The authors performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of all published randomized controlled trials with the aim to determine and quantify the anti-hyperglycemic effects of glutamine (Gln) in acute and chronic clinical settings.
The authors conducted a comprehensive search of all randomized clinical trials performed up to December 2018, to identify those investigating the impact of Gln supplementation on fasting blood sugar (FBS), insulin levels and homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) via ISI Web of Science, Cochrane library PubMed and SCOPUS databases. A meta-analysis of eligible studies was conducted using random effects model to estimate the pooled effect size. Fractional polynomial modeling was used to explore the dose–response relationships between Gln supplementation and diabetic indices.
The results of the present meta-analysis suggest that of Gln supplementation had a significant effect on FBS (weighted mean difference (WMD): –2.868 mg/dl, 95 per cent CI: –5.467, –0.269, p = 0.031). However, the authors failed to observe that Gln supplementation affected insulin levels (WMD: 1.06 units, 95 per cent CI: –1.13, 3.26, p = 0.34) and HOMA-IR (WMD: 0.001 units, 95 per cent CI: –2.031, 2.029, p = 0.999). Subgroup analyses showed that the highest decrease in FBS levels was observed when the duration of intervention was less than two weeks (WMD: –4.064 mg/dl, 95 per cent CI: –7.428, –0.700, p = 0.01) and when Gln was applied via infusion (WMD: –5.334 mg/dl, 95 per cent CI: –10.48, 0.17, p = 0.04).
The results from this meta-analysis show that Gln supplementation did not have a significant effect on insulin levels and HOMA-IR. However, it did significantly reduce the levels of FBS, obtaining a higher effect when the duration of the intervention period was less than two weeks.
Conflict of interest: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The authors sincerely thank Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences for all moral and material supports. This study was supported by grants from the Student Research Committee, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences (SBMU), Tehran, Iran (Grant’s ID: 1397/69263).
Kord-Varkaneh, H., Salehi-Sahlabadi, A., Mousavi, S.M., Fatahi, S., Ghaedi, E., Nazari, A., Seyfishahpar, M. and Rahmani, J. (2019), "Does glutamine supplementation have favorable effects on glucose control and insulin sensitivity? A meta-analysis and dose-response of randomized clinical trials", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 50 No. 1, pp. 197-215. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-04-2019-0116
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