Definition

A non-essential amino acid that occurs in high levels in its free state in plasma. It is produced from pyruvate by transamination. It is involved in sugar and acid metabolism, increases IMMUNITY, and provides energy for muscle tissue, BRAIN, and the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. Dietary supplement, nutrient Alanine (abbreviated as Ala or A) is an alpha-amino acid with the chemical formula CH3CH(NH2)COOH. The L-isomer is one of the 22 proteinogenic amino acids, i.e., the building blocks of proteins. Its codons are GCU, GCC, GCA, and GCG. It is classified as a nonpolar amino acid. L-Alanine is second only to leucine in rate of occurrence, accounting for 7.8% of the primary structure in a sample of 1,150 proteins. D-Alanine occurs in bacterial cell walls and in some peptide antibiotics. (Wikipedia)

Description

Alanine is a nonessential amino acid made in the body from the conversion of the carbohydrate pyruvate or the breakdown of DNA and the dipeptides carnosine and anserine. It is highly concentrated in muscle and is one of the most important amino acids released by muscle, functioning as a major energy source. Plasma alanine is often decreased when the BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids) are deficient. This finding may relate to muscle metabolism. Alanine is highly concentrated in meat products and other high-protein foods like wheat germ and cottage cheese. Alanine is an important participant as well as regulator in glucose metabolism. Alanine levels parallel blood sugar levels in both diabetes and hypoglycemia, and alanine reduces both severe hypoglycemia and the ketosis of diabetes. It is an important amino acid for lymphocyte reproduction and immunity. Alanine therapy has helped dissolve kidney stones in experimental animals. Normal alanine metabolism, like that of other amino acids, is highly dependent upon enzymes that contain vitamin B6. Alanine, like GABA, taurine and glycine, is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. It is produced from pyruvate by transamination. It is involved in sugar and acid metabolism, increases immunity, and provides energy for muscle tissue, brain, and the central nervous system.

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