Is the glutamine story over?

Crit Care. 2016 Nov 10;20(1):361. doi: 10.1186/s13054-016-1531-y.


Glutamine has been launched as a conditionally indispensible amino acid for the critically ill. Supplementation has been recommended in guidelines from international societies. Although data have been presented pointing out that glutamine supplementation may not be for everybody, recommendations for treatments and design of study protocols have included all critically ill patients. Results from more recent studies and meta-analyses indicate that indiscriminate use of glutamine supplementation in critically ill patients may actually cause harm rather than beneficial effects. This viewpoint sorts out arguments of controversy in the glutamine story.

Keywords: Critical care; Guidelines; Hyperglutaminemia; Hypoglutaminemia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Critical Illness / therapy*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Glutamine / administration & dosage*
  • Glutamine / blood
  • Humans
  • Parenteral Nutrition / methods
  • Parenteral Nutrition / trends


  • Glutamine