Methionine is a valuable nutritional compound that is of multiple benefits for the body. In Europe, doctors have been using it with excellent results to treat depression, inflammation, liver diseases, and certain muscle pains. Meat, fish, eggs and dairy products are all excellent sources of methionine. Vegetarians can obtain methionine from whole grains, but beans are a relatively poor source of this amino acid. Adding L-methionine in supplemental form is inexpensive and can make a radical difference to achieving optimum metabolic and bodily functioning.
How it works and what it benefits:
Methionine is an essential sulphur amino acid. Sulphur which is a key element and vital to our life is also a methyl donor and it is capable of giving off a molecule with a single carbon atom with 3 tightly connected hydrogen atoms, called a methyl group which we need for a wide variety of chemical and metabolic reactions inside our body. The methyl groups are required for nucleic acid structure, the formation of neuro-transmitters, hormones, phospholipids (at cellular level), collagen, and each cell’s protein synthesis including trans-methylation and trans-sulphuration. Trans-methylation reactions occur mainly in the liver, the liver is therefore the most important organ for methionine metabolism. L-methionine can cross the blood brain barrier
Methionine gives rise to the amino acids cysteine and cystine. These three can act as a powerful detoxification agent being capable of the removal from the body of toxic levels of heavy metals such as lead. It is also noted as protector against the effects of radiation. It is an antioxidant and is a good free radical scavenger.
Together with choline, and inositol, methionine belongs to a group of compounds called lipotropics which help the liver to process fat in the body. Once in the liver, methionine is converted into SAM(s-adenosyl methionine) and SAM is therefore the metabolite of the amino acid methionine. As much as 8 grams of SAM is produced in the liver each day when conditions are ideal. However, the amount of SAM produced in the body can be reduced significantly when the liver function is compromised.
In the Methionine Cycle, methionine is converted to SAM (S−Adenosyl Methionine), which is a methyl donor for numerous reactions. In losing its methyl group, SAM becomes SAH (S−Adenosyl Homocysteine), which is then converted to homocysteine. Homocysteine is either converted back to methionine, or it enters the trans-sulfuration pathway to form other sulfur-containing amino acids. Methyl donation in this case occurs with Vit B-12 via the unique molecule S-adenosyl methionine.
SAM, the metabolite of methionine, has many good attributes. A daily dose of up to 1600mg of SAM has been used to fight hepatitis and cirrhosis. Another major application of SAM also involves the alleviation of depression. A dose of 800-1600mg a day helps to elevate mood and provide relief to those who are clinically depressed. Both methionine and SAM have anti-inflammatory effects and are therefore used often in combination to treat osteoarthritis. A daily dose of 5g of methionine has been linked to reduced lymph rigidity and Parkinson’s disease. However, the use of SAM has not been able to reproduce similar effects. SAM however, has been of help to those who have multiple sclerosis. SAM’s anti-inflammatory properties have also proven helpful with fibromyalgia when taken at 1gram a day. In Britain, methionine as well as SAM are quite frequently used in the treatment of chronic fatigue
Methionine is a valuable nutritional compound that is of multiple benefits for the body. In Europe, doctors have been using it with excellent results to treat depression, inflammation, liver diseases, and certain muscle pains. Methionine is an especially important nutrient beneficial for those suffering from estrogen dominance, where the amount of estrogen in the body is excessively high when compared to its opposing hormone called progesterone. Similarly, those who are on oral contraceptives or estrogen replacement therapy will find methionine to be helpful. Since estrogen is cleared through the liver, an enhanced liver function will reduce the body’s estrogen load. Specifically, methionine converts the stronger and carcinogenic estradiol (E2) into estriol (E3) which is the “good” estrogen as compared to estradiol.
It plays a vital role in the formation of creatine – which supplies energy to muscles; involved in the breakdown of adrenaline and histamine – thus can play an important role in stress and allergic reactions; as well a powerful role in the immune system.
Cardiac disease: Homocysteine cycle
It is vital that the relationship between protein in general and methionine specifically with Vit B-6 be understood. Methionine is an anti-oxidant. However its derivative homocysteine is a powerful oxidant. Adequate levels of vit B-6 allow this to be reconverted into an antioxidant substance cystathione. A high meat intake, for example with an inadequate Vit B-6 intake would produce just such a situation as would one with high methionine supplementation without B-6 supplementation. Cardiovascular disease could well result from such an imbalance of nutrients and consequent free radical activity in the absence of antioxidants.
Causes of deficiency:
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