The role of glutamine and α-ketoglutarate in gut metabolism and the potential application in medicine and nutrition
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Department of Endoscopy & Department of Internal and Occupational Diseases, Institute of Agricultural Medicine, Lublin, Poland
Department of Cell and Organism Biology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
J Pre Clin Clin Res. 2007;1(1):9-15
An amino acid, Glutamine (Gln), is abundant in both the human body and diet. Gln and its derivatives are important factors affecting intestinal function, growth and development as a main source for energy and structure component. The importance to metabolism is evident during stress. During the past 2 decades, an increased understanding has been gained into its role in metabolism. Gln is currently classified as a conditionally essential amino acid; however, it is unstable in water solution and produces toxic byproducts on decomposition, which has led to the commercialization of its precursor - AKG. Apart from its nutritive role, Gln and AKG possess certain pharmacologic and/or immunologic effects. The article presents the role of Gln and AKG in gut metabolism and, on the basis of clinical trials and animal experiments, discusses their potential usefulness in medicine and nutrition.
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