What is it and where does it come from? β-Alanine (C3H7NO2) is a nonessential amino acid and is the only naturally occurring beta amino acid. Whereas α-alanine is found in many food sources including eggs, meat, chicken, plants and some dairy products, β-Alanine is made in the body by the enzyme beta-ureidopropionase via β-Alanine Synthase. β-Alanine is a breakdown product from carnosine and is also a component in pantothenic acid (Vitamin B-5). It's sometimes called 3-aminopropionic acid. What does it do and what scientific studies give evidence to support this? Whereas α-Alanine supports healthy energy production, protein synthesis and enzyme function, β-Alanine does not play a role in protein synthesis and enzyme production and instead helps to promote high intramuscular carnosine concentrations. By promoting high levels of intramuscular carnosine, β-Alanine promotes high energy levels and supports maximum muscular endurance and improved performance. It's believed that creatine monohydrate and β-Alanine work together to maintain optimum muscle power output, as well as promoting a healthy body weight. Learn more about the benefits of Beta-Alanine on Clayton South's Health Facts. Who needs it and what are some symptoms of deficiency? β-Alanine is not an essential nutrient and no symptoms of deficiency have been established. By contrast, α-Alanine deficiencies, although rare, are marked by neurological deficiency, seizures, hypoglycemia, diabetes, hepatitis and even death. How much should be taken? Are there any side effects? Strictly follow label directions. Studies show that maximum benefit is observed after 10 weeks of use. Consult your physician before using any dietary supplement. Although rare, the genetic disorder hyper beta-alaninaemia has been reported and β-Alanine should not be used by people with this condition. At high doses, a slight skin flushing effect can sometimes occur. This effect is harmless and goes away by lowering dosage amounts.