Methionine is commonly taken by mouth to treat liver disorders and viral infections along with many other uses. But there is limited scientific research that supports these uses.
How does it work ?
Uses & Effectiveness ?
Possibly Effective for
Insufficient Evidence for
- Breast Cancer. Eating higher amounts of methionine may be linked to a lower risk of breast cancer.
- Colon cancer. Eating a diet rich in methionine and folate, a type of B vitamin, seems to help reduce the chance of colon cancer. This seems to be especially true for people with a family history of colon cancer and people who drink large amounts of alcohol.
- Neural tube birth defects. Women who eat more methionine during pregnancy seem to have a lower risk of neural tube birth defects.
- Parkinson's disease. Early research suggests that taking L-methionine by mouth for up to 6 months improves symptoms of Parkinson's disease, such as tremor, inability to control movements, and rigidity.
- Hot flashes. Early research suggests that taking methionine doesn't decrease hot flashes in postmenopausal women.
- Herpes simplex virus (HSV).
- Shingles (herpes zoster).
- Human papillomavirus (HPV).
- Pancreatitis (inflamed pancreas).
- Liver function.
- Radiation side effects.
- Drug withdrawal.
- Infections of the kidney, bladder, or urethra (urinary tract infections or UTIs).
- Other conditions.
Don't treat yourself with methionine. It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE to use methionine by mouth or intravenously to self-medicate. Too much methionine can cause brain damage and death. Methionine can increase blood levels of homocysteine, a chemical that may cause heart disease. Methionine might also promote the growth of some tumors.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Methionine is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in amounts commonly found in foods. But there is not enough information about the safety of taking methionine in larger doses than those commonly found in foods. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Acidosis: Methionine can cause changes in acidity of the blood and should not be used in people with a condition called acidosis.
"Hardening of the arteries" (atherosclerosis): There is some concern that methionine might make atherosclerosis worse. Methionine can increase blood levels of a chemical called homocysteine, especially in people who don't have enough folate, vitamin B12, or vitamin B6 in their bodies, or in people whose bodies have trouble processing homocysteine. Too much homocysteine is linked to an increased risk for diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
Liver disease, including cirrhosis: Methionine might make liver disease worse.
Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) deficiency: This is an inherited disorder. It changes the way the body processes homocysteine. People who have this disorder should not take methionine supplements because methionine might cause homocysteine to build up in these people. Too much homocysteine might increase the chance of developing diseases of the heart or blood vessels.
Schizophrenia: Large doses of methionine (e.g., 20 g/day for 5 days) might cause confusion, disorientation, delirium, agitation, listlessness, and other similar symptoms in people with schizophrenia.
We currently have no information for METHIONINE overview.
- For acetaminophen (Tylenol) poisoning: 2.5 grams of methionine every 4 hours for 4 doses.
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Russman S, Junker E, Lauterburg BH. Remethylation and transsulfuration of methionine in cirrhosis: studies with L-[H3-methyl-1-C]methionine. Hepatology 2002;36:1190-6.. View abstract.
Su LJ, Arab L. Nutritional status of folate and colon cancer risk: evidence from NHANES I epidemiologic follow-up study. Ann Epidemiol 2001;11:65-72.. View abstract.
Talukdar R, Murthy HV, Reddy DN. Role of methionine containing antioxidant combination in the management of pain in chronic pancreatitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Pancreatology 2015;15(2):136-44. View abstract.
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Ward M, McNulty H, Pentieva K, et al. Fluctuations in dietary methionine intake do not alter plasma homocysteine concentrations in healthy men. J Nutr 2000;130:2653-7.. View abstract.
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