La valine is one of many amino acids used to synthesize proteins in the human body, chemically known as proteinogenic amino acids; takes its name from the valerian plant, from which valine was first derived.
Also, it is, a essential amino acid, which means that it cannot be synthesized in the human body; it must therefore be obtained through food sources.
Let's find out everything there is to know about valine.
What is Valine?
Valine is a essential amino acid, used in the biosynthesis of proteins; it contains an alpha-amino group, an alpha-carboxylic acid group, and a side-chain isopropyl group, making it a non-polar aliphatic amino acid.
It is essential for humans, which means that the body cannot synthesize it and must be obtained through diet.
Plants biosynthesize valine using pyruvic acid as a precursor; this multistep process requires several enzymes, including acetolactate synthase and valine aminotransferase. The valina is often synthesized in the laboratory through the isovaleric acid of valerian extract; commercial production of valine generally consists of the fermentation of a carbohydrate source.
Valine has several fundamental functions for our body:
- it plays an important role during prolonged efforts or when you feel hungry and the body has to draw on its own resources and stocks
- contributes to the nourishment of the muscles
- has a key role in protein synthesis
- plays an essential role in protein recognition; is a major component of the binding/recognition domain of hydrophobic ligands due to its hydrophobicity
- it is used for the production of energy through highly protein foods; it is broken down in the body, giving rise to succinyl-CoA, which enters the citric acid cycle and helps produce energy
- strengthens the immune system
- helps relieve insomnia.
Food sources and needs
We have seen that valine is taken into the body only through food; There are many foods that we can consider good sources of valine:
- meat (lamb, chicken, beef, liver)
- fish (trout, cod, shrimp)
- dairy product (cottage cheese, parmesan, milk, yoghurt)
- walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds
- vegetables (carrots, mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes)
- legumes (lentils, beans, chickpeas)
- fruit (oranges, strawberries, peaches)
- cereals (whole wheat bread, whole wheat flour, oatmeal, unpolished rice, wheat germ).
Il daily requirement is about 14 mg per kg of body weight; therefore, on average, for a non-overweight adult subject the requirement is about 1050 mg.
The valine content in the main food sources mentioned above is 48 mg per gram. There are valine supplements, but consult your doctor before taking them.
Side effects and toxicity
The intake of valine through food it does not generate side effectsthe; an overdose of valine supplements can lead to a negative nitrogen balance.
This can reduce the functioning of the metabolism, overload the kidneys and cause growth problems, if taken during the pediatric age.
There are certain categories of people who should not take valine supplements:
- pregnant and lactating women
- individuals suffering from idiopathic hypoglycemia
- individuals suffering from ALS
- chronic alcoholics.
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