Alanine is an amino acid that is used as a “building material” for carnosine, and, as researchers believe, it can increase endurance and prevent rapid aging. Amino acid stores the body replenishes mainly from poultry, beef, pork and fish. But food is not the only source of this substance, since our body is able to synthesize it on its own. Pharmaceutical analogue of alanine, as a rule, is considered safe for humans. Almost the only side effect is tingling of the skin after taking large doses of the drug.
- 1 Alanine and carnosine
- 2 Role in the body
- 3 Daily rate
- 4 Who more
- 5 Signs of deficiency
- 6 Overdose
- 7 Food sources
- 8 Interaction with other substances
- 9 Interesting Facts
Alanine and carnosine
Alanine entered the scientific community in 1888 year with the light hand of an Austrian scientist T. Weil, who found the original source of alanine in silk fibers.
In the human body, alanine “originates” in muscle tissue from lactic acid, which is considered the most important substance for the metabolism of amino acids. Then the liver absorbs alanine, where its transformation continues. As a result, it becomes an important component in the process of glucose production and regulation of blood sugar levels. Because of this, alanine is often used as a means to prevent hypoglycemia and stimulate the rapid release of glucose into the bloodstream. Alanine can turn into glucose, but if the need arises, a reverse reaction is possible.
Alanine is also known as a structural component of carnosine, the main reserves of which are concentrated mainly in skeletal muscle, partially in the cells of the brain and heart. In its structure, carnosine is a dipeptide – two amino acids (alanine and histidine) linked together. In different concentrations, it is present in almost all cells of the body.
One of the tasks of carnosine – maintaining acid-base balance in the body. But beyond that, it has neuroprotective (important for the treatment of autism), anti-aging, antioxidant properties. It protects against free radicals and acids, and also prevents excessive accumulation of metal ions that can damage cells. Also, carnosine can increase the sensitivity of muscles to calcium and make them resistant to heavy physical exertion. In addition, the amino acid is able to relieve irritability and nervousness, to ease headaches.
With age, the level of the substance in the body decreases, and in vegetarians this process proceeds more quickly. Carnosine deficiency is easy to “cure” a diet rich in protein foods.
Role in the body
In humans, two forms of alanine are represented. Alpha-alanine is a structural component of proteins, while the beta-form substance is part of pantothenic acid and other biological compounds.
In addition, alanine is an important component of the nutritional diet of the elderly, as it allows them to remain more active, gives strength. But this does not end the track record of alanine.
Immunity and kidneys
Other important tasks of this amino acid are to support the immune system and prevent the formation of kidney stones. Alien formations are formed as a result of ingestion of toxic insoluble compounds. And actually, the task of alanine is to neutralize them.
Studies have shown that prostate secretory fluid contains a high concentration of alanine, which helps protect the prostate gland from hyperplasia (symptoms: severe pain and difficulty urinating). This trouble, as a rule, arises against the background of an amino acid deficiency. In addition, alanine reduces swelling of the prostate gland, and is even part of therapy for the treatment of prostate cancer.
Effect on the female body
It is believed that this amino acid is an effective means to prevent hot flashes in women during menopause. True, as scientists admit, this ability of a substance still needs to be further studied.
Increase of efficiency
Some studies show that taking alanine improves the working capacity and physical endurance of the body, especially during active strength training. The properties of this amino acid also help to “relieve” muscle fatigue in the elderly.
With an increase in carnosine concentration in the body, physical endurance of the muscles also increases during exercise.
But how does this substance affect persistence? It turns out that carnosine is able to “blunt” the side effects of intense physical exertion and maintain good health. Thanks to alanine, the body’s tolerance to stress is increased. This allows you to train longer and perform more difficult exercises, in particular with weights. There is also evidence that this amino acid can increase aerobic endurance, which helps cyclists and runners improve their performance.
Alanin for muscles
Alanine is an important player in the process of protein biosynthesis. Muscle protein by about 6 percent consists of alanine, and it is the muscles that synthesize almost 30 percent of the total amount of amino acid in the body.
On the other hand, a mix of alanine, creatine, arginine, ketoisocaproate and leucine can significantly increase the volume of lean muscle mass in men, which also increases in proportion to the increase in carnosine concentration. It is believed that the use of X-NUMX-3,2 g of alanine per day will help to quickly build up strong muscles.
