Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in humans and possesses many functions in the body. It is the major transporter of amino-nitrogen between cells and an important fuel source for rapidly dividing cells such as cells of the immune and gastrointestinal systems. It is important in the synthesis of nucleic acids, glutathione, citrulline, arginine, gamma aminobutyric acid, and glucose. It is important for growth, gastrointestinal integrity, acid-base homeostasis, and optimal immune function. The regulation of glutamine levels in cells via glutaminase and glutamine synthetase is discussed. The cellular and physiologic effects of glutamine upon the central nervous system, gastrointestinal function, during metabolic support, and following tissue injury and critical illness is also discussed.