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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an amino acid?

(answer below is from here)

Amino acids are organic compounds that combine to form proteins. Amino acids and proteins are the building blocks of life.

When proteins are digested or broken down, amino acids are left. The human body uses amino acids to make proteins to help the body:

  • Break down food
  • Grow
  • Repair body tissue
  • Perform many other body functions

Amino acids can also be used as a source of energy by the body.

Amino acids are classified into three groups:

  • Essential amino acids
  • Nonessential amino acids
  • Conditional amino acids

Essential amino acids

  • Essential amino acids cannot be made by the body. As a result, they must come from food.
  • The nine essential amino acids are: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.

Nonessential amino acids

  • “Nonessential” means that our bodies produce an amino acid, even if we don’t get it from the food we eat.
  • They include: alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid.

Conditional amino acids

  • Conditional amino acids are usually not essential, except in times of illness and stress.
  • They include: arginine, cysteine, glutamine, tyrosine, glycine, ornithine, proline, and serine.

You do not need to eat essential and nonessential amino acids at every meal, but getting a balance of them over the whole day is important.

Why is L-Serine called “non-essential”?

“Nonessential” means that our bodies produce an amino acid, even if we don’t get it from the food we eat. In “typical,” “healthy” people, L-Serine is produced from proteins we eat and it is not necessary to eat food with serine. It IS essential to good health, it generally is not essential to get it directly from food.

Some studies are showing that certain conditions can be helped by additional L-Serine, that is, more than the body typically produces. Other research has shown conditions where the body does not make L-Serine, or not enough (there are several biochemical “pathways” and one or more may be broken by a genetic defect).

What does the FDA say about L-Serine?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers serine (L and DL-forms) a food additive It is listed under “Substances Generally Recognized as Safe” – “Nutrients and/or Dietary Supplements” (Title 21, Chapter I, Subchapter E, Part 582, Subpart F, Sec. 582.5701)

Why take L-Serine?

More and more studies are coming out that show taking serine may be beneficial for specific disorders. These include, but are not limited to, Peripheral Neuropathy, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Charcot Marie Tooth, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 3-PGDH, inborn Serine Deficiency Disorder and more. To learn more, here are some links.

How much L-Serine should I take?

That is a question best answered by your health care provider. This website offers links to legitimate studies and papers concerning serine here, and many of them talk about dosing.

It appears the largest dose in the studies is 600 mg/kg/day and we have seen no reports of negative side effects. The lowest doses are not generally discussed.

How pure is the L-Serine you sell?

The L-Serine we sell is pharmaceutical grade, 100% non-animal based, cGMP manufactured in the United States, and meets all USP and EP standards. It is the same that is used in several of the studies cited on our resources page.

We also sell food grade L-Serine, and it is 100% non-animal based as well. See this page for information on food grade vs. pharmaceutical grade L-Serine.

Every bag of serine we sell has a “Lot” or “Batch” number on it to identify the manufacturer’s lot. We keep full assay information on file for each lot from which we distribute.

The L-Serine we sell is pure, no additives of any kind.

Who is Pearl?

My grandmother.