Serine – an essential amino acid

Serine – an essential amino acid
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Serine in the human body, used in medicine and sports. Amino acids play a major role in the human body – they are responsible for building proteins, various metabolic processes and the production of other vital chemical compounds. Essential amino acids only enter the body from the external environment, while other non-essential amino acids are synthesized in the body itself. However, do not think that we cannot feel the need for substances of the second group. Deficiency in interchangeable amino acids is possible and dangerous for the development of pathologies, but it can be prevented if you introduce more products into the diet that are rich in the necessary amino acids and take appropriate medicines or dietary supplements in a timely manner. These interchangeable but necessary aminocarboxylic acids include the substance serine, the properties and functions of which we will discuss in this article, including its use in medicine and sport, its content in food.

Serine in its optimal natural form and dosage is contained in bee products – such as pollen, royal jelly and drone brood, which are part of many natural vitamin and mineral complexes from the company “Parafarm”: “Leveton P”, “Elton P”, “Leveton Forte” , “Elton Forte”, “Apitonus P”, “Osteomed”, “Osteo-Vit”, “Osteomed Forte”, “Eromax”, “memo-Vit” and “Cardioton”. That is why we pay so much attention to every natural substance and tell about its importance and its benefits for a healthy body.

The Amino Acid Serine: Discovery and Purpose

The discovery of amino acids marked a new page in biochemistry in the century before last. Since the beginning of the NINETEENTH century, scientists have successively found organic acids in food, animal tissues and liquids, as well as in plants, that contain amine and carboxyl groups – (-NH2) and (-Coon), which have a combination of acidic and basic properties. After asparagine, leucine, glycine, taurine, tyrosine and other compounds, the amino acid serine was discovered. In 1865 it was obtained from the protein of natural silk sericin by the German E. Kramer. The source of the discovery and gave the name to the new substance – serine (Greek silk).

The chemical structure of serine is reflected in its scientific name – (2S) -2-amino-3-hydroxypropanoic acid, or in Russian: 2-amino-3-hydroxypropanoic acid, as well as in the formula: C3H7NO3. This hydroxynicotinate is a pure water-soluble crystalline powder with a whitish hue and the taste is slightly sweet and sour. The combination of the properties of an amino acid with the properties of alcohol is a characteristic of this compound. Like many amino acids, it exists in the form of two isomers – L and D – as well as in DL form, which reflects the structure of the molecules. L-serine is involved in the formation of almost all proteins in nature, both of animal and vegetable origin, its content in cell membranes in particular is high. D-serine is formed from L molecules and is also biologically active, which enables it to be used for medical purposes.

Serine in the human body functions and value

Serine fulfills a variety of functions in the human body. It itself is synthesized from the intermediate of this reaction, 3-phosphoglycerate, during glycolysis, and the amino group NH2 is attached by glutamic acid. Vitamins B3, B6, B12 and folic acid are necessary for its formation.

The resulting amino acid is necessary for a wide variety of biochemical processes, the most important of which are:

  • Synthesis of proteins, including brain tissue;
  • Formation of other amino acids: cysteine, glycine, tryptophan, methionine;
  • Formation of DNA and RNA molecules;
  • Synthesis of essential fatty acids;
  • Synthesis of complex fats Phospholipids-significant elements of cell membranes that perform important transport functions in cell metabolism;
  • Production of glucose when there is a deficiency in the cells – the contribution of serine to the body’s energy needs;
  • Production of antibodies and immunoglobulins necessary for the normal functioning of the immune system;
  • Participation in the production of nucleotides, coenzymes, creatine and creatine phosphate;
    Formation of serine peptidases, which are catalysts in various biochemical processes;
    Synthesis of hemoglobin, purine and pyrimidine, choline, ethanolamine and many other compounds.

As we can see, serine is necessary for the normal physical function of the human body. But this amino acid is also very important for our neuropsychic activity and the functioning of the brain. Since it is part of nerve cells, it acts as a regulator of nerve signals, as a neuromodulator; It is also a neuroprotector as it protects neurons as it is part of the myelin sheaths of nerve fibers. In addition, serine influences the production of serotonin, which is also known as the pleasure hormone because of its mood-enhancing effect.

Note the related nature of the amino acids serine and glycine, which can transform into one another. Their functions are similar, so they are considered interchangeable aminocarboxylic acids.

Use of serine in medicine

The various functions of the respective amino acids in the human body determine the type of use of serine in medicine.

Its biochemical properties allow it to be used to correct metabolic processes: in combination with other drugs, it is prescribed for protein-energy deficiency, low calorie intake; if you have anemia caused by a lack of hemoglobin. It is also prescribed to strengthen immunity, treat tuberculosis, infectious diseases, the urinary tract, gastrointestinal tract, for better regeneration of the skin, connective tissues and bones.

