Glutamine dipeptides in clinical nutrition

Nutrition. 1997 Jul-Aug;13(7-8):731-7. doi: 10.1016/s0899-9007(97)83035-3.


Glutamine is a conditional indispensable amino acid during stress. However, limited solubility and instability of glutamine prevent its addition to presently available nutritional preparations. To overcome these drawbacks, we propose the dipeptide concept by which stable and highly soluble synthetic glutamine containing dipeptides are used. The synthetic dipeptides fulfill all chemical/physical properties to be considered as parenteral substrates. Numerous experimental studies show rapid clearance of parenteral supplied glutamine containing dipeptides without accumulation in tissues; the loss via the urine being inconsequential. Differences related to the dipeptide structure are not observed. There is overwhelming evidence existent that a nutritional support with supplemental glutamine dipeptide positively influences nitrogen excretion, immune status, gut integrity, morbidity, rehabilitation and outcome. Consequently, omission of glutamine from conventional TPN and its subsequent administration should be considered as a replacement of a deficiency rather than a supplementation. It might thus be conceivable that the beneficial effects observed with glutamine nutrition are simply a correction of disadvantages produced by an inadequacy of conventional amino acid solutions. The availability of stable glutamine containing preparations will certainly facilitate an adequate amino acid nutrition in routine clinical setting during episodes of stress and malnutrition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Dipeptides / administration & dosage*
  • Dipeptides / chemistry
  • Glutamine / administration & dosage*
  • Glutamine / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Parenteral Nutrition / economics
  • Parenteral Nutrition / methods*


  • Dipeptides
  • Glutamine