a-Amino-N-butyric Acid

Optimal Result: 2 - 21 micromol/g creatinine.

Alpha-Amino-N-butyric acid (α-ANB), also known as alphaaminobutyric acid, is a nonessential amino acid derived from the catabolism of methionine, threonine, and serine. α-ANB is both formed and metabolized by reactions which require vitamin B6 as a cofactor.


- Shaw S, Lieber CS. Plasma amino acids in the alcoholic: nutritional aspects. Alc Clin Exp Reds. 1983;7(1):22-27.

- Kang-Yoon SA, Kirksey A. Relation of short-term pyridoxineHCl supplementation to plasma vitamin B-6 vitamers and amino acid concentrations in young women. Am J Clin Nutr. 1992;55(4):865-872.

- Steele RD. Transaminative metabolism of alpha-amino-n-butyrate in rats. Metab: Clin Exp. 1982;31(4):318-325.

- Shaw S, Stimmel B, Lieber CS. Plasma alpha amino-n-butyric acid to leucine ratio: an empirical biochemical marker of alcoholism. Science. 1976;194(4269):1057-1058.

- Shaw S, Lieber CS. Increased hepatic production of alphaamino-n-butyric acid after chronic alcohol consumption in rats and baboons. Gastroenterology. 1980;78(1):108-113.

- Lieber CS. Role of oxidative stress and antioxidant therapy in alcoholic and nonalcoholic liver diseases. Adv Pharmacol. 1997;38:601-628.

- Chiarla C, Giovannini I, Siegel JH. Characterization of alphaamino-n-butyric acid correlations in sepsis. Transl Res. 2011;158(6):328-333.

- Moszak M, Klupczynska A, Kanikowska A, et al. The influence of a 3-week body mass reduction program on the metabolic parameters and free amino acid profiles in adult Polish people with obesity. Adv Clin Exp Med. 2018;27(6):749-757.

- Adachi Y, Toyoshima K, Nishimoto R, et al. Association between plasma alpha-aminobutyric acid and depressive symptoms in older community-dwelling adults in Japan. Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2019;19(3):254-258.

- Le Couteur DG, Ribeiro R, Senior A, et al. Branched chain amino acids, cardiometabolic risk factors and outcomes in older men: the Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project. J Gerontol Series A, Biol Sci Med Sci. 2019.

What does it mean if your a-Amino-N-butyric Acid result is too low?

Low levels of α-ANB may be seen when overall amino acids are low, especially it’s precursors. Additionally, a functional deficiency in vitamin B6 has been associated with lower levels of α-ANB and levels can increase with B6 supplementation. Clinically, low levels of plasma α-ANB have been associated with depressive symptoms.

What does it mean if your a-Amino-N-butyric Acid result is too high?

Levels of this metabolite may be elevated if its precursors are also elevated. A functional need for vitamin B6 can limit the further metabolism of α-ANB and contribute to elevated levels. Elevations of this metabolite have been studied in several conditions which contribute to a functional vitamin B deficiency, such as alcoholism, sepsis, hypocaloric weight loss, and excessive exercise.

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