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Glutamine supplementation favors weight loss in nondieting obese female patients. A pilot study

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Abstract

Glutamine supplementation improves insulin sensitivity in critically ill patients, and prevents obesity in animals fed a high-fat diet. We hypothesized that glutamine supplementation favors weight loss in humans. Obese and overweight female patients (n=6) were enrolled in a pilot, cross-over study. After recording anthropometric (that is, body weight, waist circumference) and metabolic (that is, glycemia, insulinemia, homeostatic model of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR)) characteristics, patients were randomly assigned to 4-week supplementation with glutamine or isonitrogenous protein supplement (0.5 g/KgBW/day). During supplementation, patients did not change their dietary habits nor lifestyle. At the end, anthropometric and metabolic features were assessed, and after 2 weeks of washout, patients were switched to the other supplement for 4 weeks. Body weight and waist circumference significantly declined only after glutamine supplementation (85.0±10.4 Kg vs 82.2±10.1 Kg, and 102.7±2.0 cm vs 98.9±2.9 cm, respectively; P=0.01). Insulinemia and HOMA-IR declined by 20% after glutamine, but not significantly so. This pilot study shows that glutamine is safe and effective in favoring weight loss and possibly enhancing glucose metabolism.

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Products were generously provided by Nutricia, which was not involved in the design of the study, nor in the analysis of the results.

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Correspondence to A Laviano.

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Dr Rossi Fanelli has received research funds and compensation for consultation from Fresenius Kabi. Dr Laviano has received compensation for consultation from Abbott, Baxter, Danone Research, Fresenius Kabi. The remaining authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Laviano, A., Molfino, A., Lacaria, M. et al. Glutamine supplementation favors weight loss in nondieting obese female patients. A pilot study. Eur J Clin Nutr 68, 1264–1266 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2014.184

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