Tag Archives: Muscle

Drink Plenty: Water Is The Body’s Life Connection

Water drop
Water drop (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

 

The body is made up of approximately 55 to 75 per cent water. Water forms the basis of blood, digestive juices, urine and perspiration and is contained in lean muscle, fat and bones. The human body can last weeks without food, but only days without water.

 

As the body can’t store water, we need fresh supplies every day to make up for losses from lungs, skin, urine and feces. An important element for the body. Water is needed to maintain the health and integrity of every cell in the body, keep the bloodstream liquid enough to flow through blood vessels, help eliminate the by products of the body’s metabolism.

 

Water also helps to flush out toxins, regulate body temperature through sweating, lubricate and cushion joints and carry nutrients and oxygen to the body’s cells, just to name a few. Drinking refreshing, clean water plays a major role in reducing the risk of certain diseases.

 

Česky: Pitná voda - kohoutek Español: Agua potable
Česky: Pitná voda – kohoutek Español: Agua potable (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The loss of body water through urination is greatly increased by the ingestion of decaffeinated and alcoholic beverages. These drinks have a diuretic effect, meaning they stimulate the kidneys to excrete more urine. Not only do we lose water, we also lose water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C, vitamin B (thiamine) and other B complex

 

vitamins. For every caffeinated or alcoholic beverage you drink, you need to add an additional glass of simple pure water.

 

A diet containing lots of fruits and vegetables will supply about 4 cups of water per day. Even with a diet high in fruits and vegetables, it is still necessary to drink an additional 6 to 8 cups of water per day to supply enough water to meet the body’s daily needs. For every caffeinated or alcoholic beverage you drink, you need to add an additional glass of pure water.

 

Dehydration occurs when the water content of the body is too low. This is easily fixed by increasing fluid intake. Symptoms of dehydration include headaches, lethargy, mood changes and slow responses, dry nasal passages, dry or cracked lips, dark-colored urine, weakness, tiredness, confusion and hallucinations. Eventually urination stops, the kidneys fail and the body can’t remove toxic waste products. In extreme cases, this may result in death.
 

English: U.S. Army Sergeant Kornelia Rachwal g...
English: U.S. Army Sergeant Kornelia Rachwal gives a young Pakistani girl a drink of water as they are airlifted from Muzaffarabad to Islamabad, Pakistan, aboard a U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter on the 19 October 2005. Français : Le sergeant Kornelia Rachwal de l’armée américaine donne de l’eau à une jeune fille pakistanaise au cours d’un voyage de Muzaffarabad à Islamabad (Pakistan) à bord d’un hélicoptère CH-47 Chinook le 19 Octobre 2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Approximately six to eight glasses of a variety of fluids can be consumed each day. More than eight glasses may be needed for physically active people, children, people in hot or humid environments, and breastfeeding women. Less water may be needed for sedentary people, older people, people in a cold environment or people who eat a lot of high water content foods.

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise, exercise, exercise. We all know the benefits of exercising.

Exercise, exercise, exercise. We all know the benefits of exercising. But if you say you never have time, I tell you—you are never too busy to keep moving. Get up from the couch and just start moving. Any physical activity that gets your feet moving already falls under the category of exercise. Gardening, sweeping the floor, mopping, walking up and down the stairs, walking the dog—these are wonderful ways to be active.

Daily exercise will energize your body in addition to providing many other health benefits. By increasing the circulation of your blood, oxygen is carried to all parts of your body more effectively. This increased blood flow dynamically nourishes and oxygenates your cells, making them (and you) very happy and vibrant! Exercise strengthens and tones your heart and muscles, burn fats and keep you limber and gives you energy and vitality.

There are two basic types of excerise: aerobic and anaerobic.

Aerobic exercises require high oxygen consumption which brings cardiovascular benefits to the heart, crculatrary system and all the tissues and organs of your body. Running, walking, swimming, dancing, bicycling and exercise equipment such as a stairmaster or a stationary bike provide great aerobic benefits

Aerobic exercise  health benefits

  •  Improved circulation and lower blood pressure
  •  Increased lung capacity through stronger respiratory muscles
  • A stronger heart, which boosts pumping efficiency and lowers the resting heart rate
  • Increased red blood cell count, which transports oxygen more efficiently throughout the entire body
  •  Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease

Anaerobic exercise does not required high oxygen consumption, but will tone the body and increase lean muscle mass, while descreasing body fat. Weight lifting, sprinting and jumping, carrying heavy objects and various forms of physical labor are example of anaerobic exercise.

