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Alanine

Other name(s):

a-alanine, a-amino-propionic acid, b-alanine, b-amino-propionic acid

General information

Alanine is an amino acid that is used to make proteins. It is used to break down tryptophan and vitamin B-6. It is a source of energy for muscles and the central nervous system. It strengthens the immune system and helps the body use sugars.

Unsubstantiated claims

There may be benefits that have not yet been proven through research.

Alanine may help treat diabetes. This is because it helps the body use glucose. It helps prevent low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Recommended intake

Amino acids are available as single amino acids or in amino-acid combinations. They’re in multivitamin formulas, proteins, and food supplements. The forms they come in include tablets, fluids, and powders. 

If you eat enough protein in your diet, you should be getting all the amino acids you need.

There are no conditions that increase the need for alanine.

Side effects, toxicity, and interactions

Using a single amino acid supplement may lead to negative nitrogen balance. This can lessen how well your metabolism works. It can make your kidneys work harder. In children, single amino acid supplements may cause growth problems.

You should not take high doses of individual amino acids for long periods of time.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use alanine supplements.

Online Medical Reviewer: Brittany Poulson MDA RDN CD CDE
Online Medical Reviewer: Diane Horowitz MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Heather M Trevino BSN RNC
Date Last Reviewed: 4/1/2021
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