Skin ulcers that are slow healing can present problems for both the diabetic and the bedridden. The epidemic numbers of diabetics and the growing aging population who are bedridden present an ever increasing number of people afflicted with non-healing skin ulcers. Clinical research would suggest that the amino acid l-glutamine may help in healing skin ulcers for both these groups. L-Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body and in times of physical stress is required in large amounts to repair any injury. L-Arginine is another amino acid that has been shown to help heal skin ulcers.
Glutamine is directly involved in the metabolic pathways responsible for wound healing. It provides the building blocks for the new cells being produced to heal the wound as well as the scaffolding for these cells. Another important part of wound healing is the clearing away of the old dead and infected skin cells. Glutamine stimulates the immune cells responsible for clearing away these cellular debris.
Another problem in skin ulcers is that glutamine which is stored abundantly in skeletal muscles is scavenged from them in order to repair the wound resulting in muscle wasting. The supplementation with large amounts of glutamine can prevent muscle wasting.
How Much Glutamine is Needed to Heal Skin Ulcers?
Quite a large amount of glutamine is needed, from 20 to 40 grams. Fortunately getting this amount is fairly easy and inexpensive by buying a glutamine powder like that offered by Swanson Health Products and mixing with your favorite beverage. Glutamine is unstable in solution so always mix it up fresh and consume it immediately and always mix with a cold beverage. The best way to consume it is on an empty stomach in divided 5 to 10 gram doses (1-2 teaspoons) over the course of the day.
L-Arginine, another amino acid, has also been shown to help in healing skin ulcers. Combining the two amino acids may give one added benefit in skin ulcer healing. Arginine like glutamine is required in fairly large amounts for wound healing, 17 to 48 grams. Swanson Health Products offers super strength arginine capsules of 900 mg which is almost 1 gram each.
Non-healing skin ulcers require medical attention and your doctor should always be consulted. Furthermore, these large amounts of amino acids may not be advisable for individuals with renal or liver impairment.