Anaerobic exercise health benefits

  • Stronger bones
  •  Reduced muscle atrophy with age
  • Increased speed and power
  •  Increased muscle strength and mass

A main difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise are the fuels each uses. Again, anaerobic exercise uses carbs or sugar. Aerobic workouts use some carbs but also lots of fat as fuel.  In fact, the more fit you are the more fat you use during aerobics.  Also, the gentler the activity the more fat you use. As intensity is raised, carbs are increasingly relied on to fuel activity.

For a better looking body with more vibrant and efficient cellular functioning in all your tissues and organs, combine stretching exercise with both aerobic and anaerobic –and be the best you can.

Carnitine : The amino acid that reduces the health risks posed by poor fat metabolism associated with diabetes; inhibits alcohol-induced fatty liver; and lessens the risk of heart disorders.

Carnitine is really not an amino acid, but because it is structurally similar to amino acids, it is normally classed with amino acids, and is also known as vitamin T. Carnitine is used in energy supply within cells and muscles and assists in preventing fatty build-up in areas such as the heart, liver, and skeletal muscles.

Unlike true amino acids, carnitine is not used for protein synthesis or as a neurotransmitter. Its main function in the body is to help transport long-chain fatty acids, which are burned within the cells, mainly in the mitochondria, to provide energy. This is a major source of energy for the muscles. Carnitine thus increases the use of fat as an energy source. This prevents fatty buildup, especially in the heart, liver, and skeletal muscles. Carnitine may be useful in treating chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), because a disturbance in the function of the mitochondria (the site of energy production within the cells) may be a factor in fatigue. Studies have shown decreased carnitine levels in many people with CFS.

Carnitine can be manufactured by the body if sufficient amounts of iron, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), and the amino acids lysine and methionine are available. The synthesis of carnitine also depends on the presence of adequate levels of vitamin C. Inadequate intake of any of these nutrients can result in a carnitine deficiency. Carnitine can also be obtained from food, primarily meats and other foods of animal origin.

Function and Benefits of Carnitine

  • Carnitine is available as D-carnitine, L-carnitine, DL-carnitine as well as acetyl-L-carnitine, but L-carnitine is the most popular type.
  • L-Carnitine is synthesized from the essential amino acids lysine and methionine, but enough vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) must be available
  • Carnitine has also been shown to improve the antioxidant effect of vitamin C and vitamin E
  • Carnitine can be manufactured by the body if iron, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), and the amino acids lysine and methionine are available
  • Insufficient carnitine will not allow fatty acids to be moved to the right place and the body will eventually wear down, resulting in a person feeling drained and tired
  • Carnitine reduces the health risks posed by poor fat metabolism associated with diabetes; inhibits alcohol-induced fatty liver; and lessens the risk of heart disorders.
  • Studies have shown that damage to the heart from cardiac surgery can be reduced by treatment with carnitine. According to The American Journal of Cardiology, one study showed that proprionyl-L-carnitine, a carnitine derivative, helps to ease the severe pain of intermittent claudication, a condition in which a blocked artery in the thigh decreases the supply of blood and oxygen to leg muscles, causing pain, especially with physical activity.
  • Carnitine has the ability to lower blood triglyceride levels, aid in weight loss, improve the motility of sperm, and improve muscle strength in people with neuromuscular disorders.
  • Men normally require more carnitine than women, because of their heavier body mass
  • Related to B-Vitamins

Deficiency Symptoms of Carnitine

Many cases of carnitine deficiency have been identified as partly genetic in origin, resulting from an inherited defect in carnitine synthesis. Possible symptoms of deficiency include confusion, heart pain, muscle weakness, and obesity.

