Valine is one of the essential amino acids that our bodies need to function properly. It is a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA), meaning that its molecular structure contains a chain of carbon atoms with branches of other atoms attached to it. Valine is classified as an essential amino acid because our bodies cannot produce it on their own, so we need to obtain it from our diet or supplements.
Valine plays several important roles in our bodies. It is a building block of proteins, which are the building blocks of muscles, tendons, and other tissues. Valine also contributes to the regulation of blood sugar levels, and it is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters that regulate mood, cognition, and other brain functions.
Valine is found in many protein-rich foods, such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, and legumes. Some plant-based sources of valine include soybeans, peanuts, whole grains, and leafy greens.
The daily requirement for valine varies depending on age, sex, and physical activity level. The recommended daily intake for adults is about 19 mg per kilogram of body weight. For example, a person who weighs 70 kg would need approximately 1.3 g of valine per day.
A deficiency in valine is rare, as it is found in many protein-rich foods. However, people who follow a strict vegan or vegetarian diet may be at risk of valine deficiency if they do not consume enough protein-rich plant foods. Symptoms of valine deficiency may include fatigue, muscle weakness, and decreased cognitive function.
There is no known upper limit for valine intake, and it is generally considered safe when consumed in moderation. However, taking excessive amounts of valine supplements may cause adverse effects, such as gastrointestinal discomfort and nerve damage.
Most people can obtain sufficient amounts of valine through their diet, so supplements are not typically necessary. However, people who engage in intense physical activity or who are recovering from an injury or surgery may benefit from valine supplements, as it can help to support muscle recovery and growth.
Valine is one of three BCAAs, along with leucine and isoleucine. Together, they make up about one-third of the amino acids found in muscle tissue.
Valine was first isolated in 1901 by the German chemist Emil Fischer.
The sweetener aspartame contains a small amount of valine, which is used to help stabilize its structure.
Valine is often used as a flavoring agent in food products, particularly in the production of artificial fruit flavors.
This list shows food that are top sources of Valine and the quantity of Valine in 100g of food