L Glutamine issues


Hi everyone

So, I have been taking L-Glutamine powder (20g/day) to help heal my gut. Long story short, pretty sure I had Covid-19, symptoms were mild but it tore through my gastrointestinal tract. I knew it had progressed to a leaky gut when I suddenly had pyritiasis alba pop up on my face. I haven’t had that since childhood.

I’ve been taking it for 3 weeks and it seems to be working on healing the gut. Skin has cleared up. However, I can’t stay in ketosis to save my life while taking L glutamine. I have been using urine test strips by the way…I know they aren’t accurate but they do give me a good indication of being in ketosis.

My diet hasn’t changed much and I am usually less than 20g carbs a day…but its like the glutamine is doing something to counter the ketosis. I did some research and it seems glutamine really puts gluconeogenesis into overdrive which would explain a lot. I have to be almost zero carb and minimal protein to remain in a decent amount of ketosis.

Also, I have gained like 5 pounds which I am not sure if it’s because I am struggling to remain in ketosis or if my glycogen stores have increased significantly. I had to stop intermittent fasting during the infection and can only handle 18:6 for now, but even that doesn’t help.

Not sure what to do at this point. Healing my gut is priority and I want to complete the course which is like 2 weeks to go. I want to keep any secondary GI issues at bay which the glutamine is handling brilliantly . However, I am tired of the in-and-out of ketosis rollercoaster

Any advice? Perhaps I’ll just have to bear with it for another two weeks :weary:


Makes sense, I remember when listening to Thomas Seyfried talking about starving cancer he was talking about how on top of glucose, they need to starve the cells of glutamine. Doubt it’s a coincidence they are both glu-

(Francois Picanza) #3

The 5 pounds might be just water weight because your glycogen store isn’t depleted.
I am not doctor but my recommendation would be to first get rid of you gut issue while also supplementing yourself with zinc and vitamin D.
Then when you are fine, you can cut the L Glutamine and hope that within a few days you will go back to your regular ketosis state.


So disappointing too because it is really great for healing the gut.


Yes, logically I know that should still be my order of priority…and I’ll likely stay the 1 month course of L Glutamine. It’s just dealing with the back and forth into ketosis that I need to try to manage somehow until I come off the glutamine.

I take Zinc / D3 and all the other usual supplements even before the infection and I’m sure they were part of what kept my symptoms mild.

The 5lbs is not even the worst part. I’ve had the keto flu twice in the past few weeks due to this. I have accepted it could be fat gain if it has been kicking me out of ketosis and I have been eating keto.

(Francois Picanza) #6

Just came across this: https://www.bulletproof.com/supplements/dietary-supplements/supplements-while-fasting/

Amino acids : L-glutamine and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are usually a no-go while fasting because they can kick you out of ketosis by raising your insulin levels.[3] Take with food, or if you want to take these supplements while staying in ketosis, add Brain Octane MCT oil, which supplies your body with extra ketones.


The problem is it kicks me out of ketosis with or without food. I have been reading up on how L Glutamine is made and from what I can glean so far, it is made from fermented corn (usually GMO) which can’t be great. Additionally, the more you take, the more it really drives gluconeogenesis and increase glycogen storage. It’s odd because the macros of the powder itself should not affect ketosis.

I have decided to switch to concentrated bone broth for now as that also helps to heal a leaky gut. I won’t hesitate to switch back to L Glutamine though if the bone broth doesn’t work because my gut health is my 1st priority right now.

(Bunny) #8

I would go for bone broth including animal hooves and resistant starch and it won’t kick you out of ketosis at all. Throw a little cilantro on top. Just a small bowl occasionally? I make bone broth disks with silicone muffin molds and store them, then throw a couple in a soup pan and instant bone broth. If that won’t seal up a leaky gut nothing will.

(Old Baconian) #9

B-hydroxibutyrate, one of the principal ketone bodies (along with acetone and aceotacetate) has a profound effect on tightening up a leaky gut. Many people on these forums have found it as helpful, or even more helpful than, the butyrate released by the intestinal bacteria that consume fibre. I’m not saying that a ketogenic diet alone can heal you, but you might find that if you eat keto you can make do on less L-glutamine, at least.


Thanks Bunny. That is what I am doing starting tomorrow minus the starch since I aim to drink it every morning on an empty stomach until it goes away. I have read great things about bone broth and leaky gut so I am keeping my fingers crossed that it works as great as the glutamine did.


Agreed Paul. Being on a keto diet before I had the Covid-19 helped with having mostly minor GI issues.

I just think the gut inflammation from the virus got the upper hand for a bit…so I need some extra help on top of eating keto to rein things back in.

Even the skin issues were mild but they are still an autoimmune response stemming from increased gut permeability. I think, anyway.

The glutamine is definitely out for me right now and I am pinning my hopes on the bone broth.


