Alanine belongs to the category of non-essential amino acids. This denotes that alanine is not indispensible in our diet, as it may be produced synthetically using additional cellular metabolites. Precisely speaking, alanine is produced from different amino acids present in the liver. The side chain of alanine is non-polar, belonging to the hydrophobic methyl cluster and next to glycine, it is the second least among the 20 amino acids. In effect, amino acid has a poor reactivity that allows silk, a protein that encloses about 30 per cent alanine, to comprise an uncomplicated extended formation having a small number of cross-links. In effect, alanine is among the most uncomplicated amino acids and is engaged in the process of breaking down glucose to produce energy. Alanine is obtained by breaking down DNA or the anserine, dipeptides and carnosine as well as the alteration of a compound belonging to carbohydrate metabolism known as pyruvate. Alanine is converted into pyruvate in the liver. It may be noted that the non-essential amino acid was isolated for the first time in 1879.

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The amino acid alanine is necessary for the biochemical metabolism of glucose in the body, this sugar is a simple carbohydrate used by the body for all its energy requirements. The presence of excessive alanine levels and low levels of tyrosine and phenylalanine in the body has been connected to the presence of Epstein-Barr virus infection and chronic fatigue symptoms in the human body. Beta-alanine which is one form of the amino acid alanine is a constituent of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) and the important compound called coenzyme A, which is a very vital catalyst in the human body and required for many biochemical metabolic pathways.

Many proteins contain alanine as a component - alanine is non-essential in the diet and synthesized in the human body itself. There is some evidence that the amino acid alanine may support the health of the prostate gland as it is present in prostate fluid - the role of alanine in the prostate gland is being investigated.

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The non-essential amino acid alanine may be obtained from several botanical and animal sources, including soy, nuts, beans, whey, brown rice bran, corn, whole grains, legumes, caseinate, meat, seafood, lactalbumin, brewer's yeast, eggs, fish, diary products as well as gelatine.

Since our body is capable of producing alanine from different sources without much difficulty, we seldom experience a deficiency of this non-essential amino acid. One will not face a dearth of any non-essential amino acid provided he or she takes a properly balanced diet, as the ingestion of appropriate foods will enable the body to create the precise amount of amino acid that is required for the different organs to function in their best capabilities. However, it may be noted that dearth of vitamin B6 may result in deficiency of alanine. People enduring hypoglycemia usually suffer from deficiency of alanine and this condition may be treated effectively by taking alanine supplementations.

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The non-essential amino acid alanine has various uses that are beneficial for our health. For instance, alanine is employed by our body to manufacture proteins. Alanine is also important for producing protein, necessary for appropriate functioning of the central nervous system (CNS) and it also facilitates in forming neurotransmitters. In addition, alanine is also required for promoting suitable levels of blood glucose from the dietary protein. It may be noted that alanine is present in profuse amounts within the human muscle tissues. This non-essential amino acid may be easily transformed into glucose at times when the level of blood sugar declines and the muscle tissues release amino acids to supply the requisite energy. When an individual undertakes exercises, the muscles set alanine free into the bloodstream in straight ratio to the amount of the hard work or force. Subsequently, the alanine is transformed into glucose and liberated into the blood plasma.

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Alanine is also likely to assist in maintaining the levels of blood sugar stable during the course of work-outs. Whenever the body requires energy, it is possible to produce glucose in the muscles or in the liver and, thereby, it may possibly assist in maintaining the normal levels of blood sugar. Poor blood sugar levels have been related to exhaustion while exercising and a number of experts are of the view that taking alanine supplementations may possibly facilitate athletes to work-out for extended periods of times at viable concentrations. Alanine is know to invigorate the production of lymphocyte and may prove to be beneficial for people enduring immune suppression. Alanine also fortifies the immune system by means of developing antibodies. This particular non-essential amino acid is said to be concerned with vitamin pyridoxine metabolism, in addition to tryptophan. Alanine is found in the prostate fluid and it has the aptitude to play a vital role in endorsing the health of the prostate.

It may be noted that the non-essential amino acid alanine is used most extensively in building proteins. At the same time, it needs to be mentioned that only l-alanine takes part in the protein biosynthesis. This adds to the wanted attributes like opposition to stretching and suppleness as well as the fiber-strength.

People whose diet is low in protein content or have eating problems, diabetes, liver ailments or genetic stipulations that result in urea cycle disorders (UCDs), may also require taking alanine supplements with a view to put off any deficiency of this non-essential amino acid. It has been found that patients suffering from diabetes, hypoglycemia and hepatitis often also endure low levels of alanine. However, it is yet to be known whether deficiency of alanine is the reason or the consequence of the diseases mentioned here. Our body should essentially possess alanine to be able to deal with the B vitamins that are extremely vital for ensuring robust health, particularly vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) plus vitamin B6 (pyridoxine).

Since fluid present in the prostate gland encloses alanine, it has been speculated that this non-essential amino acid possibly will facilitate in treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition wherein the prostate is distended and results in uneasiness during urination. According to the findings of one research, participants having BPH were given 780 mg of alanine, glutamic acid and glycine every day for two consecutive weeks. Subsequently, these three amino acids were given to them in daily dosage of 390 mg for a period of two and a half months. At the end of this period, significant decrease in the symptoms of the disorder was seen in these patients.

Usual dosage

Alanine supplements are not required by the majority of people. A nutritionally oriented and experienced physician may be consulted by those who do need this amino acid as a supplement for any reason.

Side effects and cautions

Taking alanine does not produce any side effects in most people who do use such supplements for any reason. Alanine supplements must only be taken under the supervision of a healthcare professional by individuals affected by kidney or liver disease - this is true for all the other amino acids as well.


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