The amino acid valine cannot be synthesized in the body and is required in the diet. It is therefore considered to be an essential amino acid, as it must be supplied from an outside source. Metabolism in the muscles requires the presence of the amino acid valine. This amino acid is also essential for purposes of tissue repair and restoration. It also plays an essential role in the maintenance of a proper balance of nitrogen in the human body. Muscle tissues contain the highest concentrations of valine – it is found in abundance in the proteins that constitute muscles. Valine can be utilized as a source of energy by the tissues of the muscles as it is one of the branched side chain amino acids. The type of severe amino acid deficiency induced by long term drug addiction can be alleviated with supplements of valine.
The consumption of L-valine in supplements must occur in conjunction and balanced with the simultaneous consumption of the other branched side chain amino acids, such as the L-isoleucine and the L-leucine. Tissues repair and restoration is hastened by the amino acid valine. The myelin covering of neurons may be negatively affected by a deficiency of the amino acid valine in the body.
Valine supplementation for the treatment of very specific health conditions is never carried out using valine alone – it is almost always combined with other amino acids. Valine supplements are therefore mostly used by patients in combination with the other two branched chain amino acids – namely isoleucine and leucine – both of which are also essential in the diet. The use of valine supplements by bodybuilders and people in competitive sports is extensive mainly due to the inclusion of BCAAs in general – this group of branched chain amino acids is very good for building up muscle bulk. Supplements of L-valine are believed to be beneficial for people involved in physical weight training and aerobic training-valine is said to increase performance and strength. Tissue repair and restoration carried out by valine following a work out and increased energy available to muscles of athletes during training may be the major role that is played by valine in the human body.
Valine supplements may also be beneficial to people who suffer from any type of chemical dependencies – as valine tends to boost energy levels and repairs tissue damage rapidly. Alcoholics and drug addicts have been known to be affected by many forms of severe amino acid deficiencies – such people may benefit greatly from supplements of valine. Such deficiencies are often corrected by taking supplemental dosages of the L-valine. These supplements may also be taken to rectify and gradually reverse any type of hepatic encephalopathy or some forms of degenerative neurological disorders. The term hepatic encephalopathy affecting the liver is a reference to an alcohol induced or related damage to the brain and central nervous system in general.
Valine supplements and their usefulness is a subject of continued research including research on liver disease and the forms of muscular degeneration that is evident in patients affected by severe physical trauma – particularly post surgical trauma and trauma induced by severe burns. Valine supplements and their applicability towards other conditions like ammonia toxicity and diabetes affecting older adults, are also being thoroughly investigated in assorted clinical studies – the goal is to find what role if any, that valine supplements may play in the treatment of such disorders.
Valine is called a branch-chained amino acid or BCAA, which acts along with two additional BCAAs known as leucine and isoleucine to support growth, control blood sugar levels, repair tissues and supply the body with requisite energy. In addition, valine also aids in invigorating the central nervous system, and is essential for the normal functioning of the mind.
The amino acid valine is also useful in putting off muscle breakdown as it provides the muscles additional glucose for conversion into energy when an individual is undertaking rigorous physical activities. In addition, valine is also helpful in getting rid of the potentially noxious surplus nitrogen from our liver, besides possessing the aptitude to carry nitrogen to any part of our body, depending on its requirement. Valine may also facilitate treatment of diseases related to the liver and gallbladder, in addition to any harm caused to these organs due to drug abuse and excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. Valine also has the aptitude to cure and even annul a condition related to the liver called hepatic encephalopathy and brain damage caused by alcoholism.
Valine is considered to be an essential amino acid, denoting that our body is unable to make this amino acid and, hence, it should be acquired by means of dietary resources. There are several natural resources of this amino acid, including soy protein, peanuts, mushrooms, dairy products and meats. While the diet of nearly all people contain sufficient amount of valine, there are several incidences of valine deficiency. In fact, when the body is unable to metabolize valine, leucine and isoleucine it often results in a condition known as MSUD or maple syrup urine disease. This disease has been named so, as urine passed by people affected by it has an odor similar to that of maple syrup. Valine deficiency may also have an effect on the myelin that forms the coating of our nerves and result in neurological diseases that worsen very rapidly.
People who undertake excessive work-outs, whose diet does not contain sufficient protein or those who are making a serious effort to build muscle mass ought to think about taking dietary supplements containing valine. While you may buy valine separately, it is advisable that you should take this amino acid in conjunction with two other BCAAs – leucine and isoleucine. The perfect balance of taking these BCAAs is two mg of valine and leucine for every 1 mg of isoleucine. In fact, taking blended supplements containing all these three branch-chain amino acids is much more easy and effective.
Valine supplementation must always be taken in a balanced combination with other branched chain amino acids in the given ratio: two parts L-valine and one part L-isoleucine with a further two parts L-leucine. As an example, 2 mg of L-valine will be with 1 mg L-isoleucine and 2 mg L-leucine.
Side effects and cautions
Valine supplements taken at excessive dosages might produce a crawling sensation on the skin of the person – such high doses could even induce hallucinations in the person. A doctor must be consulted if any symptoms or side effects are noticed – the supplementation must be stopped immediately till a doctor is consulted on the nature of the side effect.
Here is a word of caution. Excessive amounts of valine in one’s diet may possibly interfere with the functioning of their kidneys and liver, and, at the same time, increase the level of ammonia in their body. People whose kidney and liver functioning is weakened should essentially consult their physician prior to using isoleucine, because taking amino acids in high doses may worsen these conditions further.