3kidsIguanaSome readers have asked about whether it’s safe to use L-Glutamine with children, based on an article that appeared on Dr. Joseph Mercola’s website. But again, read through it carefully and you’ll see that this is only an issue when intake exceeds need. Otherwise, there is no excess and the body utilizes it fully.

Also, in this article he completely warns against any L-Glutamine intake by pregnant women as it can cause retardation. However, I drank 1-2 Absorb Plus shakes per day (containing 1000 mg L-Glutamine in each shake) during both my pregnancies and breastfeeding. Both my children’s teachers are amazed at their quickness and intelligence and they consistently outperform many of their peers in both physical and mental function.

And one of my readers used The IBD Remission Diet for seven weeks during her pregnancy (to avoid having to use Prednisone), which meant she was drinking 4-5 Absorb Plus shakes per day (4,000 – 5,000 mg L-Glutamine per day) and her baby was perfectly healthy with normal brain development. The last time I heard from her, the baby was three years old and doing very well in all aspects.

Remember too that this article is just one professional’s opinion – and while it is worth reading, the majority of professional opinion and clinical trials in children show no adverse effect for appropriate L-Glutamine supplementation.

Here’s the result of my research and my personal opinion on the topic:

Kids with sickle cell anemia need higher amounts of L-glutamine. So this study assessed response/effects with a massive dosage of 600 mg of L-Glutamine per 1 kg of body weight. Which means, for example, that a child weighing 44 pounds would ingest 12,000 mg of L-Glutamine per day. Even at that very high dose, this study (below) on children as young as 5 years old showed no negative effects of supplementation.


Oral glutamine supplementation decreases resting energy expenditure in children and adolescents with sickle cell anemia. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2004 Oct;26(10):619-25. To determine the effects of orally administered glutamine on the resting energy expenditure (REE) and nutritional status of children and adolescents with sickle cell anemia. Twenty-seven children and adolescents (13 boys, 14 girls), 5.2 to 17.9 years old, received orally administered glutamine (600 mg/kg per day) for 24 weeks. Measures of REE and other nutritional parameters were compared at baseline and 24 weeks.

RESULTS: After 24 weeks, the patients’ median REE (kcal/d) decreased by 6%. Patients with less than 90% ideal body weight had even greater declines in REE after 24 weeks. Improvements in nutrition parameters and in two amino acids in the plasma were observed.

CONCLUSIONS: After 24 weeks of orally administered glutamine, children and adolescents with sickle cell anemia had a decrease in REE and improvement in nutritional parameters. Those who were underweight had a greater decrease in REE than those of normal body weight. Lowering REE may be an effective way to improve the growth of these children and adolescents.

As well, a few studies I looked at concerning L-Glutamine used on children with cancer (to prevent mucosal inflammation during chemo) showed only positive effects.

L-Glutamine is only a problem when you ingest MORE than your body needs, or can utilize. For anyone in a disease state, their requirements are going to be much higher since the body is engaged in ongoing repair of damaged tissue.

And just for another counter to the claim that L-Glutamine can cause mental retardation, I found a few studies done using L-Glutamine with Attention Deficit Disorder children, that show that supplementation INCREASES mental ability. Here’s one example:


“Intellectually impaired children and adults often show an increase in IQ after taking glutamine in combination with Ginkgo biloba and B6. Dr. Roger Williams demonstrated that children and adults diagnosed with ADHD showed a marked improvement when taking 250 mg to 1,000 mg of glutamine daily. Dr. C. Fredericks research also demonstrated a definite increase in the IQs of children given glutamine. When glutamine was given daily, children showed impressive improvements in their abilities to learn, to retain, and to recall. Glutamine is a major part of my orthomolecular program for hyperactive and ADHD children. Glutamine is one of the amino acids that create the neurotransmitters in the brain that enhance learning and memory. Hyperactive and ADD children have lowneurotransmitter levels, especially glutamine. Adding glutamine increases the level of neurotransmitters. Start with 500 mg of glutamine and gradually increase until you reach the optimal dose for your child, to a maximum of 3,000 mg per day.
– ADD & ADHD Natural Control of ADD & ADHD
Billie J. Sahley, Ph.D., CNC


So, the best route, as always, is to “listen to your gut” – and more importantly, listen to your child’s gut. She/he will let you know if it’s good for him/her, or not. And if you want to follow pre-established limits, as evidenced in clinical trials, then these indicate that you can safely give your child anywhere from 3,000 – 10,000 mg per day (depending on the study).

