Methionine is an essential amino acid. It is still not as well-known but makes up for this in that it's an exceptionally powerful antioxidant and a deterrent to a number of diseases.
Together with cysteine, methionine is one of the 2 proteinogenic amino acids whose molecular structure contains sulfur.
Methionine is found in the composition of a wide range of enzymes and proteins, it also plays a role in the synthesis of DNA and RNA, making it vitally important for rejuvenating cells.
Benefits of Methionine
Methionine prevents fatty liver disease and other liver diseases, in this way protecting the brain, heart and kidneys from constricted blood flow. Because of this, methionine is thought to have an anti sclerosis effect.
According to some of the latest studies, this amino acid lowers the risk of pancreatic cancer. The synthesis of 2 other amino acids - cysteine and taurine, also depends on the presence of methionine in the body.
It aids digestive processes, has a detoxifying effect in regards to damaging agents such as lead and various heavy metals.
The amino acid methionine reduces muscle weakness and frizzy hair, has beneficial effects for people with allergies toward chemical substances and those with osteoporosis. It's used to treat rheumatism and toxemia in pregnancy.
Since methionine is a very potent antioxidant, this makes it an important factor in the prevention of tumors. It is an excellent source of sulfur, which deactivates harmful free radicals, protects against skin and osteolytic changes, which are expressed in damage to the bone tissue without a subsequent replacement with healthy tissue.
Methionine is needed for people with liver function abnormalities, as well as for the synthesis of collagen, proteins and nucleic acid.
Methionine works well for women who are taking oral contraceptives because it increases estrogen production. At the same time it lowers the quantities of histamine in the body. This is especially beneficial for people suffering from schizophrenia.
When the levels of toxic substances in the body increase, the need for methionine also increases. In the body it can be converted to the amino acid cysteine, a precursor to glutathione.
Glutathione is the main neutralizer of toxins in the liver, making it clear that methionine manages to protect this important organ from the damaging effects of toxic substances.
Sources of Methionine
As an essential amino acid, methionine is not synthesized in the body, it's procured from food sources. The highest levels of methionine are found in fish, dairy products, meat, nuts, beans, lentils, garlic.
Since the body uses methionine to produce choline (the brain's food), it's always a great idea to take choline or lecithin, so that methionine reserves in the body do not decrease.
The recommended daily dose of methionine is 12 mg for a healthy weight. This dose applies to supplements with methionine as well.
Deficiency of Methionine
Results from a range of studies indicate that methionine deficiency in the body leads to build up of cholesterol, hair loss and atherosclerosis.
Dangers of Methionine
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid methionine, unless specifically prescribed by a doctor. The incorrect conversion of methionine can be dangerous and even lead to atherosclerosis.
It's important to exercise caution with the daily doses of methionine because when there's too much of it, the body converts part of it into homocysteine which is especially dangerous for people suffering from cardiovascular diseases.