams of glutamine a day, while normal people who are not physically training for an athletic event typically ingest between 2 to 15 grams of glutamine a day.