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What Is L-Valine?

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  • Written By: Helena Reimer
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2016
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L-Valine, or valine, is a proteinogenic amino acid that the body uses in the synthesis of protein. It is one of the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) responsible for repairing and strengthening the muscle tissues. Being an essential amino acid, it must be obtained from the diet or through supplements. This amino acid can be obtained from a variety of foods, including both animal and plant foods.

The synthesis of L-Valine can only take place in plants from pyruvic acid. The process also involves certain enzymes and is carried out in several steps. Some good food sources are meats, fish, and dairy products. Good plant-based sources are grain products, nuts and seeds, and many vegetables, including sea vegetables.

Most of the L-Valine is absorbed into the muscles, where it works to replenish them on an ongoing basis. L-Valine and the other two BCAAs, which are L-Leucine and L-Isoleucine, make up about one third of all the amino acids that get absorbed into the muscles. Together, they are able to prevent muscle disorders and are also responsible for carrying out many functions of the body.

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There are many benefits of L-Valine for those who engage in regular exercise and bodybuilding. When present, it helps to increase the strength and endurance of the muscles and speeds up the recovery of fatigued muscles after workouts or competitions. A speedy recovery of the muscles can prevent them from breaking down and losing their tone. As a result of those benefits, L-Valine supplements are often taken by bodybuilders and competing athletes to maintain and improve their strength.

Other benefits include a reduced appetite, which can help to maintain a healthy weight. The metabolism of glucose, a form of sugar that the body uses for energy, is also improved. Those who have trouble sleeping can benefit due to its ability to reduce insomnia. It can also reduce nervousness and strengthen the immune system. A strong immune system in return is able to prevent a host of serious illnesses and common ailments.

A deficiency in L-Valine and other BCAAs can result in poor muscle function and neurological problems. It is associated with mental depression and short stature, and it increases the risk for drug addictions. An overdose of L-Valine, on the other hand, can lead to possible side effects. Some of them include false illusions, emotional problems, and the sensation of something crawling on the skin. Headaches and other aches and pains can also occur if taken in excess amounts.

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