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Asparagine

A representation of the Asparagine molecule. This amino acid has a molecular weight of 132.12 and plays a vital role in helping the body cleanse itself of toxins and waste material.

 

What is it?

Asparagine is defined as a non-essential amino acid; specifically, it is a beta-amido derivative of aspartic acid. In the Sutherlandia plant, it exists as a reversible combination of aspartic acid and ammonia. In animals, it plays an important role in the biosynthesis of glycoproteins and exists in all cell types. It is sometimes called ASN, 2-amino-butane and amino acid N. Its molecular formula is:

H2NCOCH2-CH(NH2)COOH

In the human body, it is manufactured in the liver, assuming that a correct diet is being followed. If not, problems occur.

What are its benefits?
It is required by the central nervous system, to maintain a degree of balance - so that individuals are neither overly excited or too relaxed. Low levels of asparagine are often the result of poor metabolism or an inadequate diet. This can lead to an inability to correctly synthesize and create urea, causing a buildup of toxic metabolites in the body. The results of this can include irritability, poor sleep, depression and, in extreme cases, psychosis. Proper levels of asparagine stimulate the kidneys and liver to properly perform their functions, acting as one of the most effective diuretics.

It permits sugars to bond to proteins, forming new molecules required for immune response and regulation and is a vital component in the metabolism of toxic ammonia in the body.

Normally, a well balanced diet eliminates the need for supplemental asparagine. However, if illness makes this impossible, supplemental asparagine can play a vital role in assisting with normal body metabolism and waste elimination functions.

Are there any side effects?
There are currently no known examples of any adverse side effects with the use of supplemental asparagine. There are currently no studies about the effects of asparagine taken at severe overdose amounts over the long term.

Of Interest
A good explanation of the role of asparagine in the human body. Please click here.

 

An interesting Adobe PDF experiment looking at asparagine and yeast. Please click here. This is a highly technical report and should only be read by those familiar with advanced biochemistry.

 

A superb government website that links to a number of research reports pertaining to asparagine. Please click here.

 

News

A poor diet has many negative consequences for health. This BBC report outlines some of them. Please click here.

 

The link between an inadequate diet and various psychological disorders is now beginning to be explored heavily by researchers. This story by CNN has a fascinating report about diet and mood swings. Details here.

 

 
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