For the treatment of certain diseases
Proteinogenic amino acid alanine has been successfully used to treat certain diseases, in particular in orthomolecular medicine. It helps regulate blood sugar levels and is also used as a prophylactic against prostate cancer. Several studies have confirmed that alanine stimulates the immune system, prevents inflammation, helps to balance and stabilize the work of other systems. Also, having the ability to produce antibodies, it is useful in the treatment of viral diseases (including herpes) and immune disorders (AIDS).
Also, scientists have confirmed the link between alanine and the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin. As a result, the amino acid was added to the list of assistant substances for people with diabetes. This substance prevents the development of secondary conditions caused by diabetes, improves the quality of life of patients.
Another study showed that alanine in combination with exercise has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system, protects against a number of cardiological diseases. The experiment was conducted with the participation of more than 400 people. Upon completion, the first group, which consumed alanine daily, was diagnosed with a decrease in lipids in the bloodstream. This discovery made it possible to “endow” alanine with another positive feature — the ability to lower cholesterol and prevent atherosclerosis.
A person who receives the necessary doses of alanine has healthy hair, nails and skin, since the proper functioning of almost all organs and systems depends on this amino acid. And those who struggle with obesity should know that this substance, due to its ability to turn into glucose, can dull the feeling of hunger.
To improve physical performance, it is recommended to take from grams of alanine from 3,2 to 4 daily. But the standard daily dose is 2,5-3 g of substance per day.
As a rule, athletes who want to build muscle mass consume significantly more alanine than other people. Their diet usually consists of protein products, protein supplement mixtures, as well as foods with a high concentration of this and other amino acids.
Also, higher doses of alanine are necessary for people with a weakened immune system, urolithiasis, impaired brain activity, diabetics, in the period of depression and apathy, as well as with age-related changes, decreased libido.
Signs of deficiency
Poor nutrition, inadequate intake of protein foods, as well as stress and an unfavorable environmental situation can lead to alanine deficiency. An insufficient amount of a substance causes drowsiness, malaise, muscle atrophy, hypoglycemia, nervousness, as well as decreased libido, loss of appetite and frequent viral diseases.
Frequent intake of high doses of alanine may cause some side effects. Among the most common are hyperemia, redness, slight burning or pricking of the skin (paresthesia). But this note applies only to the pharmacy analogue of an amino acid. A substance derived from food usually does not cause any discomfort. Side effects can be avoided by reducing the daily portion of the substance. Alanine is generally considered a safe drug. However, people with food allergies should be replenished with amino acids with caution.
In addition, the body will report a glut of alanine with chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, sleep disturbances, muscle and joint pain, impaired memory and attentiveness.
Meat is the main source of alanine.
The lowest concentration of the substance is in poultry, the most – in beef dishes. Fish, yeast, partridges, horse meat, mutton, turkey can also provide the amino acids with a daily standard. Good sources of this nutrient are various cheeses, eggs, and squids. Vegetarians can replenish stocks of vegetable protein foods. For example, from mushrooms, sunflower seeds, soybeans or parsley.
Scientists, with their love of various clever terms, would say that alanine has enhanced hydrophilic properties. And we will describe this phenomenon in simpler words. Amino acid in contact with water is very quickly removed from the products. Therefore, long soaking or boiling in large quantities of water completely deprives food of alanine.
Top products containing alanine
|Product Name (100 g)||Alanine content (g)|
|Dried porcini mushrooms||1,9|
Interaction with other substances
Alanine goes well with creatine, but does not go well with taurine (they can compete for absorption). Interacting with other bioactive compounds, contributes to the creation of carnosine, anserine, coenzyme A, phenylalanine, pantothenic and pyruvic acids.
Carnosine, the active metabolite of alanine, is found in the highest concentration in the skeletal muscles of animals.
But even among representatives of the same species, amino acid reserves may vary significantly. So, in deep-sea fish the concentration of carnosine is much higher than in other species. And this is caused, as scientists believe, low oxygen content in deep water. But among mammals, the highest concentrations of carnosine were determined in horses, hounds and whales. But what is interesting: the animals fed on the farm contain a lower concentration of carnosine than their wild relatives.
Alanine plays an essential role in metabolic processes, as well as in regulating the level of sugar in the bloodstream. This amino acid protects against the development of pancreatic and prostate cancer, is an important part of sports nutrition, increases physical stamina and allows you to build muscle mass. But research on the potential of alanine continues. Does this mean that we still have a lot to learn about this substance?