Alanine, or L-Alanine, is an amino acid that helps the body convert the simple sugar glucose into energy and eliminate excess toxins from the liver. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and are key to building strong, healthy muscles—Alanine has been shown to help protect cells from being damaged during intense aerobic activity, when the body cannibalizes muscle protein to help produce energy. Alanine is crucial for preserving balanced levels of nitrogen and glucose in the body, which it does through a series of chemical actions called the alanine cycle. During the alanine cycle, any excess amino acids (proteins) in cells or tissues are transferred to a receptor molecule called pyruvate, which is produced by the breakdown of glucose. The pyruvate is then converted to alanine and transferred to the liver. The liver extracts nitrogen from alanine and converts some of it back into pyruvate, which can then be used to produce more glucose. Any excess nitrogen is then converted into urea and passed out of the body during urination. This cycle, glucose—pyruvate—alanine—pyruvate—glucose, helps supply the body with the energy it needs to support cellular life. It also ensures that a constant supply of pyruvate is available to allow the synthesis of glucose and amino acids in the body. Alanine plays a key role in maintaining glucose levels and thus energy supplies in the body.
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