A controlled trial of glutamine effects on bone healing.
Glutamine is considered a nonessential amino acid, but it may be conditionally essential in patients with catabolic conditions. For centuries, researchers have looked for ways to promote and accelerate fracture healing. This controlled animal study examines the effects of glutamine on fracture healing. The left tibias of 10 standardized albino rats were broken at the distal third to produce a closed fracture. L-glutamine/L-alanyl solution (2.0 mL/kg) was administered through the tail veins of half the rats for the first 7 d, and physiologic serum alone was given to the control group. On the 21st day, all rats were euthanized and their left legs removed; after histologic observation, the tibias were examined under light microscopy. In the glutamine-injected group, development of primary callus was quicker and more regular than in the control group. The control group produced insufficient fibrous callus, and the glutamine group attained formed cartilaginous callus. Glutamine was noted to have positive effects on healing of traumatically fractured bone through attainment of positive nitrogen balance. This effect was minimal in enhancing the quality of fracture healing under conditions of stress, but some effect was noted on the speed of healing. Further research is needed in this area.
Polat O, Kilicoglu SS, Erdemli E