β-Alanine

What is measured?

Synonyms: 3-Aminopropanoic acid, 3-aminopropionic acid.
Method(s): GC-MS/MS (1).

What is β-Alanine?

β-Alanine (bAla) is a naturally occurring beta-amino acid that is formed during degradation of carnosine and anserine, but also serves as a precursor for the synthesis of these histidine-containing dipeptides. This explains why beta-alanine may reflect the amount of carnosine/anserine in the body, and serves as a biomarker for the consumption of meat, especially red meat.
β-Alanine is used as a supplement. High levels, as encountered in some inborn errors of metabolism causing hyper-beta-alaninemia, may act as a neurotoxin and as a mitochondrial toxin. Circulating levels is inversely associated with dementia (2).

Indication(s)

To investigate the metabolomic signature of human diseases.

Specimen, collection and processing

Patient/subject: No special precaution.
Matrix: Serum or EDTA plasma.
Volume: Minimum volume is 50 µL, but 200 µL is optimal and allows reanalysis.
Preparation and stability: Probably stable.

Transportation

Frozen, on dry ice. (for general instruction on transportation, click here)

Reported values, interpretation

Reported values: 0.5-10 µmol/L
Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC): na.

Literature

1. Midttun, Ø., McCann, A., Aarseth, O., Krokeide, M., Kvalheim, G., Meyer, K., and Ueland, P.M. (2016). Combined measurement of 6 fat-soluble vitamins and 26 water-soluble functional vitamin markers and amino acids in 50 μL of serum or plasma by high-throughput mass spectrometry. Anal Chem 88, 10427-436.
2. Hata, J., Ohara, T., Katakura, Y., Shimizu, K., Yamashita, S., Yoshida, D., Honda, T., Hirakawa, Y., Shibata, M., Sakata, S., Kitazono, T., Kuhara, S., & Ninomiya, T. (2019). Association Between Serum β-Alanine and Risk of Dementia. Am J Epidemiol, 188, 1637-164.

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