Top 10 Foods Highest in Methionine

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BSc (Hons) MSc DipION
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Dr. Patricia Shelton
Evidence Based. References sourced from PubMed.
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Top 10 Foods Highest in Methionine

Methionine is an essential amino acid needed for metabolism, growth, and helping the liver process fats. (1,2)

Methionine is also necessary for producing other essential substances in the body, such as homocysteine, cysteine, creatine, and carnitine. (1)

Some studies have found that a diet that’s lower in methionine may extend lifespan and reduce cancer risk. (3) However, excessive restriction is not advised, as methionine is also important for several aspects of health. This includes maintaining strong bones, insulin sensitivity, and reducing inflammation. (4)

High methionine foods include turkey, beef, fish, pork, tofu, milk, cheese, nuts, beans, and whole grains like quinoa.

The reference dietary intake (RDI) for methionine is 10.4mg per kilogram of body weight or 4.5mg per pound. A person weighing 70kg (~154 pounds) should consume around 728mg of methionine per day. (5)

Below is a list of the top 10 foods highest in methionine with the %RDI calculated for someone weighing 70kg (154lbs). For more high methionine foods see the extended list of methionine rich foods.

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Extended List of Methionine Rich Foods

1. King Crab in 1 crab leg 100% RDI
2. Shrimp per 3oz (about 12 large shrimp) 78% RDI
3. Clams per 3oz serving 67% RDI
4. Eggs in 1 large egg 27% RDI
5. Green Peas per cup cooked 18% RDI
6. Sweet Potatoes per cup mashed 17% RDI
7. Lima Beans per cup cooked 16% RDI
8. Spinach per cup cooked 14% RDI
9. Sweet Corn per cup cooked 13% RDI
10. Avocados per avocado 10% RDI
11. Kiwifruit per cup 6% RDI
12. Mamey Sapote 1 cup chopped 6% RDI

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Data Sources and References

  1. Catanesi M, Brandolini L, d'Angelo M, Benedetti E, Tupone MG, Alfonsetti M, Cabri E, Iaconis D, Fratelli M, Cimini A, Castelli V, Allegretti M. The role of methionine on metabolism, oxidative stress, and diseases Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Sep 15;10(9):1467. doi: 10.3390/antiox10091467. 34573099
  2. Li JT, Yang H, Lei MZ, Zhu WP, Su Y, Li KY, Zhu WY, Wang J, Zhang L, Qu J, Lv L, Lu HJ, Chen ZJ, Wang L, Yin M, Lei QY. Methionine metabolism in chronic liver diseases: an update on molecular mechanism and therapeutic implication Signal Transduct Target Ther. 2022 Jun 22;7(1):192. doi: 10.1038/s41392-022-01017-8. 35729157
  3. Brown-Borg HM. Methionine restriction and life-span control Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2016 Jan;1363:40-9. doi: 10.1111/nyas.12971. Epub 2015 Dec 8. 26645136
  4. Mladenovi? D, Radosavljevi? T, Hrn?i? D, Rasic-Markovic A, Stanojlovi? O. Methionine as a double-edged sword in health and disease: Current perspective and future challenges Rev Neurosci. 2019 Jul 26;30(6):581-593. doi: 10.1515/revneuro-2018-0073. 30817309
  5. World Health Organization - Protein and Amino Acid Requirements In Human Nutrition
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