Our IV Therapy Toronto Clinic Explains: What is Alanine?

In case you didn’t know, we offer IV therapy from our Toronto clinic. Our customized IV treatments contain beneficial ingredients, such as vitamin B12, high-dose vitamin C, folic acid, and amino acids. Now did you also know that alanine can be infused as part of your IV vitamin drips?

Amino acids are necessary for the human body because they encourage tissue repair, break down food into energy, and help with making neurotransmitters, hormones and proteins.

Out of all the amino acids that the body uses, alanine is that one amino acid primarily used for building proteins. In fact, alanine is an amino acid responsible for the following jobs in the body:

  • Supports immune function. 
  • Breaks down glucose into energy; also breaks down vitamin B6 and another amino acid called tryptophan.
  • Provides energy for your central nervous system and muscle health.
  • Supports cholesterol levels.
  • Assists with liver detoxification.
  • Contributes to cellular functioning by guarding cells from oxidative stress. 
  • Encourages the body to use sugars to counteract low blood sugar levels. 

Also known as L-alanine, alanine is a non-essential amino acid. What this means is that your body can make alanine without having to consume it from food.

Understanding low levels of alanine

Because the body can create alanine on its own, having a low level in the body is infrequent. But a deficiency could form in the following:

  • Patients who undergo excessive physical performance.
  • Those who are ill, stressed or malnourished.
  • People eating diets low in protein.
  • Adults diagnosed with diabetes or liver disease.

Symptoms of low alanine levels may include weakness, fatigue, muscle shrinkage, mood swings, low endurance, and unstable blood sugar levels. If you’re concerned that you’re lacking alanine, you can consider functional medicine treatments, as well as vitamin IV therapy combined with oral support. We explain these in the next section.

How to increase your alanine levels

If you’re struggling with your health condition, the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre could address your health concern with integrative treatment plans.

An initial consultation is mandatory to cover your personal health history. (This 30-45 minute consultation is a complete diagnostic consultation that would discuss genetics, environmental and lifestyle factors, health goals, etc.). Then for alanine concerns, lab testing would be recommended to measure the amino acids in your body.

After test results are analyzed, our functional medicine provider would discuss how to improve alanine levels. Personalized treatment plans could include:

  • Diet modifications: Eating protein-rich foods could help because they contain alanine. These foods are: chicken, turkey, fish, whole grains, and protein powders.
  • Supplements: Alanine is commonly found in powdered amino acids blends that contain all essential and non-essential amino acids.
  • Intravenous therapy (IV therapy/intravenous infusion therapy): IV therapy with amino acids not only replenishes missing nutrients in the body, it could also assist with cellular function, cellular energy, and hydration. What’s unique about this therapy is how it automatically bypasses the digestive tract; this means that it can provide beneficial effects to patients who suffer from digestive issues or malabsorption. (To learn about IV treatments from the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre, contact us at (416) 968-6961. Our vitamin IV lounge is currently accepting new patients to receive essential vitamins via intravenous therapy drips.)

Alanine and other amino acids could contribute to optimal functioning. Are you ready to transform your health? Let’s give you a hand with our functional medicine therapies and intravenous drips.

Getting personalized medicine and IV treatments from us

Our functional medicine providers offer a personalized touch to therapies. This is because our integrative approach to health care considers each patient as a single entity. We encourage empowerment so that patients and functional medicine providers can work side-by-side in creating health goals.

Offering Eastern and Western medicine, the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre is passionate about crafting personalized treatment plans. Our in-person and virtual consultations could help with addressing different conditions, such as: nutritional deficiencies/mineral deficiencies, adrenal fatigue, premature aging and age-related diseases, thyroid conditions, infertility, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, and acute health issues. 

Are you wondering if alanine should be part of your amino acid drip? Could alanine help you reach optimal health as an adjunct support to oral supplementation? Vitamin IV therapy from our Toronto clinic could improve your overall wellness and energy levels. Contact us today about our functional medicine programs and vitamin drip treatments. Email us at info@tfm.care.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.

 

References:

Alabsi, K., Rashidlamir, A. & Dokht, E.H. The Effect of 4 Weeks of Strength Training and Beta-Alanine Supplementation on Anaerobic Power and Carnosine Level in Boxer Players. J. of SCI. IN SPORT AND EXERCISE (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42978-021-00151-z

Alanine” from the University of Rochester Medical Center, viewed on August 17, 2022. 

Alpha-alanine – Uses, Side Effects, and More” from WebMD, viewed on August 17, 2022. 

ARTIOLI, GUILHERME GIANNINI; GUALANO, BRUNO; SMITH, ABBIE; STOUT, JEFFREY; LANCHA, ANTONIO HERBERT JR. Role of β-Alanine Supplementation on Muscle Carnosine and Exercise Performance. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: June 2010 – Volume 42 – Issue 6 – p 1162-1173 doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181c74e38

Boldyrev AA, Dudina EI, Dupin AM, Chasovnikova LV, Formaziuk VE, Sergienko VI, et al. [A comparison of the antioxidative activity of carnosine by using chemical and biological models]. Biull Eksp Biol Med. (1993) 115:607–9. doi: 10.1007/BF00791156

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Dandare, SU, Ezeonwumelu, IJ, Shinkafi, TS, Magaji, UF, Adio, AA-I, Ahmad, K. L-alanine supplementation improves blood glucose level and biochemical indices in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. J Food Biochem. 2021; 45:e13590. https://doi.org/10.1111/jfbc.13590

Hobson RM, Saunders B, Ball G, Harris RC, Sale C. Effects of β-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis. Amino Acids. 2012 Jul;43(1):25-37. doi: 10.1007/s00726-011-1200-z. Epub 2012 Jan 24. PMID: 22270875; PMCID: PMC3374095.

Lancha Junior, Antonio Herbert, et al. “Nutritional strategies to modulate intracellular and extracellular buffering capacity during high-intensity exercise.” Sports Medicine 45.1 (2015): 71-81.

Lee DY, Kim EH. Therapeutic Effects of Amino Acids in Liver Diseases: Current Studies and Future Perspectives. J Cancer Prev. 2019 Jun;24(2):72-78. doi: 10.15430/JCP.2019.24.2.72. Epub 2019 Jun 30. PMID: 31360687; PMCID: PMC6619856.

Petersen KF, Dufour S, Cline GW, Shulman GI. Regulation of hepatic mitochondrial oxidation by the glucose-alanine cycle during starvation in humans. J Clin Invest. 2019;129(11):4671–4675. J Cancer Prev. 2019 Jun; 24(2): 72–78.

Ron-Harel N, Ghergurovich JM, Notarangelo G, LaFleur MW, Tsubosaka Y, Sharpe AH, Rabinowitz JD, Haigis MC. T Cell Activation Depends on Extracellular Alanine. Cell Rep. 2019 Sep 17;28(12):3011-3021.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.08.034. PMID: 31533027; PMCID: PMC6934407.

Varanoske, Alyssa N., et al. “Comparison of sustained-release and rapid-release β-alanine formulations on changes in skeletal muscle carnosine and histidine content and isometric performance following a muscle-damaging protocol.” Amino Acids 51.1 (2019): 49-60.