Beta Alanine and depression (What we know)

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In this blog we will discuss the topic “Beta Alanine and depression”.

We will also briefly discuss what beta alanine is, what it is used for, how to use it, side effects and precautions related to the use of beta alanine. 

Beta Alanine and depression

Beta alanine, an amino acid that is often used as a supplement to improve muscle, mobility, and stamina in older individuals has been observed to help mitigate symptoms of depression. 

Researchers believe that this improvement in cognition and prevention of depression and anxiety associated with ageing and physical exertion could be due to the increase in Caronsine levels in the brain due to the intake of beta alanine. 

A study on the effects of beta alanine on cognitive function and mood considered 10 participants who were healthy males performing within a simulated military operation.

The participants were each given beta Alanine supplements for 14 days prior to the stimulation and each participant’s cognitive function and mood were assessed before and after the trial period. 

This research showed that it is possible that beta alanine could play a key role in the mutation and prevention of the onset of depression and negative mood states in people who are physically healthy as well as in high stress situations. 

However, the researchers noted that high-dose, short-duration of beta alanine supplementation does not have any effect on the cognitive function of the individual and required more research on this pattern. 

When it comes to the impact beta alanine has on brain chemistry, most of the research is limited to animal trials. It has been recorded that beta alanine does increase levels of carnosine concentrations in the human brain, which may provide a benefit in maintaining focus and  alertness.

Alongside this, clinical trials on rodents also find that the supplement also increases levels of serotonin in the brain which could help prevent and treat depression but it has to be mentioned that these finds are based on Robert studies. 

There is still yet to be research done on the impact beta alanine has on human beings and the human brain. However, with the limited studies done on human being and the impact of beta-alanine, the results do sound promising. 

Thus, research finds that beta alanine could be a potential key player in the prevention and treatment of depression however, there is still much research that needs to be done to truly understand the impact it has on one’s mental health. 

What is beta alanine?

Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that is often used as a supplement for athletic and physical performance by athletes and elderly people. 

The drug is also used for symptoms of menopause such as hotflashes and age realted muscle loss however, there is not enough evidence that can positively say that this drug is beneficial. 

Beta alanine is an amino acid and while most amino acids are building blocks of proteins, there is not much evidence that highlights that it can aid in muscle growth and performance.

Beta alanine produces carnosine which reduces lactic acid accumulation in your muscles, this can increase ph levels making your muscles less acidic thus, preventing the breakdown of glucose and delaying the setting of fatigue. 

By reducing or delaying fatigue, the drug beta alanine as a supplement can be used to help improve athletic performance, increase stamina, as well as help improve mobility and energy levels in the individual. 

What is beta alanine used for?

Beta alanine is a common supplement that is used to improve athletic performance as well as increase the amount of energy for exercise. 

It is also used to treat fatigue in older people as it can help improve exercise and delays muscle tiredness in older adults.

Early research also suggests that beta-alanine can be used to reduce hot flashes in menopausal women.

How to use beta alanine?

When it comes to the regular use of beta alanine, the dosage should be confirmed by your doctor however, the standard dosage of beta-alanine is 2–5 grams daily usually with a meal as doing so can further increase carnosine levels in the muscles. 

Beta-alanine is often combined with other supplements when it is used such as Sodium bicarbonate as it enhances exercise performance by reducing acid in your blood and muscles as well as Creatine which helps in high-intensity exercise performance for better performance, strength, and energy. 

While beta alanine is relatively safe to be used in combination with these drugs, it is best that you consult with your doctor before you mix doses with other drugs.

What are the side effects of beta alanine?

Beta alanine does not seem to have serious side effects except for the unusual sensation of tingling skin that has been reported due to taking excessive amounts of beta-alanine.

People using beta alanine usually experience tingling sensations on the skin in the face, neck and back of the hands and the severity of these side effects increases when the dosage is increased. 

It has to be mentioned that this side effect is not lethal, however it can be inconvenient for people who use this drug.

Another possible side effect is a decline in taurine levels due to decreased taurine absorption in your muscles.

What are the precautions when using Beta alanine?

Here are some precautions you should take when using unisom:

  • Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have allergies to ingredients used; or if you have any other allergies. Talk to your physician and pharmacist for more details.
  • Before using this medication, tell your doctor about  your medical history. Refrain from using unisom if you have a history of the following: breathing problems (such as asthma, emphysema), a certain eye problem (glaucoma), heart problems, high blood pressure, liver disease, seizures, stomach problems (such as ulcers, blockage), overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), urination problems (such as trouble urinating due to enlarged prostate, urinary retention).
  • The drug may pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby thus, avoid using this drug if you are breast-feeding a baby.
  • If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not double dose to make up for the missed dose.
  • If you are experincien overdose symptoms, get intouch with emergency services immediately and seek out medical care. 
  • Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more sedated which is why you should limit your intake of either of these substances and inform your doctor if you do take these substances. 
  • This drug should be taken with a lot of caution for pregnant women since it can lead to some negative effects in the unborn child. One should also know that this drug can pass through mothers milk, which is why pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should consult with doctors before starting a course on this drug.

Conclusion

In this blog we have discussed the topic “Beta Alanine and depression”.

We have also briefly discussed what beta alanine is, what it is used for, how to use it, side effects and precautions related to the use of beta alanine. 

FAQ related to Beta Alanine Depression

Does beta-alanine improve mood?

Yes, beta alanine does improve mood and prevent negative mood states and help reduce experience of stress.

Does beta-alanine increase serotonin?

Research finds that beta alanine does increase levels of serotonin and kerosene in the brain which can have a positive impact in the overall energy levels of an individual. 

Does beta-alanine give you focus?

Yes, it is possible that beta alanine can help improve focus as the drug increases levels of carnosine concentrations in the human brain, which may provide a benefit in maintaining focus and  alertness.

References

Arlene Semeco. Beta-Alanine — A Beginner’s Guide. Healthline. Retrieved on 24th April 2022. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-benefits-of-exercise

Beta-Alanine – Uses, Side Effects, and More. WebMD. Retrieved on 24th April 2022. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1222/beta-alanine

Alyssa N. Varanoske, Adam J. Wells, David Boffey, Idan Harat, Cheyanne L. Frosti, Gregory J. Kozlowski, Yftach Gepner & Jay R. Hoffman (2021) Effects of High-Dose, Short-Duration β-Alanine Supplementation on Cognitive Function, Mood, and Circulating Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) in Recreationally-Active Males Before Simulated Military Operational Stress, Journal of Dietary Supplements, 18:2, 147-168, DOI: 10.1080/19390211.2020.1733730

Varanoske AN, Wells AJ, Boffey D, Harat I, Frosti CL, Kozlowski GJ, Gepner Y, Hoffman JR. Effects of High-Dose, Short-Duration β-Alanine Supplementation on Cognitive Function, Mood, and Circulating Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) in Recreationally-Active Males Before Simulated Military Operational Stress. J Diet Suppl. 2021;18(2):147-168. doi: 10.1080/19390211.2020.1733730. Epub 2020 Mar 6. PMID: 32138563.

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