Methionine is the uncharged polar amino acid. It is an essential amino acid as it is not synthesized in our body and must be provided through food. It is also the sulfur-containing amino acid. It was isolated from casein in 1922. It has a single codon which is AUG.
Methionine is derived from the animals as well as plants sources.
Animal Sources: These include chicken meat, fish, dairy products, cheese, yogurt, and eggs etc.
Plant sources: These include lentils, garlic, onion, seed, beans, oats, cereals, wheat germs, corn, almonds, and rice.
Methionine being essential is not manufactured in our body. It is synthesized in the plants and some microorganism from aspartic acid with the help of enzymes which are aspartokinase, homoserine O-transsuccinylase, homoserine dyhydrogenase, cystathine beta-lyase, homoserine dehydrogenase, methionine synthase, and cystathione synthase.etc.
It is also regenerated by the reverse process from the homocysteine with the help of an enzyme, the methionine synthase.
- Methionine gives rise to cysteine by converting into S-adenosyl methionine which further converts into adenosine and homocysteine by hydrolysis. Homocysteine then reacts with serine and results in the formation of cystathione which then finally form cysteine.
- Methionine plays role in maintaining our skin and nails free of problems
- It is also important in the formation of carnitine, lecithin, taurine, phosphatidylcholine and some phospholipids.
- Methionine also plays an important role in the break down of fats. This results in prevention of accumulation of fats in the blood vessels. Thus in case of its deficiency in the body, it may dispose the arteries to arteriosclerosis.
- It has also been found to act as an antioxidant as its sulfur group removes the free radicals which are harmful to our various organs.
- It is also beneficial in preventing lethargy and sluggishness.
- Methionine has been found useful in treating chronic diseases like arthritis, depression and chronic liver diseases.
- It increases the production of lecithin by the liver which helps to lower the cholesterol level in the body.
- It has also been found in assisting our digestive system where it acts as a chelating agent for heavy metals and results in their removal from the body.
- Methionine along with other amino acids also forms creatine which is an important constituent of the muscles and provide them strength.
- If it’s not taken in a proper amount, its deficiency may lead to skin problems. The common problems are dermatitis, fatigue, slow growth, fatty liver or edema.
- People suffering from pancreatitis, liver diseases or Parkinsonism may get benefits from methionine amino acid.
- It is also found to promote estrogen hormone, therefore women taking contraceptives pills can use it as well.
Thus, a good intake of methionine amino acid keeps you healthy and active.