L-methionine is a type of amino acid, which is what your body uses to make proteins and peptides. Methionine supplements have many potential uses for certain people, but it isn’t proven to assist in losing weight. Before you begin taking methionine supplements or any other supplement for weight loss, discuss the benefits, risks and possible drug interactions with your doctor.
Your body uses methionine to make the substance called creatine, another type of amino acid. Methionine also contains sulfur, which your body uses to promote healthy growth and metabolism. Another compound that your body makes from methionine is called s-adenosylmethionine or “SAMe,” which has several important functions in your body. SAMe helps to support the normal function of your immune system, neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and melatonin, and your body’s cell membranes.
Although methionine itself doesn’t necessarily help to promote weight loss, the substance creatine that’s made in your body from methionine might in fact help you to lose weight. In the supplement form of creatine, monohydrate, the methionine product could potentially help improve athletic performance and your body’s ratio of muscle to fat. Although creatine supplements are widely marketed as sports-performance enhancers and weight-loss pills, no conclusive medical evidence supports the use of creatine for these purposes.
Methionine supplements may help in supporting the liver and HIV/AIDS treatments, as well as help in treating Parkinson’s disease and urinary tract infections. Although methionine isn’t recommended for weight loss or exercise performance, the supplement could potentially help treat pancreatitis. The compound made from methionine known as SAMe is also available in supplement form. SAMe supplements could possibly help in treating depression, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and liver disease. Aside from weight loss and sports performance enhancement, creatine supplements might also help in treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or “ALS,” chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or “COPD,” muscular dystrophy, schizophrenia, congestive heart failure, high triglycerides, mitochondrial disorders and several other medical conditions. Don’t take methionine, creatine or SAMe supplements for any health purpose without first talking with your physician.
Amino acids like methionine, creatine and SAMe can inhibit your absorption of the Parkinson’s disease medication levodopa, warns the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. While you’re taking methionine supplements, you might also need to take extra B-complex vitamins, particularly vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folate. This is because taking methionine while you have a B-vitamin deficiency could increase your blood levels of homocysteine and cholesterol, both of which are linked to elevated risks for atherosclerosis. Even without B-vitamin deficiencies, taking high doses of methionine – 7 grams daily or more – can increase your homocysteine levels. Taking up to 2 grams per day of methionine doesn’t appear to cause any serious adverse effects, however. Creatine supplements pose their own risks as well, particularly the risk of kidney damage, when taking high doses, and heart arrhythmias.