Archive for 'Valine'


Posted on 08. Jan, 2011 by .


Valine is an essential amino acid. is hydrophobic, and as expected, is usually found in the interior of proteins. This means that it must be obtained through the diet in adequate quantities to meet the body’s needs.

Valine is a member of the branched-chain amino acid family, along with leucine and isoleucine. The three branched-chain amino acids constitute approximately 70 percent of the amino acids in the body proteins. As such, their value in the formation and maintenance of structural and functional integrity in humans is unmeasured.

Valine also participates in the detoxification of ammonia and works along with alpha-ketoglutarate. It may be an important amino acid in the prevention of muscle wasting in diabetes and in the prevention of ammonia toxicity in older-aged individuals who are hospitalized.

Recent studies have indicated that valine, leucine, and isoleucine supplementation can aid in muscle repair in individuals who have been seriously injured. It has been found that after injury an individual mobilizes the branched-chain amino acids from his or her muscles to synthesize glucose in the liver. Supplementation with valine and the other two branched-chain amino acids may be very helpful in preventing muscle breakdown after trauma. Levels of supplementation vary between 200 and 1,000 mg along with balanced levels of leucine and isoleucine.

Method of Action

An inborn error in valine metabolism is seen in a small percentage of people and can lead to “maple syrup urine disease”. Faulty degradation of the amino acid results from blockage of oxidative decarboxylation and occurs along with inappropriate metabolism of leucine and isoleucine in this unusual genetic metabolism disorder. In these individuals, supplementation with branched-chain amino acids would be contraindicative.

Degradation of the branched-chain amino acids creates a series of branched fatty acid starter pieces, whose utilization leads to the formation of fatty acids that can be incorporated in complex phospholipids. The branched-chain amino acids have a unique muscle-sparing ability due to their gluconeogenic activity.

Valine differs from threonine by replacement of the hydroxyl group with a methyl substituent. Valine is often referred to as one of the amino acids with hydrocarbon side chains, or as a branched chain amino acid.

Note that valine and threonine are of roughly the same shape and volume. It is difficult even in a high resolution structure of a protein to distinguish valine from threonine.


Valine supplementation for the treatment of very specific health conditions is never carried out using valine alone – it is almost always combined with other amino acids. Valine supplements are therefore mostly used by patients in combination with the other two branched chain amino acids – namely isoleucine and leucine – both of which are also essential in the diet. The use of valine supplements by bodybuilders and people in competitive sports is extensive mainly due to the inclusion of BCAAs in general – this group of branched chain amino acids is very good for building up muscle bulk. Supplements of L-valine are believed to be beneficial for people involved in physical weight training and aerobic training-valine is said to increase performance and strength. Tissue repair and restoration carried out by valine following a work out and increased energy available to muscles of athletes during training may be the major role that is played by valine in the human body.

Valine supplements may also be beneficial to people who suffer from any type of chemical dependencies – as valine tends to boost energy levels and repairs tissue damage rapidly. Alcoholics and drug addicts have been known to be affected by many forms of severe amino acid deficiencies – such people may benefit greatly from supplements of valine. Such deficiencies are often corrected by taking supplemental dosages of the L-valine. These supplements may also be taken to rectify and gradually reverse any type of hepatic encephalopathy or some forms of degenerative neurological disorders. The term hepatic encephalopathy affecting the liver is a reference to an alcohol induced or related damage to the brain and central nervous system in general.

Valine supplements and their usefulness is a subject of continued research including research on liver disease and the forms of muscular degeneration that is evident in patients affected by severe physical trauma – particularly post surgical trauma and trauma induced by severe burns. Valine supplements and their applicability towards other conditions like ammonia toxicity and diabetes affecting older adults, are also being thoroughly investigated in assorted clinical studies – the goal is to find what role if any, that valine supplements may play in the treatment of such disorders.

Food Sources

Foods high in valine include:

· Cottage cheese (dry) 2,500 mg/cup

· Cottage cheese (crmd) 1,769 mg/cup

· Fish & other seafoods 1,000-7,000 mg/lb

· Meats 1,500-5,500 mg/lb

· Poultry 2,500-5,500 mg/lb

· Peanuts, roasted w skin 3,500 mg/cup

· Sesame seeds 2,000 mg/cup

· Dry, whole lentils 2,500 mg/cup

Usual dosage

Valine supplementation must always be taken in a balanced combination with other branched chain amino acids in the given ratio: two parts L-valine and one part L-isoleucine with a further two parts L-leucine. As an example, 2 mg of L-valine will be with 1 mg L-isoleucine and 2 mg L-leucine.
Side effects and cautions

Valine supplements taken at excessive dosages might produce a crawling sensation on the skin of the person – such high doses could even induce hallucinations in the person. A doctor must be consulted if any symptoms or side effects are noticed – the supplementation must be stopped immediately till a doctor is consulted on the nature of the side effect.

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