Effects of glutamine on glycemic control during and after exercise in adolescents with type 1 diabetes: a pilot study

Diabetes Care. 2010 Sep;33(9):1951-3. doi: 10.2337/dc10-0275. Epub 2010 Jun 28.


Objective: To investigate if oral glutamine ameliorates exercise and postexercise nighttime hypoglycemia in type 1 diabetic adolescents.

Research design and methods: Ten adolescents (15.2 +/- 1.4 years [SD], A1C 6.9 +/- 0.9%) on insulin pumps were studied. The subjects were randomized to receive a glutamine or placebo drink pre-exercise and at bedtime (0.25 g/kg/dose). A 3:00 p.m. exercise session consisted of four 15-min treadmill/5-min rest cycles. Pre-exercise blood glucose was 140-150 mg/dl and was monitored throughout the night. Studies were randomized crossover over 3 weeks.

Results: Blood glucose levels dropped comparably (52%) during exercise on both days. However, the overnight number of hypoglycemic events was higher on glutamine than placebo (<or=70 mg/dl, P = 0.03 and <or=60, P = 0.05). The cumulative probability of nighttime hypoglycemia was increased on glutamine days (80%) versus placebo days (50%) (P = 0.02).

Conclusions: Glutamine increased the cumulative probability of postexercise overnight hypoglycemia compared with placebo in adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Whether glutamine may enhance insulin sensitivity postexercise requires further study in type 1 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Glutamine / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Time Factors


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glutamine