L-Proline (proh -leen, -lin)
What Is It?
L-Proline, a non-essential amino acid, is a precursor, along with vitamin C, of collagen. Collagen is a building block of tendons, ligaments, arteries, veins and muscles--the heart muscle in particular; collagen also helps heal cartilage, and cushions joints and vertebrae.
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High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
Proline is very important in the process of reversing atherosclerotic deposits. Cholesterol-carrying fat globules (lipoproteins) attach to the inside of the blood vessel wall via biological adhesive tapes. Proline is a formidable “Teflon” agent, which can neutralize the stickiness of these fat globules. The therapeutic effect is twofold. First, proline helps to prevent the further buildup of atherosclerotic deposits and second, proline helps to release already deposited fat globules from the blood vessel wall into the bloodstream.
When many fat globules are released from the plaques in the artery walls, the deposit size decreases and leads to a reversal of cardiovascular disease. Proline can be synthesized by the body, but the amounts synthesized are frequently inadequate, particularly in patients with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
-Dr. Mathias Rath
Mathias Rath and colleague conducted a yearlong study to determine the effect of a defined nutritional supplementation program on the natural progression of coronary artery disease.
It is postulated that the nutrients used by Rath initiate the reconstitution of the vascular wall. Ascorbate is essential for the synthesis and hydroxylation of collagen. L-lysine and L-proline are important substrates for the biosynthesis of matrix protein and competitively inhibit the binding of lipoprotein to the vascular matrix. Maintaining the integrity and physiological function of the vascular wall is the key therapeutic target in controlling cardiovascular disease.
Joint and Skin Health
Proline is the amino acid necessary for the production of collagen and cartilage for healthy joints, ligaments and tendons. Joints are complicated structures that connect bones to allow for movement. There are different types of joints, including hinge, ball-and-socket, saddle and pivot joints. They are bound on the outside by fibrous bands, called ligaments. Each ligament contains fibrous tissue of collagen, in a capsule, which surrounds the joint. The lining of the capsule is a thin membrane called the synovium that continuously produces a small amount of fluid for lubrication. Cartilage is a smooth, flexible tissue that covers the surface where the bones meet, and acts as a shock absorber and reduces friction. Osteoarthritis, is caused by wear and tear on the joints, as well as possible free radical damage, and generally is associated with aging. While heredity and obesity effect the incidence of Osteoarthritis, it may also develop due to overuse or injury to the joints. The articular cartilage, which is the smooth lining of the joint, begins to deteriorate, and may eventually affect the bone. Without sufficient cartilage, movement of the joint becomes restricted and painful. Swelling, stiffness and pain are symptoms of this often-debilitating condition, which affects the joints of the hips, knees, and spine.
Skin is the largest organ of the body, and Proline and Hydroxyproline make collagen, which is a component of skin tissue. Younger skin is thicker and has more elasticity than older skin. Aged skin is thinner and the decrease in collagen creates changes including less fibrous and elastic elements. Older skin is less subtle and smooth. Aging, combined with the effects of sun and free radical damage, results in older looking, wrinkled skin. Proline, along with other amino acids such as Glycine, help create new cell formation and can contribute to maintaining younger looking skin. Lubrication is also important, such as drinking sufficient water and including essential fatty acids in the diet.