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Asparagine - What is it and Rich Foods

Have you heard of asparagine? This is a very common substance found in plants, animals and even humans.

Asparagine is considered a non-essential amino acid. This means that our own organism is capable of producing the asparagine it needs, unlike other compounds chemicals, such as omega 3, for example, an essential substance, which must be ingested daily through food.

  • See too:Best sources of omega 3.

This amino acid is responsible for a number of important functions throughout the body at the cell, but its main responsibility is to take care of the health of the central nervous system and the brain.

Many foods from our day to day life are rich in asparagine, so anyone who has a healthy diet should not worry about the symptoms of asparagine deficiency.

Even so, let's talk about the importance of asparagine to our body, what is this substance and what are the richest foods in it that we can find.

But after all, what is asparagine?

Asparagine is a non-essential amino acid that is found in many foods, but our own body is also able to produce it through the liver.

This substance was first discovered and isolated in 1806 by two French chemists who studied asparagus juice - hence the name asparagine. This was the first amino acid isolated in history.

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The presence of asparagine is very common. In food, it is found in all types of protein, be it vegetable or animal. In general, lack of asparagine is not a problem, since in addition to producing large amounts of it, we also consume it daily through our diet.

Asparagine is responsible for some important functions in the central nervous system and tissue but also acts throughout our body, playing the role of creating protein in our cells.

By converting asparagine into aspartic acid, the brain and nervous system gain energy for our metabolism. In addition, asparagine is also responsible for turning some types of amino acids into the liver.

Function of asparagine

Although asparagine does not configure itself as an essential amino acid, it is very important for the proper functioning of the nervous system. So much is that normally the liver is able to produce all the asparagine our body needs and, in general, we do not need to ingest this amino acid through food.

Asparagine acts directly on the nervous system and one of its main functions is to maintain the health of the brain, taking care of the nervous cells and promoting the balance of our emotional health, avoiding excessive nervousness or calm. In addition, this important amino acid has properties that help the body to be more resistant to day-to-day tiredness.

Asparagine is responsible for the metabolism of brain cells and is critical to the proper functioning of nerve cells and also of other cells in our body. In addition to being responsible for the production of protein, it is the asparagine that makes the transport of nitrogen to different parts of the body, metabolizing the ammonia.

What can asparagine deficiency cause?

When the liver does not produce the required level of asparagine and we do not have dietary reserves, the nervousness is rapidly affected and can cause headaches, increased irritability, constant forgetfulness and even depression. In some extreme cases, these symptoms can even lead to psychosis.

In pregnant women, there are reports that asparagine deficiency may be associated with microcephaly.

Can asparagine cause any health problems?

The presence of asparagine itself can not cause any health problems, but it can be harmful when it undergoes a chemical change.

Some amino acids, especially asparagine, may undergo a chemical reaction in the presence of sugars when these elements are heated to more than 120 ° C. This reaction generates a chemical called acrylamide.

  • See too:Acrylamide in food - What it is, toxicity, risks and tips.

Acrylamide is also found in the manufacture of some industrialized products, such as cosmetics, paper, glues, cigarette, among others. Some types of treatments to leave drinking water and to clean reuse water also use acrylamide. The foods that most contain this substance are: French fries, white breads, coffee and biscuits.

There are scientific animal studies that associate the absorption of acrylamide with the appearance of tumors and the genetic mutation. However, there is no evidence that it can happen to humans.

Recommended dose

Because it is a non-essential amino acid, that is, our own body is able to synthesize this substance, there is no consensus on what the recommended dosage of asparagine per day would be.

However, some experts indicate that people with a healthy diet should ingest it through meals, about, grams of protein per pound to the total weight of a person.

Someone who weighs 65 kilos, for example, should ingest about 52 grams of protein daily to consume the recommended dose of asparagine. In general, people end up ingesting this amount of protein effortlessly, since it is present in dairy, meat, grains, seeds, etc.

Foods rich in asparagine

As an amino acid, asparagine is found in foods rich in protein, be it animal or vegetable. Good sources of asparagine are:

Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt; Bovine, porcine or chicken meat; Seafood such as shrimp, clams, mollusks and fish; Eggs; Between the vegetables: asparagus, broccoli, cacao and roots, such as potatoes, carrots and onions; Grains, including coffee, wheat and soybean derivatives, and nuts.


Have you ever heard of asparagine and its function in our body? Do you often eat foods rich in substance? Comment below!

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