Serine 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
SYMPTOMS OF DEFICIENCY
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 (www.spectracell.com) 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.
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