Effects of Glutamine on Glycemic Control During and After Exercise in Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM): a Pilot Study

  1. Dominique Darmaun, MD, PhD
  1. Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism at Nemours Children's Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida (NM, LAF, KE, MB, DD) and the Jaeb Center for Health Research, Tampa, Florida (DX)


Objective: To investigate if oral glutamine ameliorates exercise- and post-exercise nighttime hypoglycemia in T1DM.

Research Design & Methods: 10 adolescents (15.2 ± 1.4 yrs (SD)), HbA1C 6.9 ± 0.9%, on insulin pumps were studied. Subjects were randomized to receive a glutamine or placebo drink pre-exercise and bedtime (0.25 g/kg/dose). A 3PM exercise session consisted of 4, 15-min treadmill/5-min rests cycles. Pre-exercise BG was 140-150mg/dl and monitored throughout the night. Studies were randomized crossover over 3 weeks.

Results: BGs dropped comparably (52%) during exercise both days. However, the overnight number of hypoglycemic events was higher on glutamine than placebo (≤70 mg/dl, p=0.03 and ≤60, p=0.05). The cumulative probability of nighttime hypoglycemia was increased on glutamine (80%) vs. placebo days (50%) (p=0.02).

Conclusions: Glutamine increased the cumulative probability of post-exercise overnight hypoglycemia compared to placebo in adolescents with T1DM. Whether glutamine may enhance insulin sensitivity post exercise requires further study in T1DM.


    • Received February 11, 2010.
    • Accepted June 19, 2010.

    This Article

    1. Diabetes Care
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