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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
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Proline
Serine
Threonine
Tyrosine
Valine

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Oct 18,2017
Methionine M (Met)
Chemical Properties: Sulfur-containing (Sulfur containing group)
Physical Properties: Non Polar (hydrophobic)

Methionine, an essential amino acid, is one of the two sulfur-containing amino acids. The side chain is quite hydrophobic and methionine is usually found buried within proteins. Unlike cysteine, the sulfur of methionine is not highly nucleophilic, although it will react with some electrophilic centers. It is generally not a participant in the covalent chemistry that occurs in the active centers of enzymes.

The chemical linkage of the sulfur in methionine is a thiol ether. Compare this terminology with that of the oxygen containing ethers. The sulfur of methionine, as with that of cysteine, is prone to oxidation. The first step, yielding methionine sulfoxide, can be reversed by standard thiol containing reducing agents. The second step yields methionine sulfone, and is effectively irreversible. It is thought that oxidation of the sulfur in a specific methionine of the elastase inhibitor in human lung tissue by agents in cigarette smoke is one of the causes of smoking-induced emphysema. Methionine as the free amino acid plays several important roles in metabolism. It can react to form S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAM) which servers at a methyl donor in reactions.

Methionine and cysteine are the only sulfur-containing amino acids.
Methionine is a sulfur containing essential amino acid and was first isolated in 1922 from casein and belongs to a group of compounds called lipotropics - the others in this group include choline, inositol, and betaine. It is important in the process of methylation where methyl is added to compounds as well as being a precursor to the amino acids cystine and cysteine.

Methionine is required for
It assists in the breakdown of fats and thereby prevents the build-up of fat in the arteries, as well as assisting with the digestive system and removing heavy metals from the body since it can be converted to cysteine, which is a precursor to gluthione, which is of prime importance in detoxifying the liver.

The amino acid methionine is also a great antioxidant as the sulfur it supplies inactivates free radicals. It may also be used to treat depression, arthritis pain as well as chronic liver disease - although these claims are still under investigation. Some studies have also indicated that methionine might improve memory recall.

It is also one of the three amino acids needed by the body to manufacture creatine monohydrate, a compound essential for energy production and muscle building.

Deficiency of methionine
Severe deficiency may manifest in dementia, while lesser deficiencies may be known by symptoms like fatty liver, slow growth, weakness, edema and skin lesions.

Dosage
The dosage listed underneath is the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), but be aware that this dosage is the minimum that you require per day, to ward off serious deficiency of this particular nutrient. In the therapeutic use of this nutrient, the dosage is usually increased considerably, but the toxicity level must be kept in mind.

The daily dosage of leucine is about 12 mg per kilogram of body weight per day - which would translate to about 840 mg for a 70 kg male.

Toxicity and symptoms of high intake
It has been suggested that a high intake of methionine, in the presence of B vitamin deficiencies, may increase the risk for arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) by increasing blood levels of cholesterol and a compound called homocysteine; and that excessive methionine intake, with an inadequate intake of folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, may increase the rate of conversion of methionine to homocysteine - both these theories have not been proven in humans.

Best used with
If you are considering taking a methionine supplement, it is best to balance it with choline and inositol.

When more may be required
People with liver problems, pancreatitis, HIV/AIDS as well as Parkinson's disease may consider obtaining more methionine, after consultation with their health professional, and older people may also benefit from a slightly higher intake of this nutrient.

Women on birth control pills could also look at this nutrient, since it promotes the excretion of estrogen. People suffering from schizophrenia could investigate taking extra methionine since it reduces the level of histidine in the body, a level normally higher in people suffering from schizophrenia.

Food sources
Methionine is found in good quantities in meat, fish, beans, eggs, garlic, lentils, onions, yogurt and seeds.
  • Production of Cysteine, Glutathione, Taurine, Choline.
  • Synthesis of Carnitine and Creatine.
  • Involvement in nucleic acid production, polyamines and catecholamines.
  • Protein synthesis and increase of body nitrogen.
  • Deficiencies noted in burn and sepsis patients.
  • Hepatic liver metabolism due to alcohol consumption.
  • Prevention of adhesion of uropathogenic microorganisms in chronic urinary tract infections.


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