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Serine : The amino acids that is required for the metabolism of fat, tissue growth and the immune system as it assists in the production of immunoglobulins and antibodies.

Serine is is a nonessential amino acid. Serine was first isolated in 1865 from sericin, a silk protein, it can be synthesized in the body from glycine , but this process requires the presence of sufficient amounts of vitamins B3 and B6 and folic acid.  Glycine is converted into serine by the addition of hydroxymethyl group and this reaction is catalyzed by serine hydroxymethyl transferase enzymes which also requires the two coenzymes namely, tetrahydrofolate and pyridoxal phosphate.

Serine is required for the metabolism of fat, tissue growth and the immune system as it assists in the production of immunoglobulins and antibodies, and is a constituent of brain proteins and nerve sheaths. It is important in the production of cell membranes, and muscle tissue synthesis.   It is important in RNA and DNA function, cell membrane formation, and creatine synthesis. Cancer-preventative. However, too-high serine levels in the body may have adverse effects on the immune system.

Function and Benefits of Serine

  • Serine is required for the metabolism of fat, tissue growth and the immune system as it assists in the production of immunoglobulins and antibodies.  Some derivatives (e.g. ethanolamine) are also important components of the phospholipids found in biological membranes.
  • It performs an important function in the catalytic role of numerous enzymes, for example it has been found to occur in the active sites of trypsin, chymotrypsin and various other enzymes.
  • Serine is also utilized in the synthesis of tryptophan amino acid which then gives rise to important neurotransmitter the serotonin in the central nervous system. Their deficiency leads to depression, irritability, insomnia, anxiety and confusion.
  • Serine has found to increase the absorption of creatine. Creatine is important for muscles as it make them strong and increases their mass.
  •  It is a component of brain proteins and the protective myelin sheaths that cover nerve fibers. It is important in RNA and DNA function, cell membrane formation, involved in the metabolism of purines and pyrimidines, and muscle synthesis
  • Serine can be made from glycine in the body, but this process requires the presence of sufficient amounts of vitamins B3 and B6 and folic acid
  • It is also used in cosmetics as a skin moisturizer.
  • Serine stimulates the synthesis of glucose (blood sugar) in the liver. For this reason, eating proteins foods that are rich in serine will help stabilize the body against oscillations of blood sugar levels after eating. Serine is known to be the precursor to cysteine, along with methionine.

Serine deficiency

Deficiency leads to depression, irritability, insomnia, anxiety and confusion.

Rich Food Sources of Serine

  • Animal origin sources: These include : meat, beef, dairy products like cheese etc.
  • Plant origin sources: These include :  almonds, asparagus, chickpea, cow pea, flax-seed,  lentils, sesame seed,  walnut and soy beans.