what you need to know about Valine(L-Valine)

human body not only uses amino acids(AAs) for the sake of energy, but they also get amino acids and synthesize proteins, which promotes growth, help us process the food we eat and repair our tissue. Amino acids classification options include essential, nonessential or conditional.

In year 1901, a German chemist named Emil Fischer isolated valine from casein for the first time in human history.  Casein is a protein found in dairy products as well as milk. It is a building block of both plant and animal proteins.

What is Valine?

L-valine is one of the essential amino acids(EAAs). EAAs are those amino acids that cannot be synthesized by the body and must be obtained from diet. L-valine is also what is called a branch chain amino acid (BCAA). It works along with two additional BCAAs known as Leucine and Isoleucine.

Valine benefits in health and fitness

there is currently no hugely significant benefit of valine supplementation(by itself) that cannot be replicated by either leucine or isoleucine supplementation (as the possession of a ‘branched chain’ itself confers bioactivity, but this is shared to some extent between all of the BCAAs). This might simply be due to lack of evidence, as many time when valine is researched it is in studies that solely want to test the effects of a branched chain amino acid (and valine is randomly used) and the bioacitivies of valine just haven’t been purposefully investigated much but we will share what has been suggested its benefits so far anyway.

L-valine works along a specific biosynthetic pathway that prevents the production of tryptophan, a chemical that makes you tired and sleepy. In this way, L-valine functions to naturally sustain energy levels. 

L-valine is crucial for muscle protein synthesis and muscle tissue repair. For these reasons, L-valine has become one of the most important supplements for people who are engaged in high-intensity training.

It has been shown that valine is beneficial for Cirrhosis of the liver, Phenylketonuria and Tardive dyskinesia conditions.

The metabolism that goes on specifically in muscles requires the presence of L-valine. Some athletes focus on the other isoleucine and leucine for their workout supplements, but many have found L-valine of high importance. L-valine hinders DOMS(delayed on-set muscle soreness or the soreness that follows a workout). It has been shown to reduce the severity of this pain and reduce it’s length of time.

L-valine promotes muscle building because it brings more glucose to the muscles as they are stressed and worked. On its own, valine does not build muscle since it does not promote anabolism to full extent But when taken with other BCAAs(leucine and isoleucine), it facilitates muscle development. Valine also helps with brain function, and it can help you sleep. Valine may even help treat malnutrition due to drug addiction.

What are the best food sources of valine?

  • Pork
  • Tuna
  • Tofu
  • Navy beans
  • Podded peas
  • Oatmeal
  • Dairy products, especially cottage cheese and yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Red meat like lamband beef
  • Fish, including wild-caught salmon and trout
  • Fermented soy products, like natto and tempeh
  • Turkey and chicken
  • Seeds, including sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds and chia seeds
  • Nuts, like pistachios, cashews and almonds
  • Beans, including navy beans, kidney beans, adzuki beans, chickpeas and lentils
  • Mushrooms
  • Gluten-free whole grains, like quinoa and brown rice

Valine and pregnancy

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding shouldn’t use valine supplements. You should not use them if you have maple syrup urine disease (MSUD). This is a rare, inherited disorder.