After writing about the connection of glutamine to both leaky gut and autism, I decided to experiment upon myself and start taking glutamine supplements. I have been taking them since shortly after I posted that article, and when I was taking them more regularly, I must say that psychologically I did feel a bit different. By definition I could not tell you what feeling neurotypical feels like, so I can’t say I feel that way, but I did feel a bit calmer, more relaxed.
Now, as for the gut issues, after testing the effects of the glutamine one week:
Wednesday I had one cinnamon roll. No gut problems. Thursday, I tried two cinnamon rolls. Again, no gut problems. When I told my wife, she suggested we go eat at CiCi’s Pizza.
Now, the last time I had eaten at CiCi’s, I had a horrendous reaction. I had gut problems for three days. Acid reflux, the whole works. It was one of the worst reactions I’d ever had against gluten. But after taking glutamine for two weeks, I did not have near the reaction. I felt uncomfortable, with a little gas, but it was not a full-blown allergic reaction.
What glutamine does is reduce the diameter of the pores in the small intestines. Leaky gut occurs when the pores in the intestines open up too wide, allowing things like whole proteins through. This can trigger an allergic reaction. But glutamine causes the pores to tighten up. Food then has to be broken down more before it can cross over into the bloodstream. Gluten broken down into its constituent amino acids is no different from any other protein, so if you can prevent it from crossing over as a whole protein, you can eliminate the immunological response to it.
I have continued taking glutamine, for several years now. I mostly try to avoid eating anything with gluten in it, of course, but because I can now take a few gluten tablets before I know I’ll eat wheat, it’s nice to know I don’t have to continue obsessively avoiding it as I once had to do.