Alanine


Alanine is an important part of human muscle tissue and is found readily in protein foods, including beef, pork, turkey, and cheese as well as wheat germ, oats, yogurt, and avocado. Glucose can be made from alanine in the liver or muscles when energy is needed, and thus it may help maintain the blood sugar level. Alanine deficiency has been seen in hypoglycemia, and alanine supplementation may be helpful in treating this condition. Alanine stimulates lymphocyte production and may help people who have immune suppression. It is also an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain and may decrease excitation, such as that found in epilepsy. Alanine is a big part of the cell walls of many bacteria, including Streptococcus faecium, a normal intestinal bacterium. Beta-alanine, a variant of natural L-alanine, is not a constituent of proteins but is part of pantothenic acid, vitamin B5.

Elson M. Haas MD Written by Elson M. Haas MD

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