Rich Food Sources of Carnitine

  • The highest concentrations of carnitine are found in red meat and dairy products.
  • Other natural sources of carnitine include nuts and seeds (e.g. pumpkin, sunflower, sesame), legumes or pulses (beans, peas, lentils, peanuts), vegetables (artichokes, asparagus, beet greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts, collard greens, garlic, mustard greens, okra, parsley, kale), fruits (apricots, bananas), cereals (buckwheat, corn, millet, oatmeal, rice bran, rye, whole wheat, wheat bran, wheat germ) and other “health” foods (bee pollen, brewer’s yeast, carob).

Cystine: The amino acid that functions as an antioxidant and is a powerful aid to the body in protecting against radiation and pollution.

Cystine is a nonessential amino acid (protein building block), meaning that cystine can be made in the human body.  Cystine is formed from methionine and is required for proper vitamin B6 utilisation.  Cystine is one of the few amino acids that contains sulfur. This allows cystine to bond in a special way and maintain the structure of proteins in the body. Cystine is a component of the antioxidant, glutathione. The body also uses cystine to produce taurine, another amino acid.

Cystine can also be converted into glucose and used as a source of energy. Cystine strengthens the protective lining of the stomach and intestines, which may help prevent damage caused by aspirin and similar drugs. In addition, cystine may play an important role in the communication between immune system cells. Cystine is rarely used as a dietary supplement. N-acetyl cystine (NAC), which contains cystine, is more commonly used as a supplement.

Function and Benefits of Cystine

  • It is helpful in the healing of burns and wounds and helps break down mucus deposits in illnesses such as bronchitis and cystic fibrosis.
  • Cystine is a crystalline, sulphur-containing amino acid, formed from two molecules of the amino acid cysteine
  • Strengthens the protective lining of the stomach and intestines, which may help prevent damage caused by aspirin and similar drugs.
  • Functions as an antioxidant and is a powerful aid to the body in protecting against radiation and pollution.
  • Detoxification from cigarettes and alcohol – cystine has been shown as a detoxification agent to protect the body against damage of alcohol and cigarette smoking, and may be effective in preventing hangovers, as well as preventing liver and brain damage
  • Cystine or the N-acetyl form of cysteine (N-acetylcysteine, or NAC) may be used in place of L-cysteine. NAC aids in preventing side effects from chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Because it increases glutathione levels in the lungs, kidneys, liver, and bone marrow, it has an anti aging effect on the body-reducing the accumulation of age spots, for example. NAC has been shown to be more effective at boosting glutathione levels than supplements of cystine or even of glutathione itself.
Cystine deficiency
  • Deficiency of cystine is rare, as it is found in so many protein foods, although in patients with chronic diseases, the synthesis of cystine from methionine appears to be prevented and could result in a deficiency.
  • People in these groups at risk of cystine deficiency should talk to a medical professional about cystine supplementation.
Rich Food Sources of Cystine
 leafy vegetables, bananas, broccoli, dates,nuts, seeds, meat, eggs, and milk.

Proline : The amino acid that improves skin texture and aids collagen formation and helps contain the loss of collagen during aging.

Proline was first isolated from casein in 1901, and unlike any of the other amino acids it is readily soluble in alcohol. It is a non-essential amino acid and can be synthesized from glutamic acid and does not require dietary sources.

Proline is one of the cyclic aliphatic amino acids that is a major component of the protein collagen, the connective tissue structure that binds and supports all other tissues. Proline is synthesized from glutamic acid prior to its incorporation into pro-collagen during messenger RNA translation. After the pro-collagen protein is synthesized, it is converted by post-translational modification into hydroxyproline. On a molar basis proline is incorporated into protein at a rate of 4.2 percent with respect to other amino acids.

Proline improves skin texture and aids collagen formation and helps contain the loss of collagen during aging. Collagen in the skin contains hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine, which is formed from proline and lysine, in which ascorbic acid seems to be important in this conversion. Collagen contains about 15% proline. It is also thought to be important in the maintenance of muscles, joints and tendons.

