Glucogenic amino acid

A glucogenic amino acid is an amino acid that can be converted into glucose through gluconeogenesis.[1] This is in contrast to the ketogenic amino acids, which are converted into ketone bodies.

The production of glucose from glucogenic amino acids involves these amino acids being converted to alpha keto acids and then to glucose, with both processes occurring in the liver. This mechanism predominates during catabolysis, rising as fasting and starvation increase in severity.

In humans, the glucogenic amino acids are: Alanine Arginine Asparagine Aspartic acid Cysteine Glutamic acid Glutamine Glycine Histidine Methionine Proline Serine Valine

Amino acids that are both glucogenic and ketogenic (mnemonic “PITTT”): Phenylalanine Isoleucine Threonine Tryptophan Tyrosine

Only leucine and lysine are not glucogenic (they are only ketogenic).

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  1. Brosnan J (1 June 2003). “Interorgan amino acid transport and its regulation”. J Nutr. 133 (6 Suppl 1): 2068S–2072S. PMID 12771367.  Young V, Ajami A (1 September 2001). “Glutamine: the emperor or his clothes?”. J Nutr. 131 (9 Suppl): 2449S–59S, discussion 2486S–7S. PMID 11533293.


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