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Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2012;21(3):380-5.

Glutamine for chemotherapy induced diarrhea: a meta-analysis.

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Department of Hepatic Surgery VI, Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital, The Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China.


The clinical efficacy of glutamine in the control of chemotherapy-induced diarrhea remains controversial. We conducted a meta-analysis, including as many randomized control trails (RCTs) as possible, to clarify the effectiveness of prophylactic glutamine in patients requiring chemotherapy.


the Embase, MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, and BIOSIS databases were searched, and the included studies were RCTs that compared the use of prophylactic glutamine versus placebo in patients receiving chemotherapy. The main outcomes were diarrhea severity and duration.


a total of 298 patients in eight RCTs were reviewed (147 patients who received glutamine, and 151 patients who received placebo). There was a statistically significant difference in the duration of diarrhea (weighted mean difference (WMD), -1; 95% confidence interval (CI), -1.73, -0.26) between the two groups, but there was no significant difference in the severity of diarrhea (WMD, -0.49; 95% CI, -1.36, 0.39) between the groups.


we concluded that glutamine could reduce the duration of diarrhea but could not improve its severity.

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