Function and Benefits of Proline

  • Proline is associated with the production of collagen which promotes healthy skin, joints, tendons, and heart muscle.
  •  Proline helps strengthen cardiac muscle.
  • The metabolism of proline is connected to enzymes that require niacin and vitamin C.
  • Helps strengthen cardiac muscle, improves skin texture and aids collagen formation and helps contain the loss of collagen during aging.
  • Proline gives rise to glutamic acid which is an important amino acid. This glutamic acid then gives rise to very important compounds such as glutathione, glutamine, gamma aminobutyric acid, alpha ketoglutarate etc.
  • Proline is interchangeable with the ornithine, thus it can lead to the formation of urea as well. On the other hand, ornithine has also been found to form proline.
  • Proline is also converted to hydroxyproline by post translation reaction that is after it has been incorporated into the protein molecule.
  • Thus, proline is also an important amino acid. Its supplements are also available in the market. These are especially important in those people who are suffering from diseases due to collagen deficiency and also in those suffering from skin disorders and injuries.
  • Collagen in the skin contains hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine, which is formed from proline and lysine, in which ascorbic acid seems to be important in this conversion. Collagen contains about 15% proline. It is also thought to be important in the maintenance of muscles, joints and tendons.
Rich food sources of Proline
  • It is not so needed to be obtained from the food as it is itself formed within our body. But it is richly present in the meat.
  • Asparagus, avocados, bamboo shoots, beans, brewer’s yeast, broccoli rabe, brown rice bran, cabbage, caseinate, chives, dairy products, eggs, fish, lactalbumin, legumes, meat, nuts, seafood, seaweed, seeds, soy, spinach, watercress, whey, whole grains.
  • Vitamin rich foods are also important also.

Symptoms of proline deficiency
None – it is readily obtained and available to the body.

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.

Ornithine: The amino acid that helps to prompt the release of growth hormone, which promotes the metabolism of excess body fat.

Ornithine is a nonessential amino acid and is manufactured by the body. The amino acid, arginine, is metabolized during urea production and is required by the body as it acts as a precursor of citrulline, proline and glutamic acid. Ornithine induces the release of growth hormone in the body, which in turn helps with fat metabolism. It is required for a properly functioning immune system and liver and assists in ammonia detoxification and liver rejuvenation. Helps in healing and repairing skin and tissue.

Ornithine plays an important role in the urea cycle and is the precursor of the amino acids citrulline, glutamic acid, and proline. Another primary role of ornithine is being an intermediate in arginine biosynthesis, although this is due to its participation in the urea cycle (responsible for the production of urea). Ornithine is not directly incorporated into proteins and enzymes and does not have a codon in the genetic code.

Functions and Benefits of Ornithine

  • Induces the release of growth hormone in the body, which in turn helps with fat metabolism. It is required for a properly functioning immune system and liver and assists in ammonia detoxification and liver rejuvenation. Helps in healing and repairing skin and tissue.
  •  Ornithine is necessary for proper immune-system and liver function.
  • High concentrations of ornithine are found in the skin and connective tissue, making it useful for promoting healing and repairing damaged tissues.
  • Ornithine is synthesized in the body from arginine, and in turn serves as the precursor of citrulline, proline, and glutamic acid.
  • Animal research has suggested that ornithine, along with arginine, may promote muscle-building activity in the body by increasing levels of growth-promoting (anabolic) hormones such as insulin and growth hormone. However, most human research does not support these claims at reasonable intake levels. One study that did demonstrate increased growth hormone with oral ornithine used very high amounts (an average of 13 grams per day) and reported many gastrointestinal side effects. One controlled study reported greater increases in lean body mass and strength after five weeks of intensive strength training in athletes taking 1 gram per day each of arginine and ornithine, compared with a group doing the exercise but taking a placebo. These findings require independent confirmation.
  • Ornithine aspartate has been shown to be beneficial in people with brain abnormalities (hepatic encephalopathy) due to liver cirrhosis. In a double-blind trial, people with cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy received either 18 grams per day of L-ornithine-L-aspartate or a placebo for two weeks. Those taking the ornithine had significant improvements in liver function and blood tests compared with those taking the placebo.
Deficiency Symptoms of Ornithine

  • Since the body can produce ornithine, a deficiency of this non-essential amino acid is rare.
  • A deficiency of this nonessential amino acid is unlikely, though depletion can occur during growth or pregnancy, and after severe trauma or malnutrition.
Rich Food Sources of Ornithine
  • carob, chocolate, coconut, dairy products, gelatin, meats, oats, peanuts, soybeans, walnuts, wheat, and wheat germ.

