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Metabolism. 1987 Dec;36(12):1175-84.

Urinary excretion of 1-methylhistidine: a qualitative indicator of exogenous 3-methylhistidine and intake of meats from various sources.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.


In order to investigate whether the urinary excretion of 1-methylhistidine (1MH) might serve as an objective indicator of meat ingestion and exogenous 3-methylhistidine (3MH) intake, healthy subjects were fed an ovolactovegetarian diet. At five-day intervals they were given meat of different origin and 24-hour urinary excretions of 1MH and 3MH were determined. After beef intake there was a marked increase of 3MH and 1MH excretion. The elimination curves were found to follow first-order kinetics and to indicate similar elimination rates. 1MH was present in ten different types of meat analyzed. A strong linear relationship was found between increase in 3MH and 1MH excretion and the amount of chicken, pork, or plaice ingested. IMH may serve as an objective indicator of meat and exogenous 3MH intake, since it is present in meat, and, regardless of source, shows similar dose-independent kinetics, and has similar half-life to 3MH.

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