What is L-Alanine?
L-alanine, or simply alanine, is a non-essential amino acid and structural component in many proteins. It’s also an integral component of the glucose-alanine cycle, which provides more glucose to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP) for energy. It also helps remove toxic ammonia from skeletal muscles. The body can produce l-alanine from pyruvate or any of the three branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), isoleucine, leucine, and valine. The food and beverage industry uses it as a flavoring agent as it has a pleasant, sweet taste.
What is the Glucose-Alanine Cycle?
Skeletal muscles can’t use the urea cycle to remove ammonia and must use the glucose-alanine cycle instead.
It begins by combining skeletal ammonia with α-ketoglutarate to produce glutamate and α-keto acid. Alanine
aminotransferase enzymes then revert the glutamate back into α-ketoglutarate and give the ammonia to
pyruvate, ultimately forming alanine. The alanine can then shuttle the ammonia to the liver, where liver
hepatocytes can safely remove the ammonia via the urea cycle. The pyruvate undergoes glycolysis to form
glucose as an indirect energy source for fatigued muscles, the brain, and the central nervous system.
Potential Alanine Benefits
Alanine for Muscle Energy
L-Alanine is one of the most important amino acids released from muscles, as it is a significant energy
source. It provides energy to the muscles as part of the glucose-alanine cycle and inhibits the body from
burning muscle for energy during exercise or periods of fasting. It also works with branched-chain amino
acids to reduce muscle fatigue during exercise. Skeletal muscles release BCAAs to use their carbon backbones
as an energy source. The nitrogen portion then forms alanine. One animal study found that a ratio of one
part BCAA and two parts l-alanine improved BCAA bioavailability and reduced muscle fatigue during exercise.
Alanine and the Immune System
L-Alanine helps increase immunity by producing lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are antibodies that produce white
blood cells known as T cells. T cells are critical for the adaptive immune response and to protect the body
against infectious invaders.
Other Potential Alanine Benefits
L-Alanine helps the body balance its blood sugar. It boosts insulin production and secretion, which improves
glucose metabolism. It may support weight loss efforts, too. An animal study noted that alanine supplements
suppressed lipogenesis, the process that converts fatty acids into fats and acetyl-CoA into triglycerides
for storage in fat. Additionally, it stimulates antioxidant expression.
Potential Alanine Side Effects
L-Alanine does not typically cause side effects. The FDA granted l-alanine generally recognized as safe
status (GRAS). Individuals with kidney problems or high blood pressure should not take l-alanine.
Individuals with diabetes should consult a physician before taking l-alanine supplements, as it may affect
Tested by Accredited 3rd Party Labs
PureBulk's supplements are tested by accredited third party labs in the USA to ensure their identity, purity
and potency. To receive a copy of these test results or any other PureBulk supplement please fill out the COA request form found here.