 

 

Taurine : The amino acid that is Is needed for fat digestion, absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, the control of cholesterol serum levels in the body, maintaining cell membrane integrity.

Taurine, a nonessential amino acid, is found in high concentrations in the white blood cells, skeletal muscles, central nervous system as well as the heart muscles. It is a building block of all the other amino acids as well as a key component of bile, which is needed for the digestion of fats, the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and the control of serum cholesterol levels. In adults, but not children, this nutrient can be manufactured from methionine in the body and from cysteine in the liver. Vitamin B6 must be present for these processes to be successful.

It is a key ingredient of bile, which in turn is needed for fat digestion, absorption of fat-soluble vitamins as well as the control of cholesterol serum levels in the body. (It is incorporated in the bile acid chenodeoxychloic acid, which emulsify the dietary fats). This nutrient is also used in the proper use of potassium, calcium, as well as sodium in the body, and for maintaining cell membrane integrity. It is thought to be helpful with anxiety, hyperactivity, poor brain function and epilepsy as well as hydrating the brain. Taurine, together with zinc, is also required for proper eye health and vision.

Function and Benefits of Taurine

  • It is vital for the proper utilization of sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, and it has been shown to play a particular role in sparing the loss of potassium from the heart muscle. This helps to prevent the development of potentially dangerous cardiac arrhythmias.
  • It is a building block of all the other amino acids as well as a key component of bile, which is needed for the digestion of fats, the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and the control of serum cholesterol levels.
  • Taurine has a protective effect on the brain, particularly if the brain is dehydrated. It is used to treat anxiety, epilepsy, hyperactivity, poor brain function, and seizures.
  • Taurine is found in concentrations up to four times greater in the brains of children than in those of adults. It may be that a deficiency of taurine in the developing brain is involved in seizures.
  • Taurine supplementation may benefit children with Down syndrome and muscular dystrophy.
  • This amino acid is also used in some clinics for breast cancer treatment.
  • Taurine is a nonessential amino acid, which means that it is manufactured from other amino acids in the liver; it does not have to be obtained directly through the diet. High concentrations of taurine are found in the heart muscle, white blood cells, skeletal muscle, and central nervous system.
  • Is needed for fat digestion, absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, the control of cholesterol serum levels in the body, maintaining cell membrane integrity.

Deficiency Symptoms of Taurine

Zinc deficiency also is commonly found in people with epilepsy, and this may play a part in the deficiency of taurine. Taurine is also associated with zinc in maintaining eye function; a deficiency of both may impair vision.

Rich Food Sources of Taurine

  • Taurine is found in eggs, fish, meat, and milk, but not in vegetable proteins.
  •  It can be synthesized from cysteine in the liver and from methionine elsewhere in the body, as long as sufficient quantities of vitamin B6 are present.
  • For individuals with genetic or metabolic disorders that prevent the synthesis of taurine, taurine supplementation is required.
  • Taurine is not consumed in any significant quantity by vegans – who are vegetarians without dairy products or eggs in the diet. However, even vegans synthesize enough taurine in the body to avoid a deficiency of the compound in the body.

Myth
Some people mistakenly believe that the taurine in energy drinks, such as Red Bull, comes from the testicles of a bull. That myth might be rooted in the origins of the word taurine. The Vanderbilt University Psychology Department notes that the word taurine has it roots in the Latin word “taurus,” which means bull. It was found originally in the bile of an ox, or castrated bull, and can be found in the urine of female cattle. However, taurine used in today’s energy drinks is made synthetically.

Valine : The essential amino acid that is needed for muscle metabolism, tissue repair, and the maintenance of a proper nitrogen balance in the body.

  Valine is a member of the branched-chain amino acid family, along with leucine and isoleucine. The three branched-chain amino acids constitute approximately 70 percent of the amino acids in the body proteins. As such, their value in the formation and maintenance of structural and functional integrity in humans is unmeasured. Valine is an amino acid obtained by hydrolysis of proteins and was first isolated by the German chemist Emil Fischer in 1901 from casein and is not only an essential amino acid but is also a branched-chain amino acid ( the others are isoleucine and leucine) found in high concentration in the muscles.