Don’t forget, many health sites are purposely looking for information that they can present in a shocking or “groundbreaking” way – this increases their subscribers and also gets higher readership of their newsletters (thus driving more people to their site). So try to be discriminating and don’t over-react to new findings until you have done your research and put it into context. It may be 100% valid, and it may not.


Jini Patel Thompson’s books on natural healing for digestive diseases have sold in over 40 different countries. Her health articles have been published in journals and magazines in the U.S., Australia and U.K. www.ListenToYourGut.com

L-Glutamine Usage With Children

35 thoughts on “L-Glutamine Usage With Children

  • Hi, so glad to find your site. My daughter will be 3 in a month and has multiple food allergies and I’ve been contemplating on L-glutamine. How much should I give her. She is roughly 28lbs. Thanks!

    1. Hi Rhonda,

      I’m afraid that we can’t comment on that as we’re not qualified to do so; you’ll definitely want to consult her physician for more information and we’d love to hear about it if you would like to share.

      Kind regards,
      Customer Care

    2. There are diets that can help with pcos. I’ve had lots of luck with diet change. Did she develop symptoms of pcos after the hpv shots? Ive heard it cause that

  • I ask because I have breastfed to 6 months and my baby has so much gas and stomach cramps. I eat as carefully as possible but it doesn’t seem to help so much.

    1. Hi Larissa,

      I wish I had a better answer for you but I’m afraid we can’t comment on that as we’re not qualified to do so. If you have concerns you should definitely speak with your physician. Although we would love to hear what your physician recommends if you would like to share!

      Kind regards,
      Customer Care

  • Thanks anyway. I will not ask my physician as he knows nothing about things like this and attributes all baby ailments to teething. But I will take it at low doses and see if it helps.

  • 7 year old has been diagnosed with IBS. Has had this problem since he was six months old. He gets really pale with dark circles under his eyes. Had bw, allergy testing, Celiac testing. Can’t figure out exactly what’s wrong. I know you can’t say too much due to liability but I wonder if giving L glutamine would be relevant for his situation? I think there is something else going on and would love to find something that helps. Probiotics have helped in the past with diarrhea but doesn’t seem to be as effective. Thanks

    1. Hi Alexandra,

      The L-Glutamine might help but when you had him using probiotics was he also using wild oregano oil or some other type of antibiotic? It’s critical to cycle the two in order to get rid of the bad gut flora while you repopulate the gut with probiotics. Otherwise, the probiotics just have to fight the bad gut flora for real estate, so to speak. If you were not using this approach, you’ll definitely want to check out Jini’s Wild Oregano Protocol in either her Listen to Your Gut book or her Gut Infection eBook (the protocol is in both). Here are links to each:



      Also, here’s a link to a blog post containing a video where Jini and her five-year-old daughter demonstrate an easy way to take wild oregano oil:


      And finally, here’s a link to Jini’s book about IBS, if you’re interested:


      If you have any additional questions please feel free to comment here, visit the live chat in the little blue box on the bottom right side of the page, email us at service@listentoyourgut.com or give us a call at 888-866-7745.

      Kind regards,
      Customer Care

  • Hey, I was just wondering why you have published a website advocating the use of L-glutamine with children with no adverse side effects, but then continually replying to comments with ‘due to liability reasons we cannot comment’ perhaps you shouldn’t have put the website up in the first place, or perhaps you shouldn’t have enabled comments on your page as it’s frustrating hearing “the facts” but then being told that you cannot comment. It’s like you’ve opened up a metaphorical candy shop but you won’t let the kids in and buy it. Frustrating.

    1. Hi Samuel,

      Thanks so much for the honest feedback. Jini shares her personal experiences and research but isn’t a certified health professional. We try to help as much as we can and point people in the right direction but, unfortunately, we aren’t qualified to advise anyone toward a course of action. In turn, we also cannot comment on questions about specific health/medical situations that people might have. I’m sorry to hear that you are frustrated but if you have questions about L-Glutamine (or anything else Jini talks about) then we would be happy to assist you however we can.

      Kind regards,
      Customer Care

  • Hi Larissa – I used L-Glutamine while breastfeeding. But as Justin pointed out – you should consult your physician as I am not recommending a course of action for you – merely sharing my personal experience.

    Samuel – I understand your frustration and I too wish things could be different. But you need to understand the politics of ‘healthcare’ and that there is a lot of money and power/control at stake here. So better to give what we can, then get shut down completely.

