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What is asparagine?

Asparagine is a nonessential amino acid [1]. It can be produced in your body from aspartic acid, so you do not need to get it from foods in order to be healthy [2]. In foods, asparagine is incorporated into proteins.

Asparagine abbreviation (symbol): Asn

Asparagine Functions in the Human Body

Asparagine is [2]:

  • A building block of proteins
  • A precursor of aspartate
  • A glucogenic amino acid — it can be converted into glucose
  • A mild diuretic
  • Important for removal of nitrogenous wastes

Foods High in Asparagine

  • ANIMAL FOODS: meat, fish, cheese
  • PLANT FOODS: legumes, seeds, nuts, asparagus

Foods low in asparagine: fruits, vegetables

Asparagine Supplements

Nonprescription (over-the-counter) oral L-asparagine supplements are available.

Asparagine Health Benefits

There seems to be NO EVIDENCE about the effectiveness of l-asparagine supplements in the prevention or treatment of Alzheimer’s disease or cancer or in improving kidney or liver function.

Asparagine Safety: Side Effects, Toxicity

Allergic reactions to l-asparagine are possible.

Asparagine Synthetase Deficiency

Asparagine synthetase deficiency is a recently discovered hereditary metabolic disorder in which asparagine cannot be synthesized in sufficient amounts due to  lack of the enzyme asparagine synthetase [3]. Symptoms are present at birth and may include small head size (microcephaly) and seizures. Asparagine supplements may help relieve the progress of the disease but not cure it, since abnormalities are present at birth [3].

  1. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (Macronutrients) ( 2005 ) /10 Protein and Amino Acids  National Academic Press
  2. L-asparagine  PubChem
  3. Alfadhel M et al, 2015, Asparagine Synthetase Deficiency: New Inborn Errors of Metabolism  PubMed Central

2 Responses to "Asparagine"

  1. Olivia says:

    I read a recent study about asparagine increasing the spread of breast cancer to other parts of the body…what do you think?

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