In psychoneurology, serine is used as a nootropic, i.e. as a stimulator of brain activity, in connection with the regulatory effect on neurons. Serine helps reduce symptoms of schizophrenia, Parkinson’s and, according to some scientists, Alzheimer’s. It also weakens such manifestations of post-traumatic stress disorder as depression, anxiety, fear of going out to society, etc. Activation of the cognitive functions of memory, attention and intelligence, even in the elderly, can also be the purpose of this tool. In the event of high physical and psycho-emotional stress, preventive serine intake is possible. In addition, it improves the medicinal effects of other drugs.

The anti-tumor antibiotics azaserine and cycloserine, which are used for tuberculosis, urinary tract infections and a number of mycobacterial diseases, were obtained on the basis of serine.

The properties of this amino acid include its ability to make the skin more elastic and attractive, as well as moisturizing and retaining moisture, so serine is part of various cosmetic creams and gels.

Use of serine in sports

Along with other amino acids, serine is used in sports. Its energy and metabolic functions help athletes to recover better after strenuous training loads and to get a boost in strength for the upcoming sports tests.

Serine contributes to:

  1. Creatine formation and absorption – a substance that plays a major role in building muscle;
  2. Creating energy reserves in the liver and muscles as it helps store glycogen in them;
  3. the conversion of glycogen into glucose – the main source of energy for physical activity;
  4. normalization of the level of the hormone cortisol, which has a destructive effect on muscle tissue;
  5. active fat metabolism, including improving fat burning, thanks to which an optimal weight and, along with building muscle, an athletic figure is maintained;
  6. natural pain relief;
  7. more complete absorption of vitamins and other useful substances.
  8. Not to be forgotten is the high level of stress experienced by athletes and emotional overload (especially in the pre-competition and competition phase). And this is where the neuromodulating properties of serine can help.

What are the dangers of a deficiency and an oversupply of the body?

Like all interchangeable amino acids, serine is able to synthesize itself according to the needs of the body. A balanced diet and the availability of sufficient amounts of vitamins B3, B6, B12 and folic acid are necessary factors for optimal production of this compound. Scarcity and abundance of it rarely occur. One of the reasons for the lack of serine in the body is a congenital (congenital) metabolic disorder that does not allow the production of this substance; another is the uneven development in childhood, which leads to an imbalance in metabolic processes. A low content of products that contain serine can lead to a deficiency, especially with high energy costs (mental and physical stress).

Serine deficiency manifests itself as depression, chronic fatigue, sleep disorders, weakening of the immune system, reduced mental and physical performance, impaired transmission of nerve impulses, psychomotor abnormalities, seizures, mental disorders up to Alzheimer’s disease.

An excess of serine is no less dangerous. Gastrointestinal complaints, headaches, nausea, and insomnia are the most harmless symptoms. An overdose of serine can lead to allergies, high hemoglobin and blood sugar levels, hyperactivity, reduced adrenaline levels, decrease in immunity, and tumor development. It is no accident that this substance has a reputation for being an amino acid that causes madness. Large doses of this substance are toxic to neurons, cause neuropsychiatric disorders.

Contraindications to serine in the composition of dietary supplements are distributed to pregnant and lactating women. Individual intolerance, epilepsy and alcoholism, heart failure – can also be contraindications. With a number of neuropsychiatric diseases and pathologies, with kidney disease, in childhood, serine can only be prescribed by a doctor for medical purposes in strictly prescribed doses.

According to many experts, the percentage of people who require additional intake of this amino acid is low. If you have classified yourself in this category, under no circumstances should you exceed the dosages indicated in the instructions for use of a particular dietary supplement.

Serine: what foods do they contain?

The amino acid in question occurs in both animal products and plants. Let’s not forget that a healthy intestinal flora and a sufficient amount of B vitamins and folic acid are required for successful absorption.

A high serine content is found:

  • in cheese
  • Dairy products
  • beef
  • chicken
  • Eggs
  • Fishes.

Vegetarians can get serine from:

  • soy
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • nuts
  • Beans
  • peas
  • Beans
  • lenses
  • oatmeal
  • perlovki
  • rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn
  • cauliflower
  • garlic
  • dill
  • Parsley and other plants.

Daily norm of serine

The answer to the question of how much serine should be taken per day depends on each individual’s metabolism, their mental and physical activity, whether there are indications or contraindications to its use, and other conditions (these subtleties are covered above). On average, the recommended dose of serine per day is 3 grams (the maximum dose when needed – 30 grams). Use a dietary supplement more effectively between meals to avoid increases in blood sugar levels.

In drugs or dietary supplements, serine can be combined with other drugs, iron and amino acids. Pharmacological preparations containing serine are available in tablets, capsules and ampoules for intravenous administration. Side effects in the form of allergic manifestations, gastrointestinal disorders are most likely when taking tablets.