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.
- Cuparencu C, Pratico G, Hemeryck LY, et al. Biomarkers of meat and seafood intake: an extensive literature review. Genes Nutr. 2019;14:35.
- Cheung W, Keski-Rahkonen P, Assi N, et al. A metabolomic study of biomarkers of meat and fish intake. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017;105(3):600-608.
- Sadikali F, Darwish R, Watson WC. Carnosinase activity of human gastrointestinal mucosa. Gut. 1975;16(8):585-589.
- Abe H, Okuma E, Sekine H, Maeda A, Yoshiue S. Human urinary excretion of L-histidine-related compounds after ingestion of several meats and fish muscle. Int J Biochem. 1993;25(9):1245-1249.
- Derave W, De Courten B, Baba SP. An update on carnosine and anserine research. Amino Acids. 2019;51(1):1-4.
- Sjolin J, Hjort G, Friman G, Hambraeus L. Urinary excretion of 1-methylhistidine: a qualitative indicator of exogenous 3-methylhistidine and intake of meats from various sources. Metab: Clin Exp. 1987;36(12):1175-1184.
- Hagen IV, Helland A, Bratlie M, et al. TMAO, creatine and 1-methylhistidine in serum and urine are potential biomarkers of cod and salmon intake: a randomised clinical trial in adults with overweight or obesity. Eur J Nutr. 2019.
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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