happy babySerine is an amino acid we all typically get from the protein in our diet and it can be made in our bodies from other amino acids.  It is therefore extremely rare to have a serene deficiency.  We do need serine for making other proteins (protein synthesis), making phospholipids (phosphatidyl sideline and ethanolamine) and for DNA and RNA synthesis. Serine is an attachment point for carbohydrates in protein chains. 


Serine is involved in many enzymes: serine protease, serine racemase, serine palmitoyltransferase, serine protease inhibitor, serine threonine and serine threonine inhibitor, serine threonine kinase and serine hydroymethyltransferase, phosphatidyl serine, serine hydrolase, serine threonine-protein kinase, and serene threonine phosphatase. 


There are rare disorders where a person cannot make enough serine and must get it in the diet or suffer severe neurological symptoms. These disorders are well documented, and  affect:

  •   3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase 
  •   3-phosphoserine phosphatase
  •   Phosphoserine aminotransferase



For those children born with an enzyme defect limiting their ability to make enough serene, severe neurological symptoms may develop with the loss of brain function and motor skills, progressing to seizures.  Less severe but chronic deficiency can lead to polyneuropathy in adults. Newborn screening programs do not yet test for these very rare disorders which are easily treated by giving enough serine in the diet.  Measurement of amino acids in the serum and urine is the typical way one detects these rare disorders. Spectracell micronutrient testing ( may detect that you have a functional deficiency of this nutrient. 



Serine is present in all foods that are high in protein, and 1-2 grams a day can be given as a supplement.  There is no RDA,  nor any listed symptoms of toxicity. 


Here are some links that you may find interesting:


An update on serine deficiency disorders…

Newborn Screenings by State…


Dr. Paul








One comment

  • vincent migliore

    Hello Dr. Thomas
    I have had neurological symptoms (neuropathy) for the last 8 years. I have had approximately a dozen neurologists examine my case over that time. None could give me an etiology nor help. MRI’s and blood test did not indicate anything abnormal. However, my experience seems to have started when I was a teenager (currenty 55 years old). I weightlifted back then and around 17 years old I began not to recuperate like all my other fellow weightlifters. I stale mated at that time and could not keep up with my peers. It seems I needed longer recuperating time. This poured into other physical activities like jogging. For the last 8 years I attempted to exercise again and could not keep up with my peers. I used very long recuperating periods. But then began neurological symptoms. Shocks or pricks throughout my body. It seemed to originate at my neck and be connected to other parts of my body, particularly me feet, hands, and groin area. Throughout most of this time I exercised but I did stop for a few months between the last 8 years. Once, when I stopped, all the symptoms seem to leave, but then began exercising again. Slowly they came back. Doctors did not see a relation so, since I like to exercise, I kept it up. The neurological symptoms turned into full blown constant neuropathy, especially in my feet. However, my neck is always cracking and when it does, my feet usually feel a prick or shock. Lately, I thought this may be L’Hermitte’s sign so I got check for MS. I went to a specialist at Univ of Miami, but he did not feel I fit into that diagnosis, at least not yet. Anyways, I have quit exercise because my joints and muscles were sore even when waiting long periods of rest between exercise and I don’t get any stronger (actually get weaker). Because so much time has passed, the symptoms are still very strong but they are starting to dissipate, ever so slightly. I am very suspicious that I have a rare amino acid deficiency, that isn’t critical but is symptomatic if I stress my body beyond normal. Serine or the enzmyes that convert it to the active form may be deficient. But being so rare, it is not considered by doctors. Any ideas? Thanks.

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