Serine is an amino acid that is essential for the body. Despite being less popular compared to other amino acids, serine helps with cell structure, keeps the cells healthy, regulates the immune system, and the making of proteins.
In this blog, we’ll delve into the reasons why your blood needs serine and it’s benefits for your health.
What is serine and what does it do in the blood?
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Serine, though not considered an essential amino acid is involved in metabolism and the formation of structural components in cells.
Serine acts as a neurotransmitter and helps in the synthesis of phospholipids and creatine.
In the blood, serine is a substrate for the synthesis of proteins and other biomolecules. It can be converted into glycine and pyruvate, which participates in a variety of metabolic pathways.
Benefits and functions of serine in the blood
Serine has several health functions in the blood, including:
- Making structural and functional proteins
- A cofactor for clotting enzymes
- Produce energy
- Regulate blood glucose levels
- A component of cell membranes
- Protects cells and tissues from oxidative stress
Is serine good for your blood?
Yes. Serine is good for your blood
but having too much serine can cause health problems, just like not having enough of it. That’s why you should keep a healthy balance of serine in the blood through a healthy diet and lifestyle. Here are the reasons why your blood needs serine.
Serine has an impact on blood clotting. It acts as a building block for the enzyme called serine proteases that are involved in the process of coagulation.
Serine helps in the creation of fibrin, which is a critical part of blood clots. A shortage of serine leads to bleeding problems, while having too much of it has been linked with blood clotting issues.
Research have investigated the use of serine protease inhibitors in venous thromboembolism, atrial fibrillation, and stroke.
The results of these studies have been promising, with inhibitors showing efficacy in reducing the risk of thrombotic events.
However, further research is needed to fully understand the safety and efficacy of these inhibitors, as well as to identify the optimal dosing and administration strategies.
Serine has been studied for it’s potential effects on depression. Although the exact way it works is not clear, some research has shown that taking L-serine supplements may help with depression-like behavior in mice.
In studies where mice were subjected to chronic stress, which can cause depression, L-serine supplements were given orally.
These mice showed a decrease in depression-like behavior and a lower level of corticosterone, which is often high in individuals with depression.
Keep in mind that these studies were only done on mice and more research is needed to determine if L-serine supplements can have the same effects on humans with depression.
Serine makes phospholipids, proteins, and neurotransmitters, that are vital for the brain.
Studies have shown that taking serine supplements can increase the production of myelin in the brain, which is necessary for the formation and protection of nerve fibers.
There is some evidence that serine supplements may improve memory and learning, but more research is needed to fully understand how this happens and if it can be used to treat brain-related conditions.
Serine can be synthesized from glucose and also obtained from food. Studies have shown that serine is important for our health and well-being.
For instance, adding serine to our diets has anti-inflammatory effects which can help treat conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
Serine also helps regulate glucose levels in our bodies, with low levels being linked to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. In addition, low serine levels have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
Moreover, serine is needed to produce GABA and glycine, which are essential for the brain to work. Issues with serine metabolism have been tied to several brain disorders, such as schizophrenia, depression, and epilepsy.
Further research is needed to fully understand serine metabolism and develop better treatments.
What foods provides serine?
Serine is found in a variety of foods. Some common foods that contain serine include:
- Brown rice
Are serine supplements available?
Yes, serine supplements are available in various forms, L-serine and D-serine, which are sold as dietary supplements. Here are few examples.
- L-Serine: A naturally occurring amino acid that is found in high levels in the brain and is used for cognitive support and to promote healthy brain function.
- D-Serine: A non-protein form of serine that is used for the same purposes as L-serine.
- Serine Complex: A blend of L-serine and other ingredients such as vitamins and minerals, often marketed as a cognitive enhancer.
- SerinAid: A proprietary form of L-serine that is marketed as a cognitive enhancer.
Which specific groups of people don’t get enough serine in the blood?
Groups of people who are most likely to have low levels of serine in their blood include those with liver disease, malnutrition, and some genetic disorders that affect the metabolism of serine.
Older adults may be at a higher risk for low serine levels due to changes in metabolism and nutrient absorption with age.
What are the deficiency symptoms of serine?
If your body lacks serine, you are likely to face some challenges with your health. Serine deficiency can result in various symptoms such as:
- Growth retardation
- High levels of homocysteine in the blood
- Increased risk of neurological disorders
- Skin and nail changes
However, serine deficiency is rare as it is widely available in many foods, including meat, dairy products, eggs, and legumes.
How much serine do you need?
The recommended daily intake of serine varies by age and sex, and it is not clearly established by official health organizations. The following are guidelines based on average needs and are not intended as medical advice.
- Infants 0-6 months: 40-60 mg/day
- Infants 7-12 months: 60-80 mg/day
- Children 1-3 years: 80-100 mg/day
- Children 4-8 years: 100-120 mg/day
- Children 9-13 years: 120-140 mg/day
- Teens 14-18 years: 140-180 mg/day
- Adults 19 years and older: 160-180 mg/day
- Pregnant women: 200-220 mg/day
- Breastfeeding mothers: 210-230 mg/day
Which medications interferes with serine in the blood?
Certain medications may interact with serine in the blood, including:
- Antiepileptic drugs: Valproic acid and carbamazepine have been shown to decrease serine levels in the blood.
- Antibiotics: Neomycin and kanamycin, may interfere with the metabolism of serine and lead to low levels in the blood.
- Antipsychotics: Haloperidol Chlorpromazine may lower serine levels in the blood.
Is serine harmful to the blood?
Serine at normal levels are not harmful to the blood. However, high intake of serine supplements may lead to elevated levels of serine in the blood, which could have some negative health effects.
High levels of serine have been linked with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and other health issues.
Some individuals may have genetic conditions that affect their ability to metabolize serine, leading to higher levels in the blood.
It is best to obtain serine from natural sources in the diet, rather than relying on supplements.
Takeaway: Why your blood needs serine
In short, serine produces antibodies, phospholipids, and other essential components that keeps the blood working in the body. It maintains pH levels, protects cells, and reduces oxidative stress.
To make sure you have enough serine in your blood eat a balanced diet that includes foods rich in serine such as eggs, dairy products, poultry, fish, and soy.
To wrap things up, taking care of your blood by consuming enough serine can have significant benefits for your health and well-being.
Related Post: Why Your Blood Needs Cysteine