What Is L-Methionine?

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  • Written By: Helena Reimer
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 02 September 2014
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L-Methionine is one of the proteinogenic amino acids that helps with the production of protein and s-adenosyl methionine. The amino acid has antioxidant properties that help fight free radicals and age-related diseases. It is one of the nine essential amino acids that cannot be manufactured in the body and, therefore, must be obtained from the diet or from supplements.

Aspartic acid and cysteine are two nonessential amino acids that aid in the production of l-methionine in plants. There are also several enzymes, such as methionine synthase, aspartokinase, and cystathionine-y-synthase, that help synthesize l-methionine. Once the amino acid is formed, the plants use it to synthesize ethylene, which is a natural plant hormone.

Although l-methionine is beneficial for all individuals, it is particularly beneficial for those who are on a vegetarian diet and those who work out a lot. It helps to synthesize protein and creatine, both of which are essential for building strong muscles and increasing performance levels. L-methionine also helps to form other important elements, such as cysteine, taurine, and lecithin.

It is a good source of sulfur, which acts as an antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage and thereby helps to promote longevity. Heavy metals and other harmful toxins can be eliminated from the body as well when healthy levels are present. Furthermore, it helps to regulate the levels of folic acid, also known as vitamin B9 and folate.

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Another benefit of l-methionine is that it can help improve blood circulation by breaking down excess amounts of fat in the arteries. As a result, the vital organs, such as the heart, brain, and kidneys, can function better due to a sufficient amount of nutrients. From a beauty perspective, it can help with dry and brittle hair and prevent premature wrinkles by maintaining strong elasticity in the skin.

The body cannot produce its own l-methionine from other substances in the body, and therefore, it must be ingested from food sources or from supplements. Some of the best dietary sources include meat, dairy, and eggs. Most fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods are also good sources; however, the amounts that they contain are significantly lower. L-methionine supplements should only be taken under the care of a health professional as excess amounts can lead to atherosclerosis. Those who are pregnant, suffer from neoplastic disease, or have high levels of homocysteine should not take the supplements.

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