Methionine, an essential amino acid for health

Methionine, an essential amino acid for health

Methionine is an essential amino acid, it is essential to provide enough to maintain a good state of health. This amino acid is unique because of its sulfur structure. Methionine has many health benefits, it helps preserve the liver and ensure the optimal synthesis of proteins. Often used in athletes or for its antioxidant properties, this amino acid is full of good surprises.

The characteristics of methionine:

  • Essential amino acid
  • Found in animal products for the most part (meat, fish, dairy products)
  • Requires the presence of vitamin B12 to be synthesized and assimilated
  • Protects the liver
  • Allows protein synthesis
  • Antioxidant Properties
  • Used in animal feed

Why consume foods rich in methionine?

Benefits of this amino acid for health

Methionine and hair

Methionine is an amino acid that has a very strong sulfurous structure, it is known to strengthen the integuments, including hair and nails.

Biosynthesis of proteins

It is the basis of the structure of all proteins, which makes it essential for the proper functioning of the body.

Methionine for a healthy liver

Due to its sulfur structure and its antioxidant potential, methionine allows the regeneration of liver cells (and kidneys), and prevents fatty deposits from forming in the liver and gallbladder.


Methionine is a natural antioxidant and helps fight cell aging.

Methionine and bodybuilding

Bringing enough amino acids through the diet helps to ensure a good synthesis of muscle proteins and optimal cell renewal after the session. Its antioxidant content also helps to reduce the oxidative stress of often intensive bodybuilding sessions and can help improve recovery.

Link with vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 has an important function in the synthesis of methionine, so it is essential to cover its vitamin B12 needs so as not to disturb the synthesis of this essential amino acid.

10 foods rich in methionine

Methionine is found naturally in many protein-rich foods. It can also be added synthetically and is in this case derived from oil. It is recommended to always favor natural sources of nutrients.

Foods Portion Amount of methionine (mg)
Sesame seeds100g585
Hard egg100g390

How to use methionine properly?

Use of methionine as a dietary supplement

It is recommended to bring 500 to 3000mg of methionine a day for a healthy adult.

In dietary supplements, methionine is often combined with vitamin B6, zinc, magnesium or other essential amino acids. The dosage will be directly dependent on the problem to be treated and the food supplement in question. A methionine supplement is often suggested to balance the mood, fight against depressive disorders, promote recovery after a sports session or simply preserve the liver. There are many other uses of this supplement, the best is to seek medical advice.

Methionine deficiency: a health hazard?

The main symptoms of methionine deficiency are liver disorders. A deficiency of methionine can thus lead to a saturation of the liver in lipids and to its intoxication. Moreover, since this amino acid is essential, its lack of intake affects the production of neurotransmitters and can lead to depressive states. Like any essential amino acid, methionine deficiency is a danger to the body.

In case of overdose of methionine, what are the side effects?

Recent studies have demonstrated a possible role of methionine in the development of schizophrenia in case of excessive consumption during pregnancy. In general, a long-term excess of methionine would promote the risk of dementia and the occurrence of certain cardiac disorders.

Interaction with Vitamin B12

There are few known interactions of this amino acid with other nutrients.

On the other hand, it is known that a good intake of vitamin B12 allows an optimal synthesis of methionine. It is therefore essential to cover the vitamin B12 needs to avoid the risk of deficiency.

Chemical Properties of Methionine

The crude formula of methionine is C5H11NO2S, its molar mass is 149,211 g / mol. Methionine is an amino acid that is one of the 9 essential for humans. It stands out from the others by the presence of a sulfur atom in its composition. It plays an indispensable role at the cellular level, both for the development and for the structuring of DNA. SAM or S-adenosylmethionine is the activated form of methionine, which can be used by the body to methylate DNA or proteins. We also find dietary supplements in SAM.

History of Methionine

The use of methionine in animal feed is very common, the real challenge for biotechnology is to find other ways to produce it other than with oil. It is indeed to date the only amino acid that can be chemically synthesized from petroleum derivatives, which raises health and ethical issues.

Since 2013, biological methionine produced from E. Coli is approved for animal feed by EFSA (European Food Safety Authority).

Also read: Leucine : an essential amino acid with many benefits