Alanine Can Help Fight Fatigue
The body has many “cycles”, and the most famous is the Krebs cycle. But did you know that the alanine cycle is crucial for regulating not only glucose levels in the body but nitrogen levels as well?
It is here where excess amino acids (proteins) in the cells are transferred to a receptor site, pyruvate; a by-product of the breakdown of glucose. The liver removes the nitrogen from alanine and converts some of it back into pyruvate, which can be used to produce even more glucose.
Excess nitrogen is converted into urea and is simply washed out of the body during urination.
Bascially the alanine cycle looks like this:
Glucose → Pyruvate → Alanine → Nitrogen→ Pyruvate → Glucose
This cycle is vital for cell and tissue life by ensuring a constant supply of glucose, which is essential for energy.
However, alanine is also needed for other important factors in the human body.
Besides necessary for the glucose metabolism, alanine is also vital for the metabolism of the amino acid tryptophan as well as beta-alanine (the only naturally occurring beta amino acid), which is a component of Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) and coenzyme A (main component of pantothenic acid).
Beta-Alanine; based on research, is known to aid in the following:
- Increases muscle strength
- Increases muscle development and mass
- Increase both aerobic and anaerobic endurance
- Decreases lactic acid build-up; thus, delaying muscle fatigue
Alanine May also Help with BPH and Diabetes
Alanine is present in prostate fluid, so it has been thought that it may play an important role in prostate issues.
Studies are now showing men with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) (prostate enlargement) have a reduction in symptoms when alanine is taken in conjunction with equal amounts of glycine and glutamic acid.
Diabetics, or individuals suffering from insulin insensitivity, may also benefit from supplementing with alanine. Alanine has been shown to be important in the regulation of insulin.