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L-Glutamine: use and dosage

ArchTB's picture
ArchTB
Posts: 157
Joined: Dec 2010

I've read about people taking L-Glutamine during chemo, radiation, pre- and post-surgery period, and was trying to discuss it with Tom's medical team at MSKCC. I was surprised that none of the doctors seem to be very enthusiastic about it even though the supplement clearly showed benefits and had no adverse reactions and interaction with other drugs (even according to MSKCC's own Integrative Medicine page information).

Finally, a doctor friend of mine told me that MSKCC is very cautious about prescribing or even recommending anything that is not officially FDA approved for treatment. Although there were numerous studies proving benefits of the supplement, it does not have the official FDA approval yet and therefore cannot be prescribed or recommended.

So, yesterday I asked the doctors straight if this was the situation and how i can go about it. The response was that we can "try the supplement if we want to"! But of course we were not given any guidance on the dosage, which is apparently a problem, because I found very diverse recommendations: from 500 mg a day to 20 g.

Has anyone taken L-Glutamine? What are your opinions about it? What was the dosage? I would assume that it should be based on weight. What were your calculations?

Thanks!
Olya

p.s. Sorry I have not been responding to posts lately, been busy with million things. But I do read everything. I am happy for Linda and Jim, and for Paul on their FREE status! Keep your chins up! Good luck to Brendon on his treatment. And of course to everyone going through this.

ArchTB's picture
ArchTB
Posts: 157
Joined: Dec 2010

Sherri, it is very helpful. Thank you for staying on the board and continuing to share your knowledge. I hope you and your family are doing well.
Olya

kcinpdx
Posts: 13
Joined: Feb 2011

My Oncologist from the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute recommended taking L-Glutamine with my vitamins starting two weeks after completing chemo/radiation treatment to aid rebuilding my immune system, rebuilding the damage to the mucosal lining of my esophagus and stomach, and rebuilding muscle tissue, and is also said to promote faster wound healing. Glutamine is an amino acid that is naturally produced in muscle, lung and brain tissue, but can be severely depressed during times of great physical stress, such as injury, radiation, chemo, surgery, burns, etc. I found it to have had a very positive effect in my recovery, especially to my gastrointestinal tract that recovered remarkable well after radiation treatment according to my last endoscopy. I purchased it from a reputable health food store in 1000 mg (10 gram) tablet form, and dissolve one a day in water and drink it. I have had absolutely no side effects.

ArchTB's picture
ArchTB
Posts: 157
Joined: Dec 2010

In the end we got cold feet and decided not to go with it. I've spent so much time researching Glutamine that ended up finding more concerns than recommendations.

Yes, it is true that it is extremely helpful in healing after surgery, boosting the immune system, and helping with nutrition. But it is also one of the two main dishes for cancer cells. Also the effects of taking l-glutamine on cancer re-occurrence are still being investigated, we chickened out especially now that Tom is done with chemo and radiation.

I am by no means authorized to give any medical advices or make conclusions, but it would seem logical to me that glutamine might be a helpful supplement during chemo treatment if the toxin is targeted at rapidly-dividing cells. If glutamine feeds cancer cells, the effects of the chemo would be much more targeted.

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