Methionine is a proteinogen amino acid that is categorized as an essential amino acid, though the body cannot synthesize this amino acid on its own. The standard blood serum level of this amino acid has to be achieved through nutrition and diet. This amino acid has several functions in the body, including building various protein molecules in the body and the synthesis of other amino acids, such as L-cysteine.
Cases of methionine deficiency are rare, but when it occurs it may cause liver damage, edema, muscle loss, and lethargy. Methionine deficiency can be managed through increased intake of foods rich in the amino acid. Supplements can also be taken to help boost the levels in the body.
Health Benefits Of Amino Acid Methionine
1. Methionine Promotes Healthy Bones
According to studies, methionine improves bone volume, bone strength, and its mineral content. According to researchers, the combination of methionine with endurance exercises enhances the overall bone strength.
2. Relieves Tremors In Parkinson’s Patients
Researchers performed a study to find out the effect of methionine on patients diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. The amino acid was given to these patients for a period ranging between two weeks and six months.
The patients showed improvement with the symptoms that are associated with Parkinson's, such as akinesia and rigidity. The patients also presented with fewer tremors than usual. According to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, more research is being conducted to find out the ability of methionine to prevent aging that arises from the oxidative damage and the loss of dopamine.
3. The Amino Acid Lowers The Risk Of Developing Colorectal Cancer
The Melbourne Colorectal Cancer Study was conducted to find out the effect of methionine, along with B vitamins, in the management of colorectal cancer. The study revealed that methionine helps reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. The study also found out that foods that are rich in methionine, folate, B vitamins, and those with antioxidant properties can help reduce the chances of colorectal cancer.
4. Methionine Helps In Weight Loss
Methionine provides the body with a chemical substance that is known as creatine. This substance helps improve the athletic performance, as well as the body’s ratio of muscle to fat. However, more research needs to be conducted to find out how methionine aids in weight loss.
5. Methionine Promotes The Functioning Of The Liver
According to the American Society of Nutrition, the consumption of methionine helps relieve alcoholic liver disease. Liver disorders are commonly seen in areas of the world where there are many malnutrition cases. It is also a common problem among individuals who are prone to alcohol abuse. Research also suggests that the combination of the amino acid with folate and vitamins B6 and B12 may help treat the effects of liver disorders.
6. Methionine Helps Individuals Undergoing Drug Withdrawal
A study was performed by the Journal of Neuroscience to determine the effects of methionine on rats that are addicted to cocaine. When the animals were given the amino acid, it inhibited the effects of cocaine in the body. The researchers concluded that methionine could help make cocaine less addictive. The study indicated that methionine could be used to treat cocaine addiction; however, more research is needed in this area.
7. Boosts The Performance Of The Immune System
Methionine plays a vital role in the proper functioning of the body’s immune system.
Studies have revealed that having high levels of the amino acid in the body may increase the level of other amino acids such as homocysteine, taurine, and glutathione in the body. Increased levels of glutathione and taurine have been shown to promote the immune function and suppress the inflammatory responses.
8. Management Of Urinary Tract Infections
Methionine may help in the management of urinary tract infections by preventing the bacterial organisms from attaching themselves to the bladder wall. According to experts based at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the intake of 500 milligrams of methionine supplements three days per week may help prevent the development of urinary tract infections. However, these claims need more research to prove the effectiveness of the supplements in this area.
Methionine is the primary component of the amino acid cysteine. Cysteine is converted to glutathione, which acts as the primary detoxifying agent in the body. According to the authors of the “The Anti-Aging Revolution,” the amino acid methionine can help alleviate the side effects associated with the use of acetaminophen. According to the authors, some experts recommend taking the amino acid supplements along with acetaminophen medication.
10. Lipid Metabolism
According to healthcare experts, a methionine deficiency may affect cholesterol levels in the body. Studies show that sulfur-containing amino acids increase the susceptibility of lipids to metabolism. Mauro Di Pasquale in “Amino Acids and Proteins for Athletes,” explains that a higher intake of the amino acid may help prevent the development of plaque and heart disorders.
Possible Side Effects
According to WebMD, methionine is safe when it is administered orally or by the intravenous route to treat acetaminophen poisoning. However, the exercise ought to be performed under the supervision of qualified healthcare personnel. It is not advisable to treat yourself using methionine.
Methionine is not safe when it is administered to infants through the intravenous route. There is no sufficient information regarding the safety of taking methionine for pregnant and nursing women. According to WebMD, pregnant and nursing mothers should avoid the use of methionine supplements.
Studies also suggest that the use of methionine supplements may cause acidosis in blood. It should be avoided in people with acidosis.
Best Sources Of Methionine
There are some claims that the use of methionine can worsen atherosclerosis. The amino acid can elevate the levels of homocysteine in patients with low folate, Vitamin B12, and B6. A high concentration of homocysteine in the body can lead to increased risks for developing heart disease.
NOW Foods L-Methionine
The product provides the body with the essential amino acid methionine, which cannot be synthesized in the body. The product has an overall rating of 4.1 stars out of a possible five stars on Amazon. It is sold for $10.95.
Solgar – L-Methionine
Solgar – L-Methionine helps promote the metabolism of fats in the body. It provides the body with a free form of methionine that is easily absorbed and assimilated in the body. It has an overall rating of 4.5 stars out of a possible five stars. It sold for $11.48.
Seeking Health Methionine
According to its manufacturers, Seeking Health Methionine is the best methionine amino acid nutritional supplement. The product is formulated in the form of easy-to-swallow vegetarian capsules.
Amino Acid Methionine Conclusion
Methionine has several health benefits, such as the prevention of colorectal cancer, promote healthy bones, and to aid weight loss, among other benefits. The foods that are high in methionine include sesame, spirulina, Brazil nuts, and oats. You can also obtain the amino acid from supplements.