What is asparagine?


The name of this amino acid comes from the Greek (ἀσπάραγος) and -īn (a) chem which means substance . Names are also used as asparagine and asparaguina to refer to it. The asparagine can be found in different places. It is a non-essential amino acid and is also known as Asn. Its name is due to the fact that its discovery was born from asparagus and comes from the English, apsaragine, which is derived from asparagus, which means asparagus. This is an amino acid that is directly involved in the metabolic control of cell functions in brain and nervous tissues. Aspartic acid and ammonium are responsible for synthesizing asparagine.


  • Symbol: Asn, N
  • Formula:  C 4 H 8 N 2 O 3
  • Family: Amino Acid

What is asparagine?

It is an amino acid classified as non-essential, but of great importance for the human body. It can also be known by its acronym Asn . It intervenes with the metabolic control , the adequate function of the nervous system and the correct emotional balance . It can be found in different types of food, plants, dairy products, oats, whole wheat, potatoes, and shellfish.

  • History of asparagine
  • Asparagine function
  • Structure
  • Foods containing asparagine
  • Importance of asparagine

History of asparagine

Asparagine was discovered for the first time in 1806 from asparagus juice, in which it is found in abundant quantities, thus becoming the first amino acid to be isolated. It was the French chemist Pierre Robiquet.

Asparagine function

Regarding its main functions, we can mention that it is important to treat disorders of the central nervous system. The anxiety, distress , depression and insomnia may be treated and improved when this amino acid is ingested. It also helps treat some behavior and personality disorders. It positively influences treatments related to metabolic disorders . Helps maintain proper brain function. Collaborates with the muscular system providing well-being before muscular disorders. It has been proven to work positively in Alzheimer’s. It works together with vitamin B6, being the precursor of the neurotransmitter gamma aminobutyric acid, whose function is to provide a sedative effect on the central nervous system. And finally, it helps to synthesize ammonia.


Asparagine has side chains that are capable of forming hydrogen bonds with a peptic backbone. It is common to find traces of asparagine at the beginning and at the end of the alpha helix structure . This structure makes its main role to focus on the different interactions of hydrogen bonds. It also gives key sites for N-glycosylation, a modification of the protein chain with the addition of carbohydrate chains. Its chemical symbol is known as Asn , and its molecular formula is C4H8N2O3. Its density of 1000 kg / m3; 1 g / cm3, its molar mass of 132.12 g / mol and its melting point is 508 K (235 ° C)

Foods containing asparagine

Asparagine can be found in different types of foods that are within our reach, the presence of this amino acid has also been discovered in some animals and plants. This amino acid has also been found in more specific animals such as shellfish , birds of poultry and eggs , dairy products like milk and cheese, and has succeeded in proving its presence in smaller quantities also in beef . Plants have also been found to be an important source of asparagine, for this reason this acid is found in asparagus and some root vegetables such as potatoes and yucca.. In dried fruits such as walnuts , peanuts and almonds we find asparagine, in oats and wheat classified as whole grains we can also find this important amino acid.

Importance of asparagine

In the human body, asparagine is made by the liver . It is important because it helps the functions of the nervous system to be adequate. Although it is not considered an essential amino acid , it has a positive appearance and effect on the body. When the liver can fail to produce the required amounts of the amino acid that the body needs, the nervous system is the first to be affected in the body, when this happens can reach then present some health problems such as headaches very strong and intense, the irritability of the person increases every day without a justifiable cause, memory loss occurs or a markedDifficulty remembering things , and even people with asparagine deficiency can fall into a picture of depression that may need treatment to improve it. There may also be some metabolic problems and serious alterations in the functions of the brain and the nervous system . This amino acid is also important because it helps us maintain a proper emotional balance. Also, it is responsible for playing a very important role in those people who practice some type of physical exercise because it helps them resist fatigue, have more energy and have a faster recovery.

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