Thursday, July 17, 2014

Surprisingly Pronounced Benefits From Glutamine in Type II Diabetics - 3x30g/day Markedly Improve Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Body Composition in Only 6 Weeks

Can glutamine keep the T2D-related weight gain in check? Yes it can!
Like so many supplements, glutamine has once been all the rage and on everybody's "Must Have Supplement List" and now... well, the latest evidence from controlled human trials with athletes appears to confirm what most people believe: It's useless. Useless, unless you have increased glutamine requirements your regular diet cannot cover; and exactly this is what probably made the difference in a recent study from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences in the course of which sixty-six type 2 diabetic subjects who were 18-65 years old, were randomized to receive glutamine (30g/d) or placebo three times a day, in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial during 6-week treatment period.
I suppose 3x30g whole protein would have worked even better SuppVersity

Are You Protein Wheysting?

Cod protein for recovery

Protein requ. of athletes

High EAA protein for fat loss

Fast vs. slow protein

5x More Than FDA Allows
Now that's plenty of glutamine, you're right and in fact, aside from an increased baseline requirement, the mere amount of glutamine (other studies use 10-30g once, not thrice per day) is an alterative explanation for the indisputably surprising effects the provision of this conditionally essential amino acids had on the overweight, but not obese subjects.
Figure 1: Rel. changes in body composition in response to 6 weeks on 3x30g/day glutamine (Mansour. 2014)
If you take a look at the data in Figure 1 you will see that significant difference were observed for body fat mass (P=0.01), percentage of body fat (P=0.008), and the waist circumference (not shown; P<0.001) between the groups. Unfortunately, this does not mean that the subjects in the glutamine group lost weight. What it does mean, though, is that the provision of plenty of extra glutamine stopped the continuous fat gain and muscle loss that's so characteristic of type II diabetes. Moreover, the "enhancement in body fat free mass was mainly attributed to [the] trunk (P= 0.03)". In other words, the fat loss occurred right, where you want to have it if you are suffering from metabolic syndrome and intend no to end up under the ground before your time.

As it was to be expected, the reduction in trunk fat went hand in hand with a downward trend in systolic, but not diastolic blood pressure (P= 0.005), fasting blood glucose (mmol/L) concentration (P=0.04) and mean HbA1c was significantly different between the groups at week 6 (P=0.04).
The benefits were not brought about a reduction in energy intake!
Bottom line: In view of the fact that the subjects were as lazy as before and against the background that both, the glutamine and the placebo group (voluntarily) consumed less food than they were used to over the course of the six-week study period, the results Mansour et al. present in their soon-to-be-published paper in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nutrition are more intriguing that the absence of actual weight loss may suggest. So intriguing, in fact that you got to ask yourselves why it's always the Iranians that discover / confirm those powerful effects of non-prescription, non-patentable agents like glutamine...  well, I guess, I'll leave it up to you to come up with a political correct answer to this question ;-)

What I can tell you right away, though, is that I am convinced that 3x30g of whey protein would have yielded even more intriguing results - and if you asked me: If you follow the 30g+ of protein per meal advice I have repeatedly given here at the SuppVersity you are almost certainly not going to be as glutamine deficient as the subjects in the study at hand.
Reference:
  • Mansour, Asieh, et al. "Effect of glutamine supplementation on cardiovascular risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes." Nutrition (2014).