Alanine – Definition, Facts, Functions, Uses, Health Benefits, Food Sources, And Side Effects

Facts

It is a nonessential amino acid (the body can synthesize it) and is one of the most common amino acids. For example, it is one of most common amino acids in the body, accounting for about 8 percent of the core structure of many different proteins.

Even if this amino acid is a nonessential amino acid, it may become essential if due to certain diseases the body can not synthesize it. In this case, one should consume foods containing this amino acid or to resort to supplements.

Gulewitsch, a Russian scientist, was the 1st to identify carnosine (a naturally occurring molecule ) in 1900. 11 years later, Gulewitsch would identify and discover its constituent amino acids, histidine and beta-alanine.

Uses and health benefits of alanine

Improves mental function

It is an important source of energy for muscle tissue, brain, and central nervous system and it boosts the immune system producing antibodies.

Better mood and sleep

It is involved in the metabolism of tryptophan and vitamin B6 and it is the most widely used amino acid, representing about 9% of all protein structure. Tryptophan is one of the amino acids which your physical body uses to make neurotransmitters such as melatonin and serotonin. In addition, melatonin and tryptophan and are both effective dietary supplements used for improving promoting a calm mind and sleep.

Boosts energy levels

This amino acid also participates in the glucose-alanine cycle (or Cahill cycle) which occurs between tissues and liver, helping the body metabolize glucose and eliminate toxins.

Remedy for enlarged prostate

It is found in the prostate fluid and therefore it is believed to help treat benign prostatic hyperplasia, also known as enlarged prostate, which may lead to disorder, like – difficulty in voiding, frequent urination, urinary tract infections, and urinary leakage. Symptoms of this problem commonly develop around age 50. More importantly, by age 60, the majority of men have some degree of benign prostatic hyperplasia, and by age 85, 90 percent of men have a chance of having UTIs caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia.

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Improve endurance

One form of this amino acid – beta-alanine – is becoming increasingly popular as a supplement before training or during training, for buffering lactic acid (removing muscle fatigue and burning sensations and reducing muscle catabolism).

Food sources of alanine

Red kidney beans, chickpeas, white beans, mung beans, adzuki beans, lentils, beer yeast, dairy products, eggs, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, eggplant, meat, hazelnuts, almonds, pecans, peanuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, watermelon seeds, pumpkin seeds, soy products, millet, oats, oat bran, wheat bran, wheat, brown rice, mangoes, papayas, pineapples, durian, apples, olives, kiwis, figs, avocado, and oranges.

Dosage

For a healthy adult, it is recommended a dose of three to 6 grams of this amino acid per day.

Side effects of alanine

Overconsumption of supplement containing this non-essential amino acid may cause flushing of the skin or mild burning. Moreover, according to research, a high one dose of this amino acid, caused a paresthesia effect with symptoms ranging from numbness and blistering to redness.

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