A Non-Essential Amino Acid. Alanine is an one of the simplest amino acids in terms of molecular structure and one of the most widely found in protein. Alanine is found mainly in the liver, but also in smaller amounts in the kidneys, heart, muscles, and pancreas.
Alanine is an important source of energy for muscle tissue and the brain and central nervous system. It strengthens the immune system by producing antibodies and helps in the metabolism of sugars and organic acids.
Many people may not need to supplement with alanine since it is well provided for in the diet, and can be synthesized from pyruvic acid (formed in the breakdown of carbohydrates). However, people on very low protein diets can be at risk of a deficiency of alanine.
Words of Caution
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.
Alanine In Your Food
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 alanine. Specific foods containing alanine include gelatins, egg white, pork skins, seaweed, fish and bacon.
Alanine and the Male Prostate
It has been found that alanine is present in prostate fluid, and it may play a role in the wellness of the prostate. In one study of men with benign prostatic hyperplasia, it was found that 780mg 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.
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