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Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jan;77(1):250-6.

Plasma taurine concentrations increase after enteral glutamine supplementation in trauma patients and stressed rats.

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  • 1Department of Surgery and Clinical Chemistry, Vrije Universiteit Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Taurine is a unique amino acid with antioxidant and osmolytic properties. Glutamine serves as the preferred fuel for the gut, liver, and immune cells and as a precursor for antioxidants. Trauma patients have low glutamine concentrations.

OBJECTIVES:

We investigated the effect of glutamine-enriched enteral nutrition on plasma taurine concentrations in patients with severe trauma (injury severity score >20). Additionally, plasma taurine concentrations and organ fluxes were studied in a stressed rat model.

DESIGN:

Twenty-nine patients with multiple trauma received glutamine-enriched nutrition and 31 patients received isocaloric, isonitrogenous control solution for 5 d. Plasma taurine and glutamine concentrations were measured. Male Wistar rats (250-300 g) received a glutamine-enriched diet (12%, by wt) or a control solution for 2 wk. Plasma taurine concentrations were measured. Taurine fluxes and fractional extraction rates in the liver, kidneys, and gut were assessed with a radioactive microsphere technique.

RESULTS:

Both patient groups had low taurine concentrations on day 1. From day 3 onward, the glutamine-fed patients had significantly higher taurine concentrations. Rats fed a glutamine-enriched diet had significantly higher plasma taurine concentrations than did the controls. A high taurine uptake was found in the liver, kidneys, and gut of the glutamine-fed rats. Fractional extraction rates were not significantly different between the rat groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

Glutamine enrichment increases plasma taurine in trauma patients and in stressed rats. Because of increased availability, organ fluxes showed a higher taurine uptake in the liver, kidneys, and gut. The reduction in morbidity with glutamine enrichment could be explained in part by increased taurine availability.

PMID:
12499349
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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