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Alanine

Alanine

Description

Alanine is a nonessential amino acid, which means it is manufactured from other amino acids in the liver; it does not have to be obtained directly through the diet.

Alanine is necessary for the promotion of proper blood glucose levels from dietary protein. It is involved in gluconeogenesis - the manufacture of glucose from alanine by the liver.

Deficiencies of a nonessential amino acid will not occur if a well-balanced diet is consumed because the intake of proper foods will allow the body to produce exactly the amount of amino acid required to function optimally.

Alanine can be applied in the stabilization of blood sugar with problems of glucose intolerance and hypoglycemia. Therapeutic doses of alanine range from 500 to 2,000 mg per day.

Recommended Dietary Allowances

An RDA has not been established for alanine because it is a nonessential amino acid.

Food Sources

Alanine is a nonessential amino acid, which means it is manufactured from other amino acids in the liver; it does not have to be obtained directly through the diet.

Method of Action

Alanine is manufactured in the body from pyruvate. Pyruvate is created through the proper metabolism of blood sugar (glucose). Vitamin B-6 helps in the conversion of alanine to glucose. Alanine can also be manufactured from branched chain amino acids such as valine, leucine, and isoleucine.

References

Arbeit, J.M., Burt, M.E., Rubinstein. L.V., Gorschboth, C.M. & Brennan, M. Glucose Metabolism and Gluconeogenesis from Alanine: Response to Exogenous Glucose Infusion in Tumor Bearing and Non-Tumor Bearing Rats. Cancer Research, 1982.

Blackburn, G.L., J.P. Grant, V.R. Young, ed. Amino Acids Metabolism and Medical Applications.

Chiasson, J.L., R.L. Atkinston & A.D. Cherrington. Insulin Regulation of Gluconeogenesis from Alanine in Man. Metabolism, 20:810-8, 1980.

Munro, H.N. & M.C. Crim. The Proteins and Amino Acids. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, eds: R.S. Goodhart & M.E. Shils, 6 ed., Philadelphia: Lea and Febiger, 1980.

Robert, J.J., D.M. Bier, X.H. Zhao, D.E. Matthews & V.R. Young. Glucose and Insulin Effects on De Novo Amino Acid Synthesis in Young Men: Studies with Stable Isotope Labeled Alanine, Glycine, Leucine and Lysine. Metabolism, 1982.

Young, V.R., M. Meguid, D.E. Meredith & D.M. Bier. Recent Developments in Knowledge of Human Amino Acid Requirements. Nitrogen Metabolism in Man, eds: J.C. Waterlow & J.M.L. Stephen, London: Applied Science Pubs, 1981.