Valine: Body Builder’s Drug?
Valine is an amino acid that is obtained by hydrolysis of proteins and is an essential amino acid. Valine is a chiral molecule naturally found in dairy, meat, grain, mushrooms, soy and peanuts. Foods with the highest amount of valine include egg whites(3371mg), elk (3200 mg), sea weed (2785 mg), soy protein (2425 mg), turkey (2380 mg), cod (2251 mg), lamb (2214 mg), cottage cheese (2131 mg) and white mushrooms (2110 mg).
It has a stimulating effect and is needed for muscle metabolism, repair and growth of tissue and maintaining the nitrogen balance in the body and can be used as an energy source. Valine is found in high concentrations in the muscle tissue. There are indications that valine may be beneficial in treating or reversing hepatic encephalopathy (disorder of the brain) or alcohol related brain damage along with degenerative neurological conditions. It may also be helpful n treating liver and gallbladder disease. If deficient in valine may effect myelin covering the nerves and may lead to MSUD, a disorder in which the body is unable to process certain amino acids.
Bodybuilders use valine to promote muscle growth, tissue repair and energize, although there is little scientific backing of these claims. There are however studies that show that alanine, leonine and isoleucine are useful in restoring muscle mass in people that suffer from liver disease, injuries or have undergone surgery.
"Foods Highest in Valine." Self Nutrition Data. Self, n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2013. <http://www.anyvitamins.com/valine-info.htm>.
"Valine Amino Acid Information Page." Foods Highest in Valine. Sallamander Concepts (Pty) Ltd., 5 Sept. 2013. Web. 31 Oct. 2013. <http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-000088000000000000000.html>.