Glutamine is an amino acid that can be absorbed from food sources and synthesized and stored mainly in the muscle and in the lungs. Glutamine is used to treat weakness and loss of muscle mass caused by cancer treatment. It also treats neuropathy (numbness or tingling hands and feet) caused by chemotherapy, nausea (feeling like you’re going to throw up), vomiting (throwing up), and diarrhea (loose, watery bowel movements) due to cancer treatments.
Intravenous glutamine also significantly reduces chemotherapy-induced nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in patients with gastric or colorectal cancer. Enteral nutrition that includes arginine , glutamine, and omega-3 fatty acids may improve short-term survival in stage IV gastric cancer patients. It was reported effective against morbidity due to radiation in breast cancer patients. Conclusions from a meta-analysis indicate that glutamine reduces duration but not severity of diarrhea.
Additional studies showed its effectiveness in reducing the incidence and severity of chemo-radiotherapy-induced oral mucositis and dysphagia in patients with oropharynx and larynx carcinoma; for delaying onset of esophagitis in non-small cell lung cancer patients; and a supplement containing HMB, L-arginine and glutamine was found to be effective in preventing sorafenib-associated hand-foot skin reaction in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma.
However, a meta-analysis reported lack of strong evidence of effectiveness for prevention and/or treatment of oral mucositis in cancer patients. The alleged uses are Cancer-related cachexia. Chemo and radiotherapy-associated mucositis. Chemo-induced neuropathy. Chemo-induced gastrointestinal toxicity.
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