1-methylhistidine is derived from the dipeptide anserine (which consists of the amino acids 1-methylhistidine and beta-alanine). Anserine and its derivatives are associated with the consumption of poultry and fish. Both 1-methylhistidine and 3-methylhistidine have been proposed as markers of meat intake. Note that confusion exists in the literature regarding the numbering of atoms in the imidazole ring of histidine – 1 versus 3 – and thus, there is caution with interpretation and clinical significance of these two markers.
1-Methylhistidine is decreased with low animal protein intake, as seen in vegetarian and vegan diets.
Urine and plasma levels of 1-methylhistidine are higher with poultry and fish consumption. Since it is a dipeptide, elevations might also signify incomplete protein digestion.
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