There’s a long list of amino acids in the body. Most people don’t know the amino acids that the body use. Well, we won’t be concentrating on that for today. We’ll just be taking a look at one of the amino acids that the body uses. And that’s histidine. Histidine is considered to be one of the essential amino acids in the body. This means that the body can’t produce this amino acid. And because of that, it must be gotten from an external source. It could be either from food or from supplements. Today, we’ll just concentrate on the food sources of this amino acid. Once you know histidine food sources it would be a lot easier for you to include this in your meal plan.
For some time now there have been some arguments as to whether this amino acid should be included in the list of essential amino acids. And that’s because it’s just essential for children and not adults. That’s why some lists of essential amino acids wouldn’t include this amino acid. But even at that, this is one amino acid that’s still very important in the body. A deficiency in this amino acid can be linked to some health problems. Such as growth problems and some others. That’s why this amino acid shouldn’t be underestimated. Well, we’ll be taking a look at some of the benefits that you can get from this amino acid. Keep reading to find out more.
Histidine Food Sources
Before we take a look at some of the good food sources of this amino acid let’s take a look at what it is. This amino acid is produced in small amounts in the liver of adults. In children, it can’t be produced in the body.
Histidine can be converted to a few other substances. Such as carnosine and histamine. And these are two substances that have great roles in the body.
This amino acid has some amazing functions in the body. They are important for growth as well as the repair of tissues of the body. Also, they are important for red blood cell production. And protection of tissues from heavy metals and radiation. One of the main functions of this amino acid is that it’s important for the formation of the myelin sheath. In both animal and human studies done this amino acid has been linked to maintaining the levels of hemoglobin.
Just like many other amino acids out there histidine can be found in foods rich in protein. Such as meat, dairy, fish, poultry, and some grain products like rice, rye, and wheat. Other good sources of histidine are:
- Bamboo shoots
- Citrus fruits
When these foods are consumed on a daily basis you can be sure that you would be able to meet the daily histidine requirement.
Benefits of Histidine
- May help reduce blood pressure: A study that was carried out on rats showed that there was a lowering of blood pressure when histidine was consumed. When the rats were given oral supplementation of histidine it helped reduce their high blood pressure.
- Antioxidant properties: A study was carried out on obese women who were histidine deficient. And a deficiency of histidine actually leads to oxidative stress. So when histidine was given as a supplement it helped reduce oxidative stress. With this, it was concluded that when the amount of histidine in the body increases oxidative stress reduces. And that’s why histidine is believed to have antioxidant properties.
- May help improves diabetes: A study that was carried out on women showed that histidine might be a good option for dealing with diabetes. Women that were given supplementation have a decreased resistance to insulin. Another study also showed that histidine helps lower the level of blood glucose in the body.
- May help protects the skin: So histidine happens to be a precursor to a lot of chemicals in the body. and one of them is urocanic acid. This is a substance that gets accumulated in the skin. and its function in the skin is to absorb all the UV rays from the sun. With this, the DNA isn’t destroyed by sunlight. That’s why it’s known to be a natural sunscreen.
- May improve the function of the brain: a study that was carried out showed that people that were given histidine could think clearly. Also, they experienced improved memory and attention. It was also concluded from this study that histidine can actually help reduce fatigue in the body. Research carried out on rats showed that consumption of histidine helps provide long-term protection to the brain.
- May help reduce blood clots: People that had increased blood clots were given histidine. When it was administered there was effective blocking of the blood clots. And this effect was probably a result of the action of arachidonic metabolites formed.
- May help suppress seizures: an animal study done showed that injection of histidine can help suppress seizures. Well, it is believed that this can be attributed to the fact that histidine is a precursor to histamine. And histamine has always been known to be effective for reducing seizures.
Side Effects of Histidine
When there are high amounts of histidine in the body you can expect that there would be side effects. In humans taking more than 32g of histidine a day is considered an overdose. And that would cause certain symptoms like fatigue, nausea, headaches, weakness, depression, and anorexia.
It was found out that people that have schizophrenia have high levels of histidine in the body. This is not a side effect. But it was deduced that consuming too much histidine can affect the function of the brain.
Also, in animal studies, it was found out that an increased amount of histidine would lead to a deficiency in copper. As well as high cholesterol in the body. Other symptoms that come with this are appetite suppression and an enlarged liver.
That’s why it’s important that you are careful of the number of histidine supplements you consume. Make sure you get a proper prescription from your doctor. And also make sure you don’t use more than the required amount. If you’re scared of overdosing then your best bet would be to opt for histidine food sources.