Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Plant-based sources for Methionine?

Hi Monique, Could you please email me the good food plant sources for the essential amino acid Methionine. Thanks, Jefferson

Answer: Plant-based sources of methionine include sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts and lentils (and to a lesser extent grains and beans). Methionine is an essential amino acid necessary for a variety of chemical interactions in our body and is an important source of dietary sulfur. It helps eliminate toxins, controls the level of beneficial sulfur-containing compounds in our body and stimulates our body's immune response.

According to the Dietary Supplement Information Bureau (DSIB), the sulfur supplied from methionine helps protect us against toxic elements like heavy metals in the liver. Adequate levels of methionine promote healthy hair, skin and nails. It influences hair follicles and prevents brittle hair. It may improve the tone and elasticity of our skin while helping our body absorb essential minerals like selenium and zinc. Methionine can also help protect our cells from free radical damage, thus functioning as an antioxidant.

Methionine helps lower cholesterol levels by increasing the liver's production of lecithin; reduces liver fat and protects the kidneys. It regulates the formation of ammonia and creates ammonia-free urine which reduces bladder irritation. Additionally, the DSIB indicates that studies have shown methionine to help reduce histamine levels, which are amino acids that control dilation of blood vessels and influence brain function. These studies suggest that methionine may offer treatment for people suffering depression and schizophrenia, which they have linked to elevated histamine levels.

For more information, read about...

(1) Methionine at the Dietary Supplement Information Bureau website (in the Nutraceuticals section of their Supplements page - first click on the "Supplements" link at the top of their page, click on the "Nutraceuticals" link and then click on the "Methionine" link) at

(2) Amino Acids at at

(3) "Methionine" at

Other Recommended Reading...

Plant Based Nutrition and Health
by Stephen Walsh

The New Becoming Vegetarian: The Essential Guide To A Healthy Vegetarian Diet
by Vesanto Melina & Brenda Davis

The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen
by Donna Klein

Vegan with a Vengeance : Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock
by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Becoming Vegan: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Plant-Based Diet
by Brenda Davis & Vesanto Melina

Vegan Freak: Being Vegan in a Non-Vegan World
by Bob Torres, Jenna Torres

Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook
by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vegan Cooking
by Beverly Lynn Bennett and Ray Sammartano

You may also want to visit the
Virtues of Soy website.

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Monique N. Gilbert, BSc. has offered guidance in health, nutrition, fitness and stress management since 1989. Through her writings, Monique motivates and teaches how to improve your well-being, vitality and longevity with balanced nutrition, physical activity and healthy stress-free living.

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