Methionine

Methionine

Uses

Methionine is one of the essential amino acids (building blocks of protein), meaning that it cannot be produced by the body, and must be provided by the diet. It supplies sulfur and other compounds required by the body for normal metabolism and growth. Methionine also belongs to a group of compounds called lipotropics, or chemicals that help the liver process fats (lipids). Others in this group include choline, inositol, and betaine (trimethylglycine).

What Are Star Ratings?

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for Why
2 Stars
Pancreatic Insufficiency
2,000 mg daily
2 Stars
Parkinson's Disease
5 grams per day
Preliminary trials have suggested that the amino acid methionine may effectively treat some symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

Preliminary trials have suggested that the amino acid, methionine (5 grams per day), may effectively treat some symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

1 Star
HIV and AIDS Support
Refer to label instructions
One trial found that methionine may improve memory recall in people with AIDS-related nervous system degeneration.

People with AIDS have low levels of methionine. Some researchers suggest that these low methionine levels may explain some aspects of the disease process, especially the deterioration that occurs in the nervous system and is responsible for symptoms such as dementia. A preliminary trial found that methionine (6 grams per day) may improve memory recall in people with AIDS-related nervous system degeneration.

In a preliminary trial, a thymus extract known as Thymomodulin® improved several immune parameters among people with early HIV infection, including an increase in the number of T-helper cells.

How It Works

How to Use It

Amino acid requirements vary according to body weight. However, average-size adults require approximately 800–1,000 mg of methionine per day—an amount easily obtained or even exceeded by most Western diets.

Where to Find It

Meat, fish, and dairy are all good sources of methionine. Vegetarians can obtain methionine from whole grains, but beans are a relatively poor source of this amino acid.

Possible Deficiencies

Most people consume plenty of methionine through a typical diet. Lower intakes during pregnancy have been associated with neural tube defects in newborns, but the significance of this is not yet clear.1

Interactions

Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

At the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.

Interactions with Medicines

As of the last update, we found no reported interactions between this supplement and medicines. It is possible that unknown interactions exist. If you take medication, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers' package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

Side Effects

Side Effects

Animal studies suggest that diets high in methionine, in the presence of B-vitamin deficiencies, may increase the risk for atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) by increasing blood levels of cholesterol and a compound called homocysteine.2 This idea has not yet been tested in humans. Excessive methionine intake, together with inadequate intake of folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12, can increase the conversion of methionine to homocysteine—a substance linked to heart disease and stroke. Even in the absence of a deficiency of folic acid, B6, or B12, megadoses of methionine (7 grams per day) have been found to cause elevations in blood levels of homocysteine.3 Whether such an increase would create a significant hazard for humans taking supplemental methionine has not been established. Supplementation of up to 2 grams of methionine daily for long periods of time has not been reported to cause any serious side effects.4

References

1. Shaw GM, Velie EM, Schaffer DM. Is dietary intake of methionine associated with a reduction in risk for neural tube defect-associated pregnancies? Teratology 1997;56:295-9.

2. Toborek M, Hennig B. Is methionine an atherogenic amino acid? J Optimal Nutr 1994;3:80-3.

3. McAuley DF, Hanratty CG, McGurk C, et al. Effect of methionine supplementation on endothelial function, plasma homocysteine, and lipid peroxidation. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 1999;37:435-40.

4. Leach FN, Braganza JM. Methionine is important in treatment of chronic pancreatitis. Br Med J 1998;316:474 [letter].

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