Methionine: Uses, Side Effects, Foods Rich in this Amino Acid

Do you know what methionine is and what kinds of foods provide you the methionine that you need? It is needed for various functions of the body.

Methionine Rich Foods, Uses, Effects

What is Methionine?

As you know, protein is made up of various amino acids that link together. Methionine is also one such α-amino acid. It cannot be produced by the body. It is needed for the formation of cartilages and also for many other essential functions of the cells. It is beneficial for preventing hair loss and to make your nails stronger. Methionine is found in high amounts in fish, meat and dairy products.

Uses of Methionine:

Some of the uses of methionine, other than the formation of cartilages are:

  • It helps in increasing the acidity of urine.
  • Improves healing of wounds.
  • Helps in treating liver disorders.
  • Helps in the treatment of acetaminophen poisoning. Research shows that when methionine is taken orally or intravenously by IV, acetaminophen poisoning can be treated effectively. Care must be taken to start treating within 10 hours of acetaminophen poisoning.
  • Cobalamine poisoning can also be treated with methionine. When you are exposed for a long time to nitrous oxide, which is given for anesthesia during surgery. It can cause side effects that closely resemble cobalamine deficiency. According to researches made, taking methionine by mouth before the surgery can reduce the side effects caused by nitrous oxide.
  • Colon cancer – Having a diet that is rich in methionine and folate is said to help in reducing the risk of colon cancer. This is particularly beneficial for people who have a family history of colon cancer and also for those who drink a lot of alcohol.
  • Parkinson’s disease – Research made earlier suggests that taking L-methionine by mouth for about 6 months can help in reducing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease like inability to control movements, tremor and rigidity.
  • Neural tube birth defects – It was shown that women who consumed foods rich in methionine during their pregnancy are at a lower risk of neural tube birth defects compared to other women.

Other possible uses include treatment of depression, alcoholism, asthma, allergies, copper poisoning, side effects of radiation and schizophrenia.

Methionine Deficiency:

Methionine in high amounts can have adverse effects on the body and should be avoided by all means. Its deficiency can lead to certain conditions like steatohepatitis or liver inflammation, anemia and premature graying of hair.

Side Effects of Methionine:

Methionine is very important for the body and helps in improving various functions of the body. But, if you have it in excess in your body, it can cause some side effects. So be careful about it and avoid having it in excess.


Methione can be safe for children when it is given orally or injected intravenously to treat acetaminophen poisoning. But it should be conducted only under the supervision of a physician.

May cause acidosis:

Consuming methionine can change the levels of blood acid in the body. So, if you are suffering from acidosis, it is better that you avoid consuming foods that are rich in methionine.

Pregnant women:

There is no proper information to confirm whether consuming methionine is safe for pregnant women or not. So, the best thing is to avoid it when one is pregnant.


Consuming large doses of methionine regularly can cause disorientation, delirium, agitation and other symptoms of schizophrenia.

Now let us have a look at what foods are rich in this amino acid.

Foods Rich in Methionine:

Brazil nuts:

These tasty and popular nuts are rich sources of methionine. Brazil nuts have 154 % of the methionine RDI.

Boiled eggs:

Hard boiled eggs are one of the foods consumed by bodybuilders as they are rich sources of protein. Hard boiled eggs contain protein in high amounts. It has about 54% of the RDI of methionine.

Chicken breast that is cooked:

Cooked chicken breast is very tasty and one of the most succulent foods you can have. It is also packed with protein and contains 127% RDI level of methionine.


Pork is also a good source of methionine as well as protein. 3 ounce of lean ground pork contains about 0.7 gm of methionine. Cooked pork contains methionine in high amounts. It has 117% of the mehtione RDI (Recommended Dietary Intake).

Parmesan cheese:

Parmesan cheese is very tasty and loved by all. It is highly nutritious and creamy in texture. It is also rich in essential amino acids needed for the body. Parmesan cheese has a high level of methionine, with 132% of the RDI.

Roasted soybeans:

Soybean is a good source of vegetable protein. Roasted soybean is full of health benefits and is also rich in methionine. It has 73% of the RDI.

Roasted beef:

Roasted beef is also a high protein food that you can have. It contains a good amount of methionine, with 135% of the RDI.

Tuna (cooked):

Tuna is an oily fish and is loaded with proteins. It contains 115% of the RDI of methionine.

White beans:

White beans are rich sources of proteins and they are included in many of the recipes. They contain a moderate amount of methionine, about 20% of the RDI.


Yogurt is richer in proteins than milk. This is because yogurt contains less water in it than milk. It contains 23% of the RDI of methionine.

Now that you have seen the benefits of methionine, include it in your daily diet and have a healthy and disease free body. Make sure that you have it in the required amounts and not more than that.

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