What is Methionine?

Methionine is an essential amino acid, meaning we need to get it from our diet as our body does not produce it. Methionine is a unique sulfur-containing amino acid that can be used to build proteins and produce many molecules in the body.

Function of amino acids:

– Amino acids help build the proteins that make up the tissues and organs of your body.
– In addition to this critical function, some amino acids have other special roles.

Methionine is found in a variety of protein-containing foods and is often higher in animal proteins than plant proteins. It is highest in fish and chicken and also eggs, milk, and red meat.

High levels:

Many cancer cells require methionine to grow, hence a methionine restriction can be recommended for prevention and/or people with existing cancers. Methionine restriction—best achieved through a plant-based diet—may prove to have a major impact on people with cancer because, unlike normal tissues, many human cancer cells require the amino acid methionine to grow (this is also known as “absolute methionine dependency“). Studies have shown that the less methionine there is in body tissues, the longer different animals tend to live.

With the proper development, dietary methionine restriction, either alone or in combination with other treatments, may prove to have a major impact on people with cancer.

High methionine intake can increase homocysteine levels and also increase risk of depression, while lower methionine intake may extend lifespan, slow cancer growth, and improve insulin sensitivity.

Methionine is an essential amino acid, meaning we need to get it from our diet as our body does not produce it. Therefore, we do require a certain amount of methionine to prevent deficiency. Plant foods are naturally lower in methionine, however we can still meet our baseline methionine needs from these plant foods without the need for supplements (like protein shakes) or animal products that will supply a greater quantity of methionine that add up to higher levels than we need.

It is recommended to focus on meeting the baseline methionine needs from a diet rich in plant-based food versus animal-based foods.



The information on is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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