Valine is an aliphatic amino acid that is closely related to leucine and isoleucine both in structure and function. These amino acids are extremely hydrophobic and are almost always found in the interior of proteins. They are also seldom useful in routine biochemical reactions, but are relegated to the duty of determining the three-dimensional structure of proteins due to their hydrophobic nature. They are also essential amino acids and must be obtained in the diet. Valine is incorporated into proteins and enzymes at the molar rate of 6.9 percent when compared to the other amino acids.

Function and Benefits of Valine

  • Valine, an essential amino acid, has a stimulant effect. It is needed for muscle metabolism, tissue repair, and the maintenance of a proper nitrogen balance in the body.
  • It is one of the branched-chain amino acids, which means that it can be used as an energy source by muscle tissue.
  • It may be helpful in treating liver and gallbladder disease, and it is good for correcting the type of severe amino acid deficiencies that can be caused by drug addiction.
  • Valine has some stimulating effects. It plays role in the muscle metabolism and also helps in growth and repair of tissues. Valine also maintains nitrogen balance in our body.
  • Valine is the glucogenic amino acid so it provides glucose.
  • A disease known as maple serum urine disease results in case of error in metabolism of valine and it is then excreted in the urine.
  • Valine is found in high concentrations in muscle tissue.
  • Promotes mental vigor, muscle coordination and calm emotions.
  • Preventing muscle loss at high altitudes.
Rich Food Sources of Valine
  • Animal origin: Valine sources from animal origin includes meat, poultry, fish, dairy foods like cheese etc
  • Plant origin: Valine plant sources include lentils, peanuts, soy,
  • mushrooms,  sesame seeds and leafy greens
Deficiency Symptoms of Valine

  • Maple syrup urine disease (MSUD) is caused by the inability to metabolize leucine, isoleucine, and valine. The disease is so named because urine from affected people smells like maple syrup.
  • A deficiency may affect the myelin covering of the nerves.

Leucine : One of the branched­chain amino acids essential essential for growth, stimulates the production of muscle tissue, and protects the liver from the damaging affects of alcohol.

Leucine is an essential amino acid and one of the branched­chain amino acids (the others are isoleucine and valine). These work together to protect muscle and act as fuel. They promote the healing of bones, skin, and muscle tissue, and are recommended for those recovering from surgery. Leucine also lowers elevated blood sugar levels and aids in increasing growth hormone production.

Leucine, like its cousins isoleucine and valine, is a hydrophobic amino acid that is found as a structural element on the interior of proteins and enzymes. There appears to be no other significant metabolic role for these amino acids, but they are essential and because they are not synthesized by mammalian tissues, must be taken in the diet. Leucine ties glycine for the position of second most common amino acid found in proteins with a concentration of 7.5 percent on a molar basis compared to the other amino acids.

Function and Benefits of Leucine

  • Leucine is essential in regulating blood glucose level as well as in the growth and repair of bones, skin and muscles.
  • Leucine also prevents the break down of muscle proteins which occurs during trauma, stress of severe kind, during starvation or recovery from surgery.
  • Patients suffering from phenylketonuria can take leucine which has been found beneficial to them.
  • It also results in production of growth hormones and it also burns visceral fats which are located in the deeper layers of the body and are least responsive to dieting and exercises.
  • During times of starvation, stress, infection, or recovery from trauma, the body mobilizes leucine as a source for gluconeogenesis (the synthesis of blood sugar in the liver) to aid in the healing process.

Deficiency Symptoms of   Leucine

  • Deficiency of this nutrient is rare, since all protein foods contain it.
  • Hypoglycemia symptoms may appear if the diet is deficient and may include dizziness, fatigue, headaches, irritability, etc.

Rich Food Sources of Leucine

  • Animal sources: Meat, chicken, poultry, fish, sea foods, dairy products like cottage cheese etc
  • Plant sources: Whole lentils, brown rice, nuts, soy flour, whole wheat, beans, sesame seeds , peanuts and leafy greens.