Methionine is a protein-containing amino acid that aids in metabolism and the breakdown of fat, and is a major source of sulfur in the body. As one of the lipotropic compounds, Methionine is also a fat burner or antioxidant and plays an important role in the removal of heavy metals (such as mercury) from the body. Other roles of this amino acid include ensuring the health of the liver, kidneys, bladder and arteries, as well as maintaining healthy nails, skin and hair. In addition, it is important for muscle growth.
The body does not produce methionine naturally and it can only be obtained through food or nutritional supplements, and sometimes through intravenous injections when a person is sick. Side effects of taking methionine supplements can include nausea, vomiting and drowsiness. Methionine is known to interact with other medications, so do not mix it with other medications unless approved by your doctor.
Methionine can be found in foods such as red meat, fish, beans and grains, but supplements can also be produced synthetically. Pregnant or nursing mothers should not use this amino acid supplement without a doctor’s approval. Women taking oral contraceptives can consume amino acids because they can increase estrogen levels, but it is best to consult your doctor beforehand.
Substances such as histamine, which can cause allergic reactions and blood vessel swelling, can affect the way the brain transmits and receives information. Methionine reduces histamine levels in the body to ensure proper synaptic function. Lack of methionine can lead to serious mental illnesses such as dementia, which is why this nutrient is often used to treat schizophrenia.
In addition to the above mentioned effects, methionine supplements have been shown to promote memory and improve other mental disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, people with AIDS, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and fibromyalgia, as well as those who suffer from stress and anxiety, can also benefit from it.
Today, methionine is increasingly valued by alternative medicine doctors and is often used to boost protein levels in vegans. It is also beneficial for people who need to metabolize large amounts of protein, such as athletes.
Common side effects of methionine deficiency include liver damage, edema, weakness and brittle hair. If this deficiency occurs in pregnant women, it may also lead to neural tube defects in infants.