Histidine: The Hidden Gem of Amino Acids
Histidine Health Benefits
- Protein synthesis: It is particularly important for the formation of structural proteins, such as collagen and elastin, which provide support and elasticity to tissues.
- Histamine synthesis: Histidine is a precursor to histamine, a chemical involved in the immune response. Histamine is released by immune cells in response to an infection or injury, and it plays a role in inflammation, allergic reactions, and blood vessel dilation.
- Metal ion coordination: Histidine is able to chelate with metal ions such as zinc, iron, and nickel. It’s important for enzymes such as carbonic anhydrase and histidine-rich proteins.
- Buffering: Histidine is an acidic amino acid that can help to buffer the pH of the blood, helping to maintain a healthy balance of acidity and alkalinity.
- Repair and growth of tissue: it is essential for the development and maintenance of healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Foods rich in Histidine
- Meat and poultry: High concentrations in animal-based protein sources such as beef, pork, chicken, and fish.
- Dairy products: Such as milk, cheese, and yogurt.
- Eggs: Are also a good source of histidine.
- Legumes and nuts: Lentils, chickpeas, and beans, as well as nuts such as peanuts, almonds, and cashews.
- Whole grains: Oats, wheat, and barley.
- Vegetables: Such as spinach, asparagus, and mushrooms are also good sources of histidine.
Recommended daily intake
- Adult men: 12 mg per kilogram of body weight per day
- Adult women: 10 mg per kilogram of body weight per day
- Infants (0-6 months): 4.5 mg per kilogram of body weight per day
- Infants (7-12 months): 6.5 mg per kilogram of body weight per day
- Children (1-3 years): 8 mg per kilogram of body weight per day
- Children (4-8 years): 9 mg per kilogram of body weight per day
- Children (9-13 years): 11 mg per kilogram of body weight per day
- Adolescents (14-18 years): 14 mg per kilogram of body weight per day.
- Malnutrition: Individuals with malnutrition or malabsorption disorders may be at risk of histidine deficiency.
- Food allergies: Individuals with food allergies to animal-based protein sources (such as meat, fish, or dairy) may be at risk of deficiency.
- Certain medical conditions: Such as urea cycle disorders, which prevent the body from processing histidine properly, may also be at risk of deficiency.
- Anemia: Histidine is necessary for the production of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen.
- Skin and hair problems: It is necessary for the growth and repair of skin, hair, and nails.
- Behavioral and cognitive changes: Histidine is involved in the regulation of neurotransmitters, so deficiency may lead to changes in mood and cognitive function.
- Immune system dysfunction: Histidine is needed for the production of histamine, which plays an important role in the immune response.
Why is this amino acid important for sports performance?
- Histidine is particularly important for the formation of structural proteins such as collagen and elastin, which provide support and elasticity to tissues. This is important for athletes, as structural proteins are involved in the repair and maintenance of muscles and tendons which are damaged during physical activity.
- Histidine may help to support energy metabolism during physical activity.
- Histamine may help to improve blood flow to the muscles during physical activity, which can improve endurance and performance.
- Histidine is an acidic amino acid that can help to buffer the pH of the blood, helping to maintain a healthy balance of acidity and alkalinity. This is important for athletes, as the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles during intense physical activity can lead to fatigue and muscle soreness.