Research shows glutamine protects the lining of the stomach from damage caused by Helicobacter pylori infection.

Around 20 years ago, researchers discovered that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori is the main cause of stomach ulcers. It can also cause stomach cancer. Infection with this bug is common; it is thought to affect six percent of the world’s population. If you’ve been diagnosed with H pylori infection, your doctor will usually give you a combination of 3 drugs: 2 antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor (to reduce stomach acid). The problem is, the bacteria is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics. Also, treatment is often initially effective but the bacteria soon returns.

Glutamine is an amino acid (building block of protein). It is found in all protein-rich foods and it can be taken in supplement form. It is something I have been recommending to my patients with stomach ulcers or inflamed intestines for many years. It is good to see research like this confirming its benefits.

Regarding H pylori infection, the chief researcher of the study has said “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, years of infection cause persistent gastritis, cell damage and a stomach lining highly susceptible to cancer development.

It is important to eradicate the infection, but the use of glutamine is highly effective because it reduces inflammation and tissue damage to the gastric mucosa. Glutamine provides wonderful symptom relief for anyone with an irritated stomach or intestines. It also helps to heal leaky gut, therefore is wonderful for anyone with autoimmune disease.