Introduction to Valine

Valine is an amino acid formed by the hydrolysis of proteins. German chemist Emil Fischer did the first isolation of Valine in 1901 from compound casein.  It is an essential amino acid for mammals and fowls as they cannot synthesise and may require dietary sources. It is synthesised by microorganisms and plants from pyruvic acid, a by-product of the breakdown of carbohydrates. The molecular formula is C5H11NO2.

Valine is a branched-chain amino acid and is used in the body to help make energy. Valine is mainly found in protein food sources such as soy, meats, fish, and dairy and vegetables, whole grains, and nuts.

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What are the Uses of the Valine?

The amino acid valine holds a few uses-

Valine acid is used in food additives as flavouring agents, human drugs for pediatric investigation plans, and cosmetics for antistatic and hair conditioning.

It is used in supplement, biochemical and nutritional investigations, and cultural media.

It is also commonly used in anti encephalopathic, flavours or additives, and essential amino acids.

D-Valine holds an extensive industrial application. It is used as an intermediate for synthesising veterinary antibiotics, agricultural pesticides, and drugs.


What is Glycine Valine?

Glycine or glycine valine is the simplest amino acid that is obtained by the hydrolysis of proteins. It is a sweet-tasting compound and is the earliest valine acid to be isolated from gelatin. It is highly rich in silk fibroin and gelatin. 

Glycine is the most nonessential amino acid for mammals as they synthesise this compound from the amino acids- threonine and serine and do not require dietary sources. The molecular formula of glycine is C7H14N2O3 and is also known as Glycyl-DL-valine and Glycylvaline2325.


What is Leucine Valine?

Leucine valine is an amino acid that is found naturally in the human body. Leucine is a non-polar and aliphatic hydrocarbon that comprises four-carbon side chains from the simple amino acid structure. The molecular formula of leucine valine is C6H13NO2 and is commonly known as L-leucine and (S)-2-Amino-4-methylpentanoic acid. 

Leucine is a white crystal with a density of 1.293 g/cu cm at 18 °C.

Leucine is highly essential for protein synthesis and is vital for several metabolic functions. It contributes to the growth and repair of bone tissues and muscles, regulation of blood-sugar levels, increases growth hormone production, and promotes wound healing.


Similarities Between Valine and Leucine

Valine and leucine are standard amino acids that are grouped as branched-chain amino acids or BCAAs. These amino acids are essential to human life. They are highly required for the physiological response to stress and energy production, particularly for the normal metabolism and health of muscle.

Valine and leucine are branched-chain amino acids that help in the building of physical strength. The BCAAs can help in the reduction of muscle loss and fosters a faster muscle recovery.


Role of Leucine in the body

Leucine is highly significant for the general health of muscle and helps in stimulating protein synthesis and reducing protein breakdown, especially of muscle protein following physical trauma.

Like Valine, leucine is also known to increase the insulin levels in the blood, leading to a similar effect on the proteins in muscle tissue. Another significant importance of leucine is in regulating blood sugar levels as it is a source of gluconeogenesis, which is the synthesis of glucose from non-carbohydrates on the liver. The process of gluconeogenesis helps the body and the muscles to heal.


Similarities Between Valine and Isoleucine

Valine and isoleucine fall under the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and comprise about 17 percent of human skeletal muscle. Valine and isoleucine are essential amino acids that need to be provided by dietary protein and are transported via circulation to skeletal muscle. These amino acids are used to support protein synthesis. 

The BCAA valine and leucine also act as signalling molecules to activate the muscle protein synthetic machinery. They help in stimulating muscle protein synthesis and help to promote muscle growth. BCCAs also play a significant role in the development of insulin resistance.


What is Serine?

Serine and Valine are similar amino acids present in the human body. Serine is a nonessential amino acid synthesised by the human body and is present in several proteins. Serine with an alcohol group is required to metabolise fatty acids, cell membranes, fats, a healthy immune system, and muscle growth.

The molecular formula of serine is C3H7NO3. It plays a vital role in purine, pyrimidine, porphine, and creatine biosynthetic pathways.

Even though serine and Valine are present in the same amount in the human body, serine is mainly found in the active site of the serine protease enzyme, which includes two major components- chymotrypsin and trypsin.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are Non-essential Amino Acids?

Ans: Nonessential amino acids are those amino that our bodies produce even if we don't consume food. Nonessential amino acids include eleven acids- glycine, alanine, valine, glutamine, proline, aspartic acid, arginine, cysteine, glutamic acid, serene, and tyrosine. Glycine alanine valine amino acids can be synthesised in the human body. 


The cells in the human body provide a carbon skeleton of the nonessential amino acids. It originates at the intermediates of the glycolytic pathway and from intermediates in the Citric Acid Cycle.


Nonessential amino acids support various mechanisms in the human body, such as immune function, tissue growth and repair, red blood cell formation, and hormone synthesis.

2. What are the Benefits of Valine?

Ans: Athletes and bodybuilders supplement with amino acids due to their ability to prevent muscle breakdown and boost athletic performance. As Valine is a part of the branched-chain amino acids, it helps with an increased recovery rate in isometric strength. Valine has proven effective for the maintenance of liver glycogen and blood glucose. 

Valine has also been known to contribute to the reduction of fatigue during exercise. A few other benefits are as follows-

  • Phenylketonuria

  • Tardive dyskinesia

  • Cirrhosis of the liver

  • Boosts athletic performance and declines mental stress during exercise at extreme temperature

  • Boosts athletic performance and post-exercise infection at extreme temperature