Veterinarian Reviewed on June 20, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Methionine or simply Met, is an amino acid which is considered an essential amino acid. It is classified as one of the two sulfur containing amino acids along with Cysteine. Methionine is important in the biosynthesis of many amino acids which include taurine, carnitine, lecithin and many other amino acids essential for optimum growth and development.
Methionine is also considered essential in the breakdown of fats and the prevention of build-up of fats in the small arteries. It is considered one of the most potent antioxidants since it has sulfur that inactivates harmful free radicals responsible for premature aging of cells and tissues.
History and Origin
Methionine was first isolated from casein powder in 1922. It was classified as belonging to a group of compounds which were called lipotropics; the group included other compounds like choline, inositol and betaine all having properties to lower blood cholesterol.
Although methionine was nonexistent during the ancient times, the natural sources of this important compound were used as staple foods. Sesame seeds, cereal rice and beans are high in methionine and were all found in the diets of ancient cultures. These provided perfect sources of complex carbohydrates that gave energy to do daily activities.
In modern times, methionine is used in the treatment of high cholesterol levels and preventing fat build-up in the narrow arteries. It is perfect to treat atherosclerosis and high blood pressure and may also be beneficial for people that have varicose veins.
Methionine is essential in removing harmful toxins and heavy metal accumulation in the digestive system. Methionine is converted to cysteine in the body which is great in detoxifying the liver from harmful chemicals. The sulfur content of methionine inactivates harmful free radicals which may be perfect in preventing premature cell aging.
It is also used to treat mild depression and there are also studies regarding the positive effect of methionine in the treatment of liver disease. This compound is needed by the body to manufacture creatinine monohydrate which can be essential in building muscles and toning them up.
In pet care, methionine derivative DL-methionine is added to dog nutritional supplements to decrease the animal’s urine pH. This in turn prevents dog urine from damaging grass in lawns. In poultry, methionine is also added to poultry food and supplements to improve health and quality of poultry; this is a part of the U.S. certified organic program.
Although methionine can have a positive effect on atherosclerosis there is evidence that high intake of methionine together with the B vitamin group may increase a person’s risk to acquire atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. It may cause an increase in the level of cholesterol in the blood as well. All of these may ultimately lead to high blood pressure and increased incidence of cardiac illnesses.
Methionine is not indicated for pregnant and breastfeeding women plus there is no supporting evidence that this compound may be effective in very young children. If you would like to use methionine for your illness, you should first consult with your doctor regarding the ideal dosage and any adverse reaction to the medicines you may be taking.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan