Glutamine supplementation in cystic fibrosis: A randomized placebo-controlled trial

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2016 Mar;51(3):253-7. doi: 10.1002/ppul.23370. Epub 2015 Dec 27.


Rationale: Pulmonary infection and malnutrition in cystic fibrosis are associated with decreased survival. Glutamine has a possible anti-microbial effect, with a specific impact against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We aimed to test the hypothesis that oral glutamine supplementation (21 g/day) for 8 weeks in adults with cystic fibrosis would decrease pulmonary inflammation and improve clinical status.

Methods: The study design was a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study design with an iso-nitrogenous placebo. The primary analysis was intention to treat, and the primary outcome was change in induced sputum neutrophils.

Results: Thirty-nine individuals were recruited and thirty-six completed the study. Glutamine supplementation had no impact on any of the outcome measures in the intention-to-treat analysis. In the per protocol analysis, glutamine supplementation was associated with an increase in induced sputum neutrophils (P = 0.046), total cells (P = 0.03), and in Pseudomonas isolation agar colony forming units (P = 0.04) compared to placebo.

Conclusions: There was no effect of glutamine supplementation on markers of pulmonary inflammation in the intention-to-treat analysis.

Keywords: cystic fibrosis; glutamine; infection; nutrition.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Glutamine / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pseudomonas Infections / drug therapy*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / isolation & purification
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / complications
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Glutamine