What is L-Threonine?
L-Threonine is one of the nine essential amino acids the body needs but cannot produce itself. The body relies on dietary sources to replenish l-threonine, such as lean beef, pork, collagen, gelatin, cheese, tofu, sunflower seeds, and nuts. Scientists named l-threonine after threonic acid due to their similar structure. It is one of 20 proteinogenic amino acids that the body encodes into proteins. It’s also a precursor for cobalamin (vitamin b12) synthesis.
Potential L-Threonine Benefits
L-Threonine for Joints and Bones
L-Threonine is a fundamental part of collagen, elastin, and other structural proteins that are integral to healthy muscles and connective tissues. Threonine also helps maintain strong bones and teeth. It also participates in the production of glycine and serine, two other amino acids that are essential for collagen synthesis. Glycine is the primary amino acid found in collagen, and the body uses serine to make more glycine.
L-Threonine and the Immune System
L-Threonine supports a healthy immune system by activating T lymphocyte cells by signaling through serine-threonine kinase pathways. T cells are white blood cells that play a critical role in the adaptive immune response. The adaptive immune system acquires immunological memories that allow it to identify and eliminate previously encountered antigens and pathogens.
L-Threonine for Better Absorption
Threonine helps the body absorb nutrients better and enhances their bioavailability – particularly protein.
Threonine and Gut Health
Threonine improves gut health by supporting the integrity of intestinal mucosa. An insufficient mucus barrier can lower immune function and allow bacteria and foreign substances to permeate the gut. A robust digestive lining also supports better sleep quality.
L-Threonine and Liver Health
L-Threonine may support liver health. Studies show that threonine-deficient diets led to faster fat accumulation in the liver, whereas diets supplemented with threonine reduced and inhibited the excess buildup of liver fat. Threonine also synergizes with aspartic acid and methionine for better lipotropic function.
Other Potential L-Threonine Benefits
L-Threonine exists in large quantities in the central nervous system (CNS) and may improve nerve function. It may also improve mental health and boost mood, particularly if the issue stems from gastrointestinal conditions. Threonine may relieve stress as well.
L-Threonine Side Effects
As a naturally occurring compound in many foods, most individuals tolerate l-threonine supplements without experiencing significant side effects. Some individuals may experience mild side effects, such as headache, nausea, or upset stomach.
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