Friday, February 26, 2010

Alanine (Ala, L-alanine)

One of the simplest AMINO ACIDS used to build PROTEINS. Alanine is readily formed in the body from PYRUVIC ACID, a direct product of GLUCOSE utilization; hence, it is classified as a non-dietary, essential amino acid. In addition to serving as a protein building block, alanine plays an important role in transporting the toxic waste product, AMMONIA, out of muscle. Ammonia is produced when muscle cells break down amino acids for energy. Cells couple ammonia with a simple acid called pyruvic acid to form alanine, which is then released into the bloodstream.
The LIVER next absorbs alanine and removes ammonia, which it rapidly converts to UREA, the ultimate nitrogenous waste of the body.
The liver converts pyruvic acid back to glucose, which is released into the bloodstream. Blood glucose is taken up by the muscle, where it is broken down to pyruvic acid, which is then ready to accept ammonia and thus completes the cycle.

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