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Glutamine and probiotics: gut health

The intestine and its microbiota

To fully understand how nutrients are assimilated, it is important to look at the gut. This organ is made up of the jejunum,'ileum, duodenum but also billions of bacteria forming the intestinal microbiota.


The intestinal microbiota is the fundamental element of the systeème digestive, because associated with the liver they represent the barrière intestinal defense against pathogens and exogenous molecules of all kinds (toxins, pollution, etc.). Ihe intestinal flora consists of bacteries resident, called commensal flora, and bacteria exogènes brought by the'feed. The microbiota is specific to each person,'fingerprint image.

The ecosystemème of the intestine is broken down into several aspects:

  • Dominant intestinal flora: acquired from birth. It is an anaerobic flora. It has fundamental effects that appeared at birth and takes over those of the mother.
  • Subdominant flora: acquired through diet, environment and way of life.
  • Transient Flora: transient flora that can have an effect on the base flora if consumed regularly.


Intestinal bacteria play several roles:

  • Digestion
  • Immune defenses
  • Related to the central nervous system
  • Protection against pathogens


The intestinal mucosa is just as important because it has the role of'assimilate nutrients by letting them pass the barrière intestinal and to detect pathog germsènes. Its structureture is composed of convolutions formed by microvillusés.

During'sporting activities, of the trail/running type, long endurance efforts, intestinal activity is intense. The body redirects blood to the muscles at the expense of the systemème digestive. This loss of blood supply, called ischemia, ranges from 70 to 80% and disrupts bowel function. This phenomenon can cause the appearance of cramps and deterioration of the intestinal wall (due to vibration shocks with the ground). The stress of'before the race can also be harmful.

During exercise, the body is attacked by three factors: energetic (need for muscular effort), thermal (evacuation of muscular heat through sweat) and vascular (ischemia). These attacks increase the risk of hyperpermeability, allowing all kinds of molecules to pass through.

After the phase of ischemia the phenomenon of “reperfusion” appears, ie the arrival of blood and oxygen often accompanied by mass free radicals. This will also participate in the degradation of the tight junctions and therefore of the mucous membrane, thus letting all the exogenous molecules pass at the expense of the "good" nutrients.

For runners or athletes practicing endurance and ultra-endurance, supplementation with glutamine and/or probiotics could be a solution to reduce intestinal problems. Indeed, during long efforts and repetitive impacts, the microbiota and the intestines are abused. To be able to run without fear of digestive disorders, you have to take care of your intestines, otherwise you may drop out more frequently, or running will no longer be a pleasure but an effort to be endured.

Focus on these two supplements:

  1. Glutamine:

It is an amino acid (which makes up proteins) that is not essential but very useful for endurance athletes. As mentioned above, the intestines are put to the test, which can then impact the intestinal walls and disrupt intestinal permeability.

L-glutamine contributes to tissue synthesis, allowing connective cells to multiply. As a result, it intervenes in the immune system, by participating in the proliferation of white blood cells. In addition, it has other advantages:

  • protects the intestines by being an energy source for the intestinal cells,
  • allows acid-base homeostasis,
  • attenuates the inflammatory response,
  • intervenes in the synthesis of glutathione (powerful antioxidant).


It can be used in the context of recovery in order to optimize energy recharging as well as to improve protein synthesis. The latter will prevent significant muscle degradation during intense and long-lasting effort.

  1. Probiotics

They are living microorganisms beneficial to humans. They are composed mainly of bacteria and are beneficial to health when taken in sufficient quantities.

Each strain of bacteria will have a particular interest, for example to prevent diarrhea or reduce its intensity: Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus casei and many more…

To relieve inflammation of the colon, we will turn more to Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus plantarum…

To strengthen the intestinal barrier, Lactobacillus gasseri…

This is why it is necessary to be vigilant and if possible to be accompanied for the choice of the good complex of probiotics.

Overall, ithow to choose it?

It will be necessary to take a supplement in gastro-resistant capsule with a minimum of 10 billion CFU

The probiotics will be composed of at least 5 strains including lactobacilli and bifodobacteria. The most suitable galenic form is in gastro-resistant capsules or in oral suspension, because with tablets, there is no guarantee as to the viability of the strains.

Take them in the morning on an empty stomach or in the evening at bedtime. The cure must be done over at least one month, but it is quite possible to do it over 3 months and more depending on the case.

You can naturally find probiotics in lacto-fermented products such as cabbage, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha…


To take full advantage of your sport, it will be essential to take care of your intestines!! The advantage will not only be for sports practice, but also to reduce food intolerances, have optimal absorption of nutrients, effective permeability, good immunity and be well in your head (because the intestine is our second brain don't forget!)

Supplementation in general is not a substitute for a varied and balanced diet, otherwise it would be like putting a bandage on a wooden leg ;-)

Do you want to learn even more about naturopathy? Contact Sandra Marianacci founder of Just Natur'it.

Here is his story :

Sandra Marianacci founder of Just Natur'it.

"Practitioner in Hygiene of life and naturopathy.

Reflexologist and Practitioner in Californian massage and seated Amma.

Specialized in supporting athletes and also in sports nutrition, digestive disorders (including candidiasis), sugar addiction, female disorders.

This job follows a professional retraining.

Previously I was Quality Coordinator in collective catering.

Passionate about sport, especially Trail running, I came to naturopathy to combine my passion for nutrition with that of sport, to make it my job.

It was while practicing trail/cap that I understood the importance of good varied and balanced nutrition as well as good hydration. Prone to injuries, I became interested in natural food supplements to support my body during exercise and thus avoid injuries".

👉For more info:

Want to know more about dietary supplements? Download our "Supplements Guide"for free, or go to the collection"Complements / Cures". 

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