As far as I know, a “leaky gut” doesnt mean diarrhoea. It is when the intestinal wall lets in too many molecules. When we absorb more than we should. Stuff that we can get allergic to.
Then - how can one be sure that it is the keto flu and not a real flu? Especially if one is assuming corona? And lastly-I dont even know if what it related here IS corona? It can make for diarrhoea but usually it shows a lot more other symtoms- and even if there is intestinal involvement, the other symptoms are oftentimes present too- like fever and coughing, headaches and body aches. Of course corona manifests in many ways- even to the point of no symptoms. What I am trying to say here is that we have too much surmising. Too many variables, to even suggest any kind of action or interventions.
How about a corona test?
And IF it is actually corona- then I would not worry about losing weight for the time being. I would worry about getting well.


@Chantarella Um… I didn’t say I had diarrhea though?

I am quite certain my gut issues was caused by the virus though, based on my overall symptoms and their progression. Testing for CV19 is only effective within the first few weeks of the virus as I have found with others you have had it. Testing was not offered to people with mild symptoms in the UK back when my symptoms started. I am months along so no use of a PCR test now, even though now widely available.

I think “getting well” requires a multi prong approach. I need to heal my gut but I also need to stay in ketosis as that also offers recovery benefits.

There are many people I know (via other forums) with Covid-19 that have way worse symptoms lasting months. Many of them are now realising they suffer fewer relapses if they cut out carbs and sugar completely. I am quite sure remaining in ketosis kept my symptoms very mild ( in addition to the usual supplements like D3 and Zinc)

So, yes I want to heal my gut but I certainly do not want to sacrifice being in ketosis.


“I didnt say I had diarrhea though?”
Right you said “leaky gut”. What exactly do you mean with that term? I can only give you the medical definition. It doesn’t mean you “leak” out of your anus. It means the intestinal walls leak undigested molecules into the bloodstream.
As for those others who say they have corona for months- could be or maybe not. What would be worrisome is if they had a totally different diagnosis but were focussing solely on corona.


@Chantarella I did not open this thread to provide you with a thesis on leaky gut or to convince you on if maybe possibly I had the Covid-19. I am leaving this line of conversation with you here. Good day.

(Ellenor Bjornsdottir (spare me thy resistant starch spiel)) #16

Pick one.

(Bunny) #17

I never been kicked out of ketosis ever when doing any of the following:

Raw sweet potatoes decently cut stick to eat occasionally, a green unripe banana, a boiled potato, (boiled 4 times rinsed then cooled 4 times same with rice and corn on the cob), you don’t have to eat the whole thing just a bite or slice or two, boiled corn on the cob, boiled wild rice, deep fried plantains, again you don’t need to eat a lot of it, purple potatoes are even better high quality form of RS and lotus seeds is probably the best one of them all if you can get them.

We are feeding butyrate producing gut bacteria, not you (and you don’t need much) so they will multiply to a point that is ketogenic just like being fat adapted and that is something you cannot do eating only meat and fat for months and years on end; you then lose that ability to produce butyrate in the lower colon. Eating exogenous butyrate does no good because it gets burned up for fuel before it ever reaches the lower colon and is not a mucosal barrier.

And if you like to carb out on Twinkie’s and Donuts (simple carbohydrates), those don’t give you benefits a resistant starch (complex carbohydrate) will.

And do not eat McDonalds French Fries and think that is the type of resistant starch you would want?

I must emphasize I’m not talking about eating tons of starch everyday of the week, only very very little occasionally, we are not trying to satisfy your stomach or pallet with this stuff and trust me if you eat a green unripe banana you’ll know what I’m talking about?


[1] Resistant Starch 101 — Everything You Need to Know

[2] Resistant Starches, Butyrate, and Your Gut, Oh My! - Dr. Stephanie Estima

[3] “…Colonic administration of butyrate, at physiologically relevant concentrations, dose‐dependently decreases visceral sensitivity in healthy volunteers…’ …More


Adding an update here in case someone has a similar question about L Glutamine and ketosis in future.

I cut out the L Glutamine 3 days or so ago and I am now back in my normal state of ketosis. So, it seems that L Glutamine can kick one out of ketosis.

I took 20g a day (10g twice a day) to heal a suspected leaky gut. Perhaps smaller doses won’t affect ketosis but the research I have done seems to imply Glutamine will aid gluconeogenesis and therefore work against ketosis.

(eric) #19

I can’t understand what is the difference between starch and glycogen. Found only this review https://differencebtwn.com/difference-between-starch-vs-glycogen

(Old Baconian) #20

Glycogen is also known as “liver starch,” to be sure, but it is the principal carbohydrate stored in animal bodies, because it is easily broken up into glucose molecules when they are needed. Glycogen is stored in both muscles and the liver, but muscles cannot share their glycogen, whereas the liver can easily do so.

Starch is a different type of molecule that occurs in plants. It must be broken down into its component glucose molecules by enzymes in the digestive tract before use in the body. For the actual chemical differences between glycogen and starch, you would have to consult a site such as PubChem.