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Methionine sources, health benefits and uses

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 by

Methionine is a sulfur-based essential amino acid that was first discovered and isolated in 1921 by American bacteriologist John Howard Mueller. Although Mueller initially submitted an incorrect summation formula, this was corrected three years later by a fellow researcher and Japanese colleague named Odake, who also gave the amino acid its name. As one of two sulfur-based amino acids, methionine plays a multitude of important functions for the human body, chief of which is the synthesis of other proteins like melatonine and carnitine.

A deficiency of methionine is typically marked by hair loss, poor skin tone, and hepatic dysfunction. Methionine toxicity, on the other hand, is characterized by gastrointestinal irritation, hyperactivity, and hallucinations at worst. This makes it all the more important to acquire the recommended daily intake of two to three grams of methionine.

Because methionine is an essential amino acid, the body is unable to produce it naturally, making it all the more important to obtain methionine from outside sources. Wild-caught fish, chicken, beef, and liver are among the best sources for methionine. Vegetarians can turn to Brazil nuts, dried soya beans, green vegetables, and sesame seeds for their daily dosage of methionine.

Medicinal uses for methionine

Methionine can support the body’s natural detoxification processes largely by increasing glutathione production. Glutathione is a peptide that’s been hailed as the “mother of antioxidants” for its ability to boost immune system function and protect the body from free radicals and environmental toxins. Furthermore, methionine aids in the transportation and absorption of selenium and zinc, two minerals that act in a similar fashion to antioxidants and eliminate free radicals.

According to, methionine can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by preventing atheroma plaque formation and by lowering fat levels within the bloodstream. Moreover, methionine acts as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of phospholipids such as lecithin, cysteine, and the previously mentioned carnitine.

Methionine has been shown to decrease the occurrence and frequency of digestive problems by protecting the health of the intestines during development and in the midst of inflammatory states.

By inhibiting the adherence and growth of bacteria on bladder walls, methionine can effectively decrease the risk of urinary tract infections as well as kidney stones.

Methionine has seen increasing use in the treatment of degenerative neurological conditions due to its ability to encourage the production of serotonin, a mood-lifting neurotransmitter that’s been linked to restored chemical balance and reduced occurrences of trembling and erratic mood swings.

Body systems supported by methionine

Methionine can benefit the body overall by decreasing the amount of heavy metals being accumulated within the body.

Since methionine is involved in creatinine production, it aids the muscles and improves muscle cell energy metabolism.

Because methionine assists in lipid metabolism and detoxification, this amino acid is believed to boost overall liver function. In fact, fatty live disease is one of the hallmarks of methionine deficiency as methionine has been found to decrease the amount of pro-inflammatory and fibrotic genes in the body.

Methionine stimulates collagen production, and is therefore a good amino acid to take in for healthy skin, nails, and hair.

Methionine has been noted for having a positive effect on bone mineral content, mineralization, and has been found to improve the mobility and structure of joints.

In addition, methionine can maintain a healthy digestive system and heart.

Where to learn more


Methionine is an essential amino acid that can support the health of the liver, digestive system, heart, and bones. Regular intake of methionine can also alleviate the symptoms of digestive ailments, cardiovascular disease, and urinary tract infections. The body can’t produce methionine, however, hence why eating foods rich in this amino acid are a necessity.

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