Threonine: Benefits, Side Effects, and Food Sources

Threonine is an essential amino acid found in our diet. Let’s check out the threonine benefits, risks, and food groups on where we can get the most out of it.

Threonine Rich Foods

Threonine is one of the essential amino acids that our body needs. Essential amino acids are those that we can mainly get through the food that we eat every day. In this read, we will know more about threonine benefits and side effects, as well as the food sources on where you can get more of it. Amino acids in the body are said to be the body’s protein’s building blocks. When these proteins are broken down through digestion, it becomes amino acids. These are important in the body as it carries out many functions in the body, which includes transporting nutrients, building muscles, and preventing diseases. Those are just some of the most known functions.

According to doctors and health scientists, it’s always important to get enough amino acids in the body as several side effects and health issues may arise if you suffer a deficiency in amino acids. As we venture day in and day out, we might as well know the food sources on where you can get the amino acids you need, threonine benefits, and any possible side effects. 

Everything You Need To Know About Threonine

Threonine is one of the 9 essential amino acids in the body. These are the amino acids that the body cannot make so it needs to be taken from your daily and usual diet. It is very important to get enough protein in our diet so that we can get the amino acids that we need as they perform many vital processes in the body. Our body needs all 20 amino acids to function properly and they are categorized into three types:

  • Essential amino acids: These are those that can only be obtained through our choice of food products. They include histidine, lysine, leucine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, methionine, valine, tryptophan, and threonine. 
  • Non-essential amino acids: Amino acids are naturally produced by the body and we do not need to get it from the food that we eat.
  • Conditional Amino Acids: It’s the set of amino acids that are only needed when the body is in a state of stress, injury, or illness.

Threonine is one of the nine essential amino acids and when it gets into the body, it transforms in the body as glycine which is an important chemical in the brain that responds to reduce unwanted and constant muscle contractions. It can be synthetically prepared in laboratories by combining crotonic acid and mercury acetate. The kind of threonine that’s active biologically for humans is L-threonine and we need to obtain it from our daily diet of food sources. 

The threonine benefits would greatly rely on the amount of these food sources that we get. It can be primarily found in proteins in animals like poultry, fish, and beef. Dairy products such as cottage cheese and vegetable sources of lentils, sesame seeds, and black beans are great sources of threonine. 

Threonine Benefits and Side effects 

We have already discussed that essential amino acids such as threonine can be found in the food that we eat but there are times when we are not able to consume these food products in ample amounts to get the recommended value of protein. That’s why a lot of supplements and alternatives are coming out these days to give customers and consumers a handy lift. 

Generally, threonine’s main role is for supporting connective tissue production but some of the benefits that you can get from taking supplements and food products that have threonine are the following:

  1. Support in the immune system: It has roles in the production of antibodies which helps the body produce cells that fight off diseases and illnesses. 
  2. Improved bone health: Threonine is essential for collagen production. It’s also the main component in the cartilage and the skin which is connective tissue. Ligaments, bones, and tendons also contain high collagen amounts. 
  3. Support for the liver’s health: One of the threonine benefits is that it could help minimize the fats that are accumulated around the liver. This in return will prevent any liver-related diseases. 
  4. Regulates the health of connective tissues: Threonine is an important component in making collagen. With this, it helps support the healthy connective tissue growth most especially for parts found in the heart as this is where concentrated levels of threonine are pooled. 

Threonine is considered generally safe when it is obtained through your regular food diet. However, if you are taking it in a supplement form, it’s safe to take at least 4 grams of the supplement orally for at least 12 months. Anything longer than that must be consulted to your doctor so that guidelines and proper dosing could be given. Some people experience side effects that are minor and these may include but not limited to the following:

  • Upset stomach 
  • Skin rash 
  • Headache
  • Nausea 

Food Sources And Tips

The effects and threonine benefits would greatly depend on the food sources or products that you intake and use daily. If you need to get a higher dosage or if you are planning to take supplements that are alongside any medications that you are taking, do not hesitate to ask for professional advice. 

Nothing would beat natural and yes, one great way to start obtaining the amino acids you need is to know which food groups and products provide these. Here are the top 10 foods that are highest in threonine content. 

  • Lamb and lean beef
  • Pork tenderloin
  • Soya Foods
  • Turkey and chicken
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Lamb’s liver 
  • Shellfish and clams 
  • Fish and salmon 
  • Lentils and beans
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Chorizo
  • Veal
  • Dried cod 
  • Venison 
  • Caviar 
  • Parsley
  • Protein powder
  • Duck and goose 
  • Spirulina 

These are just some of the food products that have the most threonine content in their main ingredients. You can incorporate it into your daily diet so that you can get the recommended value of amino acids in the body for optimum health. 

Remember that your choice of food products and the threonine benefits that you can get is only as good as the amount of effort you put in to lead a healthy lifestyle in general. Without practicing a healthy balance of healthy foods, an active lifestyle, and supplements, the effects and benefits may not be as full-on as compared to integrating all three factors. Cheers to a healthier, more active, and happier life ahead of you!

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