valine

January 3, 2004 by  
Filed under Amino acids

Valine

Amino acid

Valine is one of the branched chain amino acids. It cannot be made by the human body, and is particularly involved in stress, energy and muscle metabolism.

Supplements of this amino acid may help to reverse hepatic coma, in which patients with cirrhosis of the liver are suffering from increased amounts of ammonia and tryptophan or tyrosine in the brain. Valine competes with tryptophan and tyrosine for entry into the brain, and, because it can be converted to glucose, also acts as a fuel in brain metabolism.

Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) decrease the rate of breakdown and utilization of other amino acids.

Vegetarian sources: Weight for weight, soya protein concentrate, soya flour, tofu, pumpkin seeds and peanuts are as rich in valine as animal proteins.

Linda Lazarides is Course Director of the School of Modern Naturopathy and author of eight books on health, nutrition and naturopathy.

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