Threonine, an essential amino acid, which might not be so well known as some of the other amino acids, but it also plays an important part in health, well-being, anabolism, and fat loss. Threonine aids in maintaining/achieving a positive nitrogen balance where muscle growth can occur and is also is used in the formation of proteins itself. Without it, proper muscle protein synthesis cannot occur.
The majority of excess threonine (that’s not immediately used by the body for important processes such as protein synthesis) is used to produce glucose via gluconeogenesis and only a small amount is converted to ammonia and propionyl-CoA, which is then converted to succinyl-CoA, which is an intermediate in the Kreb cycle, making it a very safe amino acid.
Threonine improves Muscle efficiency
Threonine increases muscle efficiency by reducing motor impairment and is useful in the treatment of genetic spasticity disorders and multiple sclerosis at a dose of 1 gram daily (5, 6). Threonine will thus benefit sportsmen like target shooting, bow and arrow, etc… by improving fine motor skills.
Threonine is a Lipotropic and helps make the liver lean
Threonine is a lipotropic, which means it aids in transporting fats out of the liver so that it can be used as energy in the body and preventing fatty build-up in the liver. (7) A buildup of fat in the liver can cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. There are many different lipotropics (amino acids, fats itself, vitamins and minerals), but are unable to prevent or heal a fatty liver when there are insufficient or an imbalance of amino acids. For instance, an anti-lipotropic effect was seen of methionine (which is actually a potent lipotropic amino acid) when there was a deficiency in threonine. Lipotropics, such as the indispensable threonine, aid in fat loss by increasing fatty acid transport and mobilization.
Threonine is an essential anabolic amino acid
Threonine uptake is indicative of net muscle protein synthesis and is also a rate-limiting amino acid. Meaning, muscle protein synthesis is positively correlated with threonine levels in the body. (8)
Threonine activates muscle protein synthesis via mTOR ⇒ PDK pathway signaling and also increases the cell sensitivity to protein synthesis. (9) The body is able to sense low levels/a deficiency of amino acids and represses muscle protein synthesis.
Threonine uptake is significantly higher for those consuming fat with protein, compared to protein ingestion with low to no fat. (10) Combine fat with your protein meal to get the best amino acid utilization.
Threonines’ importance in building muscle: 10/10
Foods highest in threonine include cottage cheese, poultry, fish, other meats, lentils, black turtle bean and sesame seeds.
Threonine can also be synthesized from the amino acid aspartate.
Eating enough meat for the day will ensure you have enough threonine, however, you can always supplement more. I recommend the following amino acid blends for your threonine.
- Threonine – (Amazon)