BETA ALANINE

Urine
Optimal Result: 0 - 12 mmol/mol creatinine.

β-alanine is a breakdown product of carnosine and anserine, which are dipeptides from meat consumption. Although β-alanine’s properties are limited, its relationship to carnosine makes it important. Both have antioxidant properties. And, as previously mentioned, carnosine is critical for pH buffering in skeletal muscle during exercise, but its formation can be limited by enzymatic factors.

For this reason, supplementation with β-alanine is sometimes used to enhance carnitine and therefore improve athletic performance. In addition to diet and supplementation, β-alanine can also be endogenously produced. This occurs via degradation of uracil in the liver but it can also be made by intestinal bacteria such as E. coli.

Since β-alanine comes from meat consumption, endogenous production is the only source in vegetarian and vegan populations. Given their limited diets, vegetarians and vegans have lower levels of β-alanine and muscle carnosine compared to omnivores. There is also an interesting interplay between taurine and β-alanine. Taurine and β-alanine share the same skeletal muscle transporter, whereby β-alanine can inhibit taurine’s uptake into muscle. Elevated beta-alanine can sometimes deplete taurine leading to oxidative stress, causing tissue damage. Additionally, these two amino acids compete for the same reabsorption transporters in the kidney. Elevated β-alanine can contribute to renal wasting of taurine.

References:

- Trexler ET, Smith-Ryan AE, Stout JR, et al. International society of sports nutrition position stand: Beta-Alanine. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015;12:30.

- Eaton K, Howard M, Mphil AH. Urinary beta-alanine excretion is a marker of abnormal as well as normal gut fermentation. J Nutr Med. 1994;4(2):157-163.

- Trexler ET, Smith-Ryan AE, Stout JR, et al. International society of sports nutrition position stand: Beta-Alanine. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015;12:30-30.

- Shetewy A, Shimada-Takaura K, Warner D, et al. Mitochondrial defects associated with beta-alanine toxicity: relevance to hyper-beta-alaninemia. Molec Cell Biochem. 2016;416(1-2):11-22.

- Jong CJ, Azuma J, Schaffer S. Mechanism underlying the antioxidant activity of taurine: prevention of mitochondrial oxidant production. Amino Acids. 2012;42(6):2223-2232.

- Chesney RW, Han X, Patters AB. Taurine and the renal system. J Sci. 2010;17 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S4-S4.

- Suidasari S, Stautemas J, Uragami S, Yanaka N, Derave W, Kato N. Carnosine Content in Skeletal Muscle Is Dependent on Vitamin B6 Status in Rats. Front Nutr. 2015;2:39.

- Hahn CD, Shemie SD, Donner EJ. Status Epilepticus. In: Ped Critic Care. Elsevier; 2011:837-848.

- Parviz M, Vogel K, Gibson KM, Pearl PL. Disorders of GABA metabolism: SSADH and GABA-transaminase deficiencies. J Ped Epilepsy. 2014;3(4):217-227.

- Blancquaert L, Baba SP, Kwiatkowski S, et al. Carnosine and anserine homeostasis in skeletal muscle and heart is controlled by beta-alanine transamination. J Physiol. 2016;594(17):4849-4863.

- Perim P, Marticorena FM, Ribeiro F, et al. Can the Skeletal Muscle Carnosine Response to Beta-Alanine Supplementation Be Optimized? Front Nutr. 2019;6:135.

- Peters V, Klessens CQ, Baelde HJ, et al. Intrinsic carnosine metabolism in the human kidney. Amino Acids. 2015;47(12):2541-2550.

- Eaton K, Howard M, Mphil AH. Urinary beta-alanine excretion is a marker of abnormal as well as normal gut fermentation. J Nutr Med. 1994;4(2):157-163.

What does it mean if your BETA ALANINE result is too high?

Levels may be elevated in meat consumption when dipeptides anserine and carnosine are elevated since they both contain β-alanine. Supplementation with β-alanine also results in elevated levels. Urinary beta-alanine excretion is associated with gut bacterial fermentation and elevated levels may indicate dysbiosis. And, as outlined above, elevated β-alanine can contribute to renal wasting of taurine give their unique relationship. The breakdown and metabolism of β-alanine requires vitamin B6-dependent enzymes. With that, a functional need for vitamin B6 can contribute to elevations. Lastly, there are very rare inborn errors of metabolism that can cause elevations of β-alanine.

10 000+ happy customers
100% satisfaction
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ customer support

Trust us to examine your lab results, guiding you towards improved health.

Use promo code to save 10% off any plan.


We implement proven measures to keep your data safe.

At HealthMatters, we're committed to maintaining the security and confidentiality of your personal information. We've put industry-leading security standards in place to help protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of the information under our control. We use procedural, physical, and electronic security methods designed to prevent unauthorized people from getting access to this information. Our internal code of conduct adds additional privacy protection. All data is backed up multiple times a day and encrypted using SSL certificates. See our Privacy Policy for more details.