11 December 2008

Soya and L-glutamine ups immunity

The importance of soya and L-glutamine in enhancing immunity should not be underestimated, especially in the treatment of HIV/Aids, tuberculosis, ME, and cancer.


The importance of soya and L-glutamine in enhancing immunity should not be underestimated, especially in the treatment of many conditions which require immunity boosting, such as HIV/Aids, tuberculosis, ME, infectious diseases, and cancer.

Soya is unique
Soya is regarded as a unique food. In contrast to other plant source of protein, the protein extracted from soya beans is nearly as good from a biological point of view as egg white, which nutritionists regard as the “gold standard”. Soya protein can be used to boost protein intake and prevent loss of muscle tissue when patients suffer from so-called “wasting diseases” such as TB, HIV/Aids and cancer.

In addition soya contains compounds called oligosaccharides which are not digested, but fermented in the human body. Oligosaccharides are called prebiotics because they serve as a growth medium for the probiotic micro-organisms we discussed last week. Prebiotics like the oligosaccharides in soya make the immunity-boosting organisms grow more rapidly and enhance their positive effect.

Soya also has a high dietary fibre content which has a whole range of beneficial properties - it lowers blood fat levels, reduces the fat content of the diet, prevents constipation, helps keep blood sugar levels normal and generally has a positive effect on health.

Another advantage of soya is that it is a lactose-free food and can be used to produce soy milk which individuals with lactose intolerance can substitute for cow’s milk.

Soya is an excellent source of essential fatty acids, particularly of alpha-linolenic acid which is a known immunity booster.

Soya also contains plant compounds called phytosterols which prevent the body from absorbing cholesterol and thus lower blood cholesterol levels.

Other biologically active compounds found in soya are called isoflavones which are similar to the female hormone estradiol. Soya is the only human food that contains estradiol-like compounds. The oestrogen properties of soya have been found to reduce hot flushes in postmenopausal women by up to 40%.

It is, therefore, not surprising that the FDA of America has allowed certain health claims to be made about soya products. Since 1999 labels of soya foods sold in the USA are allowed to state that eating 25g of soya protein a day can lower the risk of heart disease.

L-glutamine - immunity booster
L-glutamine is one of the amino acids which forms the building-blocks of proteins. Despite the fact that L-glutamine is one of the so-called non-essential amino acids (this means humans can make their own L-glutamine), research is showing that we often need more L-glutamine than we can produce. In conditions where patients are exposed to extreme physical stress such as high fevers, infections, surgical procedures, HIV/Aids, TB and cancer, they can lose up to 25% of their weight in less than one week. Whereas we need about 5-10g of L-glutamine a day when we are healthy, patients in intensive care often require up to 40g of this amino acid on a daily basis to prevent tissue losses.

L-glutamine is also essential for a healthy digestive tract and it can be used to combat Candida infections. L-glutamine can be taken as an immunity booster or even used in solution as a mouthwash to reduce Candida infections in the mouth.

The product “B-immune” which was launched at the Immunity Symposium by a company called African Dynamics, not only contains beneficial micro-organisms or probiotics, but is also rich in soya protein and L-glutamine. B-immune has been formulated to boost immunity and can be used by patients suffering from any one of the abovementioned diseases. Patients with HIV/Aids or TB should find this product particularly beneficial as it not only boosts immunity, but also helps to prevent loss of muscle tissue. You can contact African Dynamics at for more information about this new product.

So stock up on soya foods and try L-glutamine or B-immune if you want to boost your immunity. - (Dr I.V. van Heerden, DietDoc)


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