Valine is a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) that is a constituent of fibrous protein in the body. Valine is needed for muscle metabolism and coordination, tissue repair, and maintenance of nitrogen balance. It is used by muscle tissue as an energy source. Valine is used in treatments for muscle, mental, and emotional problems; insomnia; anxiety; and liver and gallbladder disease. Measurement of valine is included in the Amino Acids, Plasma, and Amino Acids, Urine tests along with 23 other amino acids.
Valine (Val/V) is a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) that is used in conjunction with the other two BCAAs, isoleucine, and leucine, to promote normal growth, tissue repair, blood sugar regulation, and energy supply to the body. Valine helps in the proper functioning of the central nervous system and is necessary for proper mental functioning.
Valine helps prevent the destruction of muscle fibers by providing the muscles with extra glucose for energy production during intense physical exercise. Valine also helps remove potentially toxic excess nitrogen from the liver and can transport nitrogen to other body tissues as needed. Valine can help treat liver and gallbladder diseases, as well as repair liver damage caused by alcoholism and drug abuse. Valine may help treat or even reverse liver encephalopathy or alcohol-related brain damage.
Valine is an essential amino acid, meaning it cannot be produced in the body and must be obtained through dietary sources. Natural sources of valine include meats, dairy products, mushrooms, peanuts, and soy protein. Although most people get enough valine from their diet, cases of valine deficiency have been reported. Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD) is caused by the inability to metabolize leucine, isoleucine, and valine. The disease is so named because the urine in affected people smells like maple syrup. Valine deficiency can also affect the myelin sheath of nerves and cause degenerative neurological conditions.
Those who exercise a lot or are on a low-protein diet or trying to build muscle mass (body building) should take regular valine supplements. Valine is available in supplements on its own but should always be taken with the other two branched-chain amino acids, isoleucine, and leucine. The ideal balance is 2 parts leucine and valine for every 1 part isoleucine.
Taking too much valine can cause numbness and tingling and even hallucinations. Too much valine in the diet can also disrupt liver and kidney function and increase the amount of ammonia in the body. People with impaired liver or kidney function should not take BCAAs without a doctor's advice, as large doses of the amino acid may worsen these conditions.