Monday, March 14, 2011

Arginine + Glycine a Synergistic Duo for Gut Health

Lately, "gut health" has become a topic of interest way beyond colonics and irritable bowel syndrome. Scientists begin to understand more and more how important an intact intestinal system is for nutrient absorption, infection defense and general health. The results of a very recent study published in the Journal of Colerectal Disease (Picano. 2011) are thus relevant for all of us.

In an experiment with rats Picano et al. found that a combination therapy of l-arginine and glycine inhibited irradiation induced damage to the colon walls of the animals:
Stereologic analysis showed that irradiation induced a reduction of the total volume of the colon wall of group II and III animals compared to healthy controls, but not of group IV animals supplemented with glycine. The mucosal layer of the irradiated animals of all groups was reduced compared to healthy group I animals, but supplementation with L-arginine and glycine was effective in maintaining the epithelial surface of the mucosal layer.
Although I hope none of you is treated (or otherwise exposed) to similar doses of ionizing radiation, it certainly won't hurt your gut health to have an eye on your dietary intake of these two amino acids, in order to maintain optimal gut health.