    1. Hi Nilima,

      If you think that your child is experiencing a fever as a result of taking L-Glutamine then we would suggest consulting your physician to make sure that your child’s condition or existing medications aren’t contradictory to its use.

      Kind regards,
      Customer Care

  • To alexandra, sounds like your child has rhinitis due to leaky gut and possible Candida issues. Please look into this.

  • Trying to get my 14 yr old daughter away from sugar. I wanted to know if it was safe for her to take L-Glutamine to help her emotionally deal with the withdrawal of sugar. She’s over weight and think sugar has a lot to due with it. Didn’t know if there was any bad side effects from this.
    Thank you. Luanne

    1. Hi Luanne,

      Based on studies and the research that Jini has done, we aren’t aware of any reason why your daughter wouldn’t be able to use L-Glutamine but if you have concerns, based on her specific health situation, then we would suggest speaking with her doctor.

      Kind regards,
      Customer Care

  • Is intake of glutamine 20gms a week safe for my 12 year old daughter who is a swimmer and practice for 5hrs a day

    1. Hello Anju,

      As we recommend 3-10 grams a day, 20 grams should be safe for your daughter. If you are concerned on any side effects you can start on a lower dosage and than build up to that. Please let us know if we can help with anything else.

      Kind Regards,
      Customer Care

  • I am confused by the recommended dosages. In the top I see MG (milligrams) being used. I.e 500mg to 3,00mg I thought l-glutamine was taken in G (gram) amounts. Then I read in the comment where you state you recommend grams. Please clarify. Also looking to treat leaky gut which I believe is causing chronic urticaria (hives) I have read 0.5g/per kg would this be a correct equation? Thank you for any information you can point me to for figuring out correct dosage.

    1. Hello KC,

      Thank you for the inquiry. Some studies use mg and some uses grams, so it can be confusing. Also there are supplements that use both. 1 gram is equal to 1,000mg. The study in this post used a large dosage of .6g/per kg of the L-glutamine. We recommend 3-10 grams a day, which would also equate to 3,000-10,000mg. If you have any other questions please let us know.

      Kind Regards,
      Customer Care

  • My son has severe eczema and allergies. He is 13 months old. Do you feel l glutamine could help him? Please could you give me an idea how it could help. I can’t find any info on your site about eczema.

    1. Hello Blu,

      Thank you for the inquiry. We are not medical professionals and cannot comment on treating eczema or a child that young. We would recommend contacting his doctor concerning it. You can see the other supplements we do recommend for children here: http://shoppe.listentoyourgut.com/just-for-kids/?sort=featured&page=1
      Hope you are able to find something to help him, and please let us know if there is anything else we can help with.

      Kind Regards,
      Customer Care

  • My six year old daughter has autoimmune condition. i try giving her glutamine for the first time (1000mg) and she complained of muscle pain all over. can it be the effect of the glutamine on her muscle? thanks.

    1. Hello Rafe,

      Thank you for reaching out. We haven’t heard of that particular symptom occurring as a result of taking L-Glutamine. It could be die-off or intolerance. Maybe you can try with a lower dose like 500mg and then gradually increase the amount. As always, please check with her doctor to be safe.

      Customer Care

  • Hi
    My daughter is 7years old. Overweight and loves sugar, otherwise a very healthy child.
    If I give her L Glutamine will it help control her urge to eat everything that is sweet

  • My understanding is that L-Glutmaine which has healing effects for the gut is not going to curb her appetite. In fact, it is considered a category C medication and isn’t recommended for young children, pregnant or nursing mothers. If your child is over weight, it’s not likely how much she’s eating but what she’s eating. Remove refined sugars and dairy (dairy has a ton of sugar) from her diet. Have her tested for thyroid and other autoimmune markers (i.e.: pre-diabetes) and mineral deficiencies.

  • Can this supplement possibly help with mucositis symptoms in the mouth as a chemotherapy side effect? My grandson has it severely and I noticed that the Cancer Centers of America suggest it with adults. My grandson is 1 year and 3 months and has been diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of 8 months.

    1. Hello MC,

      Thank you for reaching out! Jini doesn’t have a protocol for Halitosis but one thing you may want to consider is Jini’s wild oregano protocol. If this particular case of Halitosis is being caused by bad bacteria, it’s possible that the combination of wild oregano oil (strong natural antibiotic) and Natren probiotics (good bacteria) could make an impact. Here’s a link to Jini’s symptom page for intestinal parasites:


      Much of the information at the link above can also be applied to bacteria in the mouth.

      Kind Regards,
      Cris B
      Customer Care

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