Alanine is a non essential amino acid, important for the metabolism of tryptophan and pyridoxine and as a source of energy for muscle tissue and nervous system. where the body uses it as a fuel. Alanine is used by the body to build protein and to produce energy. Alanine strengthens the immune system by producing antibodies, and helps in the metabolism of sugars and organic acids. Alanine is an inhibitory or calming neurotransmitter in brain. Alanine is an important cofactor in the storage of energy from the body's Kreb cycle. Alanine is known to build the immune system and be helpful in the post-injury state.
Alanine strengthens the immune system by producing antibodies. Alanine helps in the metabolism of sugars and organic acids. Alanine is an important source of energy for muscle tissue, the brain and central nervous system; strengthens the immune system by producing antibodies; helps in the metabolism of sugars and organic acids.
L-alanine is present in prostate fluid and plays a role as an activator of pyruvate kinase in the prostate.
Important source of energy for muscle.
The primary amino acid in sugar metabolism.
Boosts immune system by producing antibodies. Major part of connective tissue.
In Studies: In a study, men with BPH took alanine, glycine, and glutamic acid for 3 months, and saw a significant reduction in symptoms.
Alanine has been demonstrated to display a cholesterol-reducing effect in rats.
History: Alanine was first isolated in 1879
Technicals: Alanine main function seems to be the metabolism of tryptophan and pyridoxine. The alpha-carbon in alanine is substituted with a levorotatory (l)-methyl group, making Alanine one of the simplest amino acids with respect to molecular structure and is one of the most widely used in protein construction, averaging about 9 percent of average protein composition on a per-mole basis when compared with the other amino acids. Alanine is a product of tryptophan catabolism. Alanine can be made by several metabolic processes. Commonly Alanine is made by transfer of an amine group to pyruvate.
Alanine Cycle: Alanine is preserves and balances the levels of nitrogen and glucose in the body through a series of chemical actions. During the alanine cycle, any excess amino acids (proteins) in cells or tissues are transferred to a receptor molecule called pyruvate, (pyruvate is produced by the breakdown of glucose). Pyruvate is then converted to alanine and transferred to the liver. The liver extracts nitrogen from alanine and converts some of it back into pyruvate, which can then be used to produce more glucose. Any excess nitrogen is then converted into urea and passed out of the body during urination. This cycle, glucose—pyruvate—alanine—pyruvate—glucose, helps supply the body with the energy it needs to support cellular life. It ensures that a constant supply of pyruvate is available to allow the synthesis of glucose and amino acids in the body. testing
People with low-protein diets or eating disorders, liver disease, diabetes, or genetic conditions that cause Urea Cycle Disorders (UCDs), may need to take alanine supplements to avoid a deficiency.
Sources: Excellent sources include meat and poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products and some protein-rich plant foods.
The glucose-alanine cycle is used primarily as a mechanism for skeletal muscle to eliminate nitrogen while replenishing its energy supply. Glucose oxidation produces pyruvate which can undergo transamination to alanine. This reaction is catalyzed by glutamate-pyruvate transaminase, GPT (also called alanine transaminase, ALT in Figure). Additionally, during periods of fasting, skeletal muscle protein is degraded for the energy value of the amino acid carbons and alanine is a major amino acid in protein. The alanine then enters the blood stream and is transported to the liver. It is produced from pyruvate by transamination in the liver by converting it back to pyruvate, which becomes a source of carbon atoms for gluconeogenesis. The newly formed glucose can then enter the blood for delivery back to the muscle. The amino group transported from the muscle to the liver in the form of alanine is then converted to urea in the urea cycle and excreted.
It occurs in high levels in its free state in plasma. It is involved in sugar and acid metabolism, increases immunity, and provides energy for muscle tissue, brain, and the central nervous system.
Signs or Symptoms of a Deficiency: Hypoglycemia, Muscle breakdown, Fatigue, Viral infections, diabetes, alcohol induced hepatitis, and Elevated insulin and glucagon levels.
Excess maybe seen in: Low insulin and glucagon levels, Diabetes mellitus and Kwashiorkor (starvation).
Caution: During fasting or prolonged exercise, l-alanine is one of the primary amino acids released from muscle tissue into the bloodstream. l-Alanine is then converted by the liver into pyruvate, a substrate for the production of blood sugar, or glucose. Some of the glucose, in turn, is used by the muscles for energy, supporting a long and thorough workout.
1. L. Brennan, A. Shine, C. Hewage, J.P.G. Malthouse, K.M. Brindle, N. McClenaghan, P.R. Flatt and P. Newsholme. (2002) "A NMR based demonstration of substantial oxidative L-alanine metabolism and L-alanine enhanced glucose metabolism in a clonal pancreatic b-cell line - Metabolism of L-alanine is important to the regulation of insulin secretion." Diabetes, 51, 1714
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