Altered amino acid homeostasis in subjects affected by Fibromyalgia – Source: Clinical Biochemistry, Mar 9, 2009

[Note: Amino acids are building blocks of the proteins responsible for virtually all metabolic activities in living cells. The body can produce 10 of these acids, but the other 10 (“essential” amino acids) must be supplied via protein in the diet or supplements. These can’t be stored, and failure to obtain even 1 of the essential 10 every day results in degradation of the body’s muscle & other proteins.]

Objectives: To evaluate plasma amino acids (AA) concentrations in patients affected by fibromyalgia (FM) and to study the relationships between their levels and FM clinical parameters.

Design and Methods: 20 amino acids were assessed in 34 FM patients and in 18 healthy volunteers by means of a modified version of the Waters picotag method.

Results: Significant lower plasma
• Taurine,
• Alanine,
• Tyrosine (Tyr),
• Valine,
• Methionine,
• Phenylalanine,
• Threonine concentrations
• And sum of essential amino acids were observed in FM patients vs. healthy controls (P<0.05). Tyrosine CAAs [competing amino acids] ratio and the sum of amino acids competing with tryptophan for brain uptake resulted significantly reduced in FM (p<0.05). Significant correlations were found between FM clinical parameters and certain amino acids. Conclusion:

• Our results suggest a probable defects of gut malabsorption of certain amino acids in FM patients.

• Moreover, given the reduced Tyr CAAs ratio in FM patients, a possible impairment of catecholaminergic system in the FM syndrome may be suggested. [Catecholamines are substances derived from the amino acid tyrosine and produced in the medulla of the adrenal gland that act as neurotransmitters or hormones, such as dopamine and adrenaline.]

Source: Clinical Biochemistry, Mar 9, 2009. PMID: 19281806, by Bazzichi L, Palego L, Giannaccini G, Rossi A, De Feo F, Giacomelli C, Betti L, Giusti L, Bombardieri S, Lucacchini A. Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy. [E-mail:]

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