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Types of Amino Acids
Alanine
Arginine
Aspartic Acid
Citrulline
Cysteine
Cystine
Glutamic Acid
Glutamine
Glycine
Histidine
Isoleucine
Leucine
Lysine
Methionine
Ornithine
Phenylalanine
Proline
Serine
Threonine
Tyrosine
Valine

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Dec 14,2017
Alanine A (Ala)
Chemical Properties: Aliphatic (Aliphatic R-group)
Physical Properties: Nonpolar

Alanine is a hydrophobic molecule. It is ambivalent, meaning that it can be inside or outside of the protein molecule. The β carbon of alanine is optically active; in proteins, only the L-isomer is found.

Note that alanine is the β-amino acid analog of the β-keto acid pyruvate, an intermediate in sugar metabolism. Alanine and pyruvate are interchangeable by a transamination reaction.

Interchangeable with Pyruvate
Alanine is a non-essential amino acid and is used by the body to build protein. The alpha-carbon in alanine is substituted with a levorotatory (l)-methyl group, making it one of the simplest amino acids with respect to molecular structure and is the most widely used in protein construction.

Alanine is required for
It is required for the metabolism of glucose and tryptophan and beta-alanine is a constituent of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) as well as coenzyme A. It has also demonstrated a cholesterol-reducing effect in rats. People suffering from Epstein Barr (also sometimes referred to as glandular fever) as well as chronic fatigue syndrome, have been linked to excessively high levels of alanine while having low levels of tyrosine and phenylalanine.

Deficiency of alanine
Deficiendies have been found in patients with hypoglycemia, diabetes, and alcohol-induced hepatitis

Toxicity and symptoms of high intake
Alanine does not have many side effects, but people with kidney or liver disease should not consume high intakes of amino acids without consulting a health care professional.

When more may be required
People on a very low protein diet, could be at risk of a deficiency.

Other interesting points
It has been found that alanine is present in prostate fluid, and it may play a role in the role of the prostate. In one study of men with benign prostatic hyperplasia, it was found that 780 mg of alanine per day for two weeks and then 390 mg for the next two and a half months, taken together in combination with equal amounts of glycine and glutamic acid reduced the symptoms.

Food sources of alanine
As with the other amino acids, excellent sources of alanine include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Some protein-rich plant foods like avocado also supply

Key Benefits
  • Protein synthesis.
  • Sugar/glucose metabolism.
  • Boosts immune system by assisting in production of antibodies.
  • Energy metabolism.
  • Required for growth and maintenance of muscle.
Metabolism
  • Non-essential
  • Proteogenic
  • Glycogenic
    1. Alanine is the primary glucogenic amino acid of the body.
    2. Liver's ability to utilize alanine for gluconeogenesis is enormous, reaching saturation only when alanine levels approximate 900 micromole/100 ml (20-30 times normal levels).
    3. Main transporter of nitrogen from the muscles to the liver (glutamate also transports nitrogen from the muscles, but carries it primarily to the kidneys and intestines).
    4. Plasma levels are controlled predominantly by:

      a. Insulin: which regulates the release of alanine from the tissues.
      b. Glucagon: which regulates the transport of alanine to the liver.
    Adult Reference Ranges
    Plasma

    LowNormal (17-50 micromol/100 ml)High
    Ketonic Hypoglycemia Kwashiorkor
    High glucagon and insulin levels Protein Restriction
    Hypoglycemia Decompensated diabetes
    Fatigue Diseases with secondary lactic acidosis
    Viral Infection Low glucagon and Insulin levels
    Muscle catabolism Kwashiorkor


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