Valine, together with Isoleucine and Leucine are essential amino acids and are collectively referred to as branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs).
BCAAs are used for the synthesis of enzymes, transport proteins, and structural components of cells. Unlike other amino acids, BCAAs do not serve as precursors for bile acids or neurotransmitters, but are involved in control mechanisms for neurotransmitters, muscle development and repair, and blood-sugar regulation. Low BCAAs are an indication of chronic depletion from low protein intake, poor digestion, or increased utilization from chronic over-exercising. High fasting levels may be caused by a deficiency of vitamin B6, elevated insulin levels, or excessive supplementation.
High levels of Valine:
Excessive intake or vitamin B6 functional deficit. If other BCAAs are high, vitamin B6 should be given.
Low levels of Valine:
Deficiency in this or other BCAAs indicates potential muscle loss. If several essential AAs are low, check for adequate stomach acid. Supplement the BCAAs.
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