What Is Alanine & What Foods Can I Find It In?

3D-model of Alanine (src)

Alanine is a non-essential amino acid, used to synthesize proteins.

Alanine can be synthesized from pyruvate and some amino acids such as valine, leucine, and isoleucine.

Alanine is the second-most abundant amino acid in the human body and is present in most cells.

It is the precursor to many important metabolic intermediates. It is important for proper liver function and is used as a substrate for energy production.

Table of Contents

Alanine: Non-Essential But Important

Alanine is a non-essential amino acid. Non-essential means that can be made by humans in the body, and don’t have to be ingested through the diet.

Alanine is a glucogenic amino acid that constitutes a high percentage of the amino acids in most proteins.

Alanine is used to make proteins. Normal alanine metabolism is highly dependent upon enzymes that contain vitamin B6. (source )

Alanine Is Synthesized

Alanine is mostly synthesized by muscle cells from lactic acid.

It is considered the most important nutrient for the amino acid metabolism in the blood together with L-Glutamine.

When alanine has been synthesized, the liver absorbs it and converts it into pyruvate. It is a compound that is critical for the production of glucose, and therefore the regulation of blood sugar. (source )

Benefits Of Alanine

Alanine is an organic chemical that is used in the body to produce energy. It is one of the three essential amino acids that are needed to build proteins in the body.

Alanine is a source of energy for muscles and the central nervous system.

Alanine strengthens the immune system, and it helps the body use sugars. (source )

Alanine seems to be beneficial for people with inflammatory bowel disease, but not for other inflammatory conditions.

You can find more benefits of alanine in Alanine: 7 Research-Backed Benefits .

Foods You Can Find Alanine In

You find Alanine mostly in sweets, snacks, eggs, and American Indian and Alaska native food.

Examples of food sources include

Foods in our nutrition tool

You can find regularly updated top-ranked lists of foods for over 200+ nutrients in our nutrition tool.

If you are interested in what foods contain the most Alanine, we recommend you visit our tool.

Here's our top-ranked list of foods that contain Alanine.

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

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Nutrition is my passion. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies.

I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family.