Background: We sought to investigate the effect of IV alanyl-glutamine supplementation on plasma glutathione levels in severely traumatized patients receiving enteral nutrition.
Methods: Forty adult patients with severe trauma according to the Injury Severity Score >20 were enrolled in this randomized, controlled study. The patients were assigned to two groups: Group G received 0.5 g x kg(-1) x d(-1) of alanyl-glutamine dipeptide supplementation IV, and Group C received a control solution without alanyl-glutamine for 7 days. Blood samples were taken for analysis of glutathione before the initiation of supplementation and on the 3rd, 7th, and 10th days of feeding.
Results: Total plasma glutathione levels significantly increased in Group G when compared with Group C on Days 7 and 10 (1.34 +/- 0.20 microM vs 1.13 +/- 0.14 microM, and 1.38 +/- 0.19 microM vs 1.12 +/- 0.16 microM) (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that IV alanyl-glutamine supplementation for 7 days increases total plasma glutathione levels in critically ill trauma patients receiving standard enteral nutrition.