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THREONINE AMINO ACIDS: Threonine; Glycine; Alanine Serine; - General Discussion

  • AminoAcids list
  • AminoAcids introduction
  • THREONINE AMINO ACIDS
    - Threonine Immunity Booster
    - Glycine Wound Healer
    - Serine Potentiator of Madness
    - Alanine Help for Hypoglycemia

    Threonine Immunity Booster

    Threonine is an essential amino acid in humans. It is abundant in human plasma, particularly in newborns. Severe deficiency of threonine causes neurologic dysfunction and lameness in experimental animals.

    At the Brain Bio Center, we frequently find low levels of threonine and glycine in depressed patients. These patients respond to 1 gram of threonine in the A.M. and P.M. Plasma levels of threonine are a useful way to monitor treatment.

    Threonine is an immunostimulant which promotes the growth of thymus gland. It also can probably promote cell immune defense function. This amino acid has been useful in the treatment of genetic spasticity disorders and multiple sclerosis at a dose of 1 gram daily.

    Threonine may increase glycine levels. It is highly concentrated in meat products, cottage cheese and wheat germ. Additional important uses of threonine as a useful therapeutic agent are likely to be found as studies continue.

    Glycine Wound Healer

    GLYCINE is the simplest nonessential amino acid. It is called glycine because it resembles the sweet taste of glucose (blood sugar) and glycogen (liver starch).

    Glycine is a simple, nonessential amino acid, although experimental animals show reduced growth on low-glycine diets. The average adult ingests 3 to 5 grams of glycine daily. Glycine is involved in the body's production of DNA, phospholipids and collagen, and in release of energy. Glycine levels are effectively measured in plasma in both normal patients and those with inborn errors of glycine metabolism. Glycine is probably the third major inhibitory neurotransmitter of the brain; glycine therapy readily passes the blood-brain barrier.

    Reports of possible therapeutic uses are varied. Glycine is probably effective in calming the manic episodes of manic depression, and in the treatment of spasticity and epilepsy, because of its sedative properties. Depressed and epileptic patients often have low glycine levels.

    Gout, myasthenia, muscular dystrophy, benign prostate hypertrophy and high cholesterol may respond to glycine therapy. The data supporting these claims are optimistic but not well documented. Glycine releases growth hormone when given in high doses; this is well documented.

    Glycine is a very nontoxic amino acid. We have done studies with 30 grams of glycine without producing any side effects. Some manic-depressive patients have benefited from its effects. We often use threonine as an alternative source of glycine therapy.

    Dimethylglycine (DMG) is an intermediate in the metabolism of choline and glycine. DMG's effects are mostly attributed to its conversion to glycine. The most interesting effects of DMG are its possible role in controlling epilepsy and a more likely role as an immunostimulant.

    Serine Potentiator of Madness

    SERINE is a nonessential amino acid derived from glycine. Like all the amino acid building blocks of protein and peptides, serine can become essential under certain conditions, and is thus important in maintaining health and preventing disease.

    Low-average concentration of serine compared to other amino acids is found in muscle. Serine is highly concentrated in all cell membranes.

    A high serine to cysteine plasma ratio is a potential clinical marker for psychosis which corresponds to pyroluria as a marker for vitamin B6 and zinc-dependent psychosis. Many poor-quality foods, such as luncheon meats and sausage, are high in serine. Foods which cause cerebral allergy, e.g., gluten, soy and peanuts, are also high in serine. Serine supplements may cause such adverse effects as psychotic episodes and possibly elevated blood pressure.

    Low serine levels can occur in hypertensive patients, and high serine levels can occur in allergy patients. Applications of this knowledge to treatment are under way.

    Serine is also immunosuppressive, which makes it a harmful agent in cancer patients but potentially useful in autoimmune diseases. A serine analog (threo-serine) and L-serine as well, may raise blood pressure. A role for serine may develop in pain relief, but at present serine supplementation has no proper therapeutic purpose. D-serine should be tested as an antipsychotic agent.

    Alanine Help for Hypoglycemia

    Alanine is a nonessential amino acid made in the body from the conversion of the carbohydrate pyruvate or the breakdown of DNA and the dipeptides carnosine and anserine. It is highly concentrated in muscle and is one of the most important amino acids released by muscle, functioning as a major energy source. Plasma alanine is often decreased when the BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids) are deficient. This finding may relate to muscle metabolism. Alanine is highly concentrated in meat products and other high-protein foods like wheat germ and cottage cheese.

    Normal alanine metabolism, like that of other amino acids, is highly dependent upon enzymes that contain vitamin B6. Alanine, like GABA, taurine and glycine, is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. These inhibitory agents may be a useful therapy for some epileptics.

    Alanine is an important participant as well as regulator in glucose metabolism. Alanine levels parallel blood sugar levels in both diabetes and hypoglycemia, and alanine reduces both severe hypoglycemia and the ketosis of diabetes. It is an important amino acid for lymphocyte reproduction and immunity. Alanine therapy has helped dissolve kidney stones in experimental animals.

    At the Princeton Brain Bio Center, we have often found A high serine to cysteine plasma ratio is a potential clinical marker for psychosis, which corresponds to pyroluria as a marker for vitamin B6 and zinc-dependent psychosis. Many poor-quality foods, such as luncheon meats and sausage, are high in serine. Foods which cause cerebral allergy, e.g., gluten, soy and peanuts, are also high in serine. Serine supplements may cause such adverse effects as psychotic episodes and possibly elevated blood pressure.

    Low serine levels can occur in hypertensive patients, and high serine levels can occur in allergy patients. Applications of this knowledge to treatment are under way.

    Serine is also immunosuppressive, which makes it a harmful agent in cancer patients but potentially useful in autoimmune diseases. A serine analog (threo-serine) and L-serine as well, may raise blood pressure. A role for serine may develop in pain relief, but at present serine supplementation has no proper therapeutic purpose. D-serine should be tested as an antipsychotic agent.

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