You may have heard of the essential amino acid L-histidine in Biology 101 class, or in your favorite EAA supplement, as part of the nine essential amino acids. No matter how or why you came here to find out more about Histidine, you’re in the right place. We’ll discuss its benefits and why this amino acid should be an important part of your daily health.
L-histidine is one of nine essential amino acids that play a role in proton buffering, muscle protein synthesis, metal ion chelation, reactive oxygen and nitrogen species scavenging (free radical damage), red blood cell formation, and production of important molecules such as carnosine- Your body’s natural lactic acid buffer (R).
Amino acids are divided into essential amino acids and non-essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are amino acids that your body cannot produce on its own. Therefore, they must be obtained from food or supplements. Nonessential amino acids are amino acids that your body can make from other chemicals in your body.
Histidine has a direct role in the synthesis of the dipeptide carnosine. Carnosine is a combination of l-histidine and ornithine. Carnosine is one of your body’s natural lactic acid buffers, and studies show that the more muscle carnosine you have, the more effective you will be at delaying muscle fatigue, improving muscle endurance and increasing training volume.
The supplement, on the face of it, beta-alanine boosts the synthesis of muscle carnosine concentrations in the body.A study published in Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise Examined the effects of 24-week supplementation on muscle carnosine content and endurance cycling capacity in cyclists. Studies have shown that supplementation with CarnoSyn beta-alanine increases muscle carnosine levels and improves high-intensity cycling capacity per interval (R,right).
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Some research suggests that histidine may contribute to obesity. In fact, a randomized controlled trial investigated the effects of l-histidine in obese women to determine its effects on insulin resistance, inflammation, oxidative stress, and metabolic disturbances (R).
At 12 weeks, the study concluded that daily supplementation with 4 grams of histidine significantly reduced BMI, fat mass, increased insulin resistance, and suppressed inflammation and oxidative stress in obese women.
In addition to obesity, histidine has been shown to improve insulin resistance, which is directly linked to enhanced chronic disease states such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Histidine dietary intervention has a positive effect on insulin resistance in reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome. Mechanism claims this may be due to the antioxidant benefits and properties of histidine in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation.
Based on these findings, histidine can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and metabolic disturbances in humans. Furthermore, low plasma histidine concentrations were associated with increased protein energy expenditure, inflammation, oxidative stress, and mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease (R).
Overall, histidine plays an important role in maintaining good health by reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome, producing new protein cells, and improving training capacity through the production of the dipeptide carnosine. Histidine is an essential amino acid, which means you must get it from your diet. Adding lean proteins such as beef, chicken, fish to your diet or supplementing with protein, beta-alanine or EAA can help improve your training capacity and performance.
Look for Supplements That Contain a Healthy Dose of L-Histidine
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