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

3D-model of Valine (src)

Valine is an essential amino acid.

Valine is needed for the synthesis of proteins and as an energy fuel.

Essential means that the body cannot synthesize it, and therefore must be ingested through our diet.

Valine are often used as a dietary supplement, for example, to treat fatigue, increase athletic performance, and enhance immune function.

Table of Contents

Valine Is Essential

Valine is an essential amino acid that is related to leucine.

We can’t synthesize valine ourselves and therefore must get it through our diet. Valine is mostly found in protein-rich foods. (source )

Valine is named after the plant valerian. (source )

Valine is needed for the synthesis of proteins and is also used as an energy fuel together with other amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. (source )

Benefits Of Valine

Valine has been shown to be useful as a supplemental therapy to ailing the liver.

Valine is believed to be beneficial for preventing and treating metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and atherosclerosis.

You can find some research-backed benefits of valine in Valine: 3 Research-Backed Benefits

Valine is one of three branched-chain amino acids.

Valine, together with isoleucine and leucine, make up about one-third of muscle protein. (source )

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA)

Branched-chain amino acids are critical to human life and are particularly involved in stress, energy, and muscle metabolism. (source )

BCAAs are amino acids that suppress protein breakdown and are used as an efficient energy source during exercise.

Even though, BCAAs possess some muscle-building benefits, excessive intake may reduce lifespan, increase appetite, lead to weight gain, and have a negative impact on mood.

Conversion Of Valine

Valine can be converted to methionine in the body, but the activity of the enzyme is impaired in the aging brain.

This in turn leads to low levels of methionine and ultimately to lower levels of serotonin in the brain.

Serotonin, a brain chemical, helps keep people in a calm state. It also helps reduce aggression.

Other Uses Of Valine

Other than nutritional values, valine is used in pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. (source )

It's believed to be important for upholding skin strength.

Valine is also used in the manufacture of drugs. For instance, drugs that are used to treat patients with cystinuria, a rare condition which can cause kidney, ureter, and bladder stones from amino acids.

Foods You Can Find Valine In

You find Valine mostly in dairy and egg, legume, vegetable, and seafood products.

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 Valine, we recommend you visit our tool.

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

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.