Amino Acid of the Week: Methionine

Lucky Blog continues to explain what amino acids can do for you. This week, we focus on another building block of life: L-Methionine.

Methionine’s main role includes the detoxification of tissues but it also helps break down fats, and assists with choline production. Cells in the liver and kidneys especially need this amino acid for regeneration.

Methionine helps maintain the health of the liver by removing poisons and giving protection. It also helps relieve arthritic-rheumatic disorders, strengthens hair follicles and protects against the destruction of delicate liver tissues.

Signs of deficiency include poor skin tone, hair loss, toxic waste buildup and excessive fat retained in the liver.

Methionine is important to start an essential chain of events to promote overall health. Together with cysteine, methionine is one of two sulfur-containing proteinogenic amino acids. Methionine is converted to S-adenosyl methionine, known as SAM, which serves as a methyl donor and improper conversion of methionine can lead to atherosclerosis.

Research has indicated that taking SAM on a regular basis may help fight depression, liver disease, and osteoarthritis. In addition, SAM is converted to S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH), which is then converted to homocysteine.

Homocysteine is important to promote overall health because it can regenerate methionine, or to form cysteine. However, a high level of blood serum homocysteine is a powerful risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Methionine is an essential amino acid, not produced by the human body. High levels of methionine can be found in sesame seeds, Brazil nuts, fish and meats. Most fruits and vegetables contain very little of it; however, spinach, potatoes, and corn have significant amounts.

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