When you think about amino acids, threonine is rarely the first that comes to mind. Threonine is one of the nine essential amino acids and assists in the production of other amino acids glycine and serine. Research has shown that threonine, may benefit in several biological events, promoting better sleep, gut health, and muscle contractions. We’re going to discuss threonine in more detail, how it works, and the role in plays in your body.
What Is Threonine
Threonine is an essential amino acid. There are twenty total amino acids, nine of them, considered to be essential, and the remaining either non-essential or conditional.
Amino acids are building blocks the body uses to make proteins. “Essential” amino acids, are those that the body does can not create on its own and must be obtained from dietary sources or supplements.
Threonine serves as a substrate for protein synthesis particularly, mucins. Mucins are the most abundant macromolecules in mucus and are responsible for its biochemical and biophysical properties. In addition, threonine can enter the catabolic pathway, where it can be metabolized to a variety of important products (glycine, acetyl CoA, pyruvate) that play a crucial role in host metabolism [R].
Additional research shows that threonine can promote growth and enhance the protein synthesis of skeletal muscle. Threonine not only serves as a precursor for protein synthesis but also as a signaling molecule that can regulate the protein synthesis pathway [R].
Essential amino acids have a close connection with lipid metabolism. Threonine deficiency been shown to effect lipid metabolism, triglyceride synthesis, and fat oxidation.
1. May Improve Muscle Contractions
Threonine has been used for a wide range of conditions, most relating to muscle control or spasticity. Threonine has also been investigated as a treatment for multiple sclerosis, MS), inherited disorders marked by weakness and stiffness in the legs (familial spastic paraparesis or FSP), and Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS). More evidence is needed to support the use of threonine as a therapeutic treatment for these disorders [R].
A review conducted at the University of Queensland found that the use of threonine in a multi-disciplinary treatment protocol, may aid in a possible treatment for ALS. Threonine is a glycine precursor and can increase glycine levels in the central nervous system. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study of oral l-threonine to treat spinal spasticity found a modest antispasmodic effect [R].
2. May Promote Sleep
Emerging evidence has shown that threonine may induce sleep effects. Studies have observed that threonine can increase sleep duration as well as sleep latency, by directly stimulating GABA Gamma Aminobutyric Acid. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, which blocks or inhibits certain brain signals in your central nervous system. GABA inhibits excitatory neurons, promoting a sense of calmness, relaxation, and anxiolytic effects. When GABA receptors are activated, it also promotes sleep. Studies suggest that GABA can benefit and improve mood state, sleep quality, reduce anxiety and lower blood pressure.
3. May Improve Muscle Gain And Strength
Research indicates that threonine plays an essential role in muscle protein synthesis. Threonine also services as a precursor or protein synthesis but also as a signaling molecule that can regulate the protein synthesis pathway.
Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), an upstream activator of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in skeletal muscle, is essential for muscle development and regeneration [R].
The mTOR is a downstream component of the PI3K/AKT pathway, which modulates protein synthesis through ribosomal S6 kinase (S6K) and the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1) [R]. A recent publication reported that dietary threonine promoted muscle protein synthesis through activating the PI3K/AKT/TOR signaling cascade via IGF-I [R].
Threonine is an essential amino acid (EAA), which means that you will find Threonine in EAA supplements. We recommend INTRA from Swolverine, as it has all the essential amino acids, with added electrolytes, and raw whole foods, for optimal athletic performance.
RECOMMENDED: INTRA (Cherry Frost, Tropical Blast 30 Servings)
4. Promotes Positive Gut Health
The gut has various roles which include nutrient absorption and digestion, as well as immune defense from invading pathogens and toxins. Threonine is utilized by intestinal mucosa, which aids in the structural integrity of the gut. Studies have discovered that threonine may aid in enhancing intestinal digestive and absorptive capacity.
Studies show that threonine improves and creates a healthy gut microflora. High dietary threonine has shown to reduced Salmonella and Escherichia coli (E. coli) colonies, while increasing Lactobacillus. In addition, studies have shown that when under stress, dietary threonine reequilibrates the gut microbiota of animals [R].
Threonine Benefits: Takeaway
Each essential amino acid assist in the muscle rebuilding process, and has unique biological mechanisms of their own. Research indicates that threonine, may assist in gut health, protein synthesis, muscle contraction (spasticity) and even promote better sleep. Adding more protein to your diet, as well as including an EAA supplement in your nutrition/supplement protocol, is an easy way to get more threonine in your diet to aid in athletic and overall health and performance.
Looking For A Supplement With A Healthy Dose Of L-Threonine
SWOLVERINE is an endurance athlete and active lifestyle brand. Made for the elite athlete, and the strong-willed our products were designed to fuel your athletic performance. We perform when you perform.
We believe that everyone can optimize not only their athletic performance but their human potential. The way we believe we can optimize performance is through transparency, clinically effective doses, and clinically proven ingredients with evidence-based outcomes. We provide the nutrients you need to power your active lifestyle.
Walter Hinchman is the Founder and CEO of Swolverine. He is a NESTA and ACE certified trainer and holds a Masters Degree in Business and in Finance and Economics.