L-Norvaline: Its Applications Aren’t Limited To Pharmaceutical Intermediates


L-Norvaline: Its Applications Aren’t Limited To Pharmaceutical Intermediates


The human body is a very magical biological world, containing thousands of enzymes that are undergoing various reactions all the time. More than 20 kinds of amino acids, in different arrangements, determine the structure and function of proteins. Among them is the amino acid that is highlighted today – L-norvaline. It is composed of α-amino and α-carboxyl groups and side chains.

L-Norvaline plays a variety of important functions in the organism. It is one of the basic building blocks of protein synthesis. As an amino acid, it is also involved in the protein synthesis process. Polypeptide chains are formed by connecting with other amino acids through peptide bonds to build complex protein structures.

This amino acid is also involved in several biochemical reactions. It can serve as a substrate for certain enzymes, catalyzing specific chemical reactions. In addition, L-norvaline can also be converted into other important biomolecules, such as energy substances, neurotransmitters, etc., and participates in energy metabolism and signal transduction processes.

L-norvaline is also vital to human growth, development, and health. It is necessary for children and adults to maintain normal growth. In addition, L-norvaline is also involved in the functional regulation of the immune system, playing an important role in the generation and activity regulation of immune cells.

L-Norvaline Applications Aren’t Limited To Pharmaceutical Intermediates

No matter how powerful a product is, it must be put into specific applications to reflect its value. What are the application fields of L-Norvaline? What is its mechanism of action?

Drugs To Treat Liver Disease

L-norvaline has significant application value in the treatment of liver diseases. It acts as an antioxidant and liver cell protector.

The liver is an important metabolic organ in the human body and is often affected by oxidative stress and damage. As an antioxidant, L-norvaline can scavenge free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. It also can protect liver cells from damage.

In addition, L-norvaline can also promote the regeneration and repair of liver cells and help restore liver function.

Medications To Treat Cardiovascular Disease

L-norvaline also has applications in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. It acts as a vasodilator by promoting the production of nitric oxide (NO) to relax blood vessel walls and reduce vascular resistance, thereby improving blood circulation and lowering blood pressure. Nitric oxide is an important vasoactive substance that regulates vascular tone and blood flow. L-norvaline serves as its precursor and is converted into L-arginine in the body. It further generates nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels.

Nutritional Supplements

  • L-norvaline for pre-workout

L-norvaline is also widely used as a nutritional supplement to improve health and enhance physical performance. It can increase the body’s absorption and utilization of protein, promote muscle growth and repair, and positively impact patients during physical activity, sports training, and recovery. In addition, L-norvaline can also improve immune function and enhance the body’s resistance.

  • L-norvaline for nootropic products

More and more evidence highlights the role of arginase activity in Alzheimer’s disease. Upregulation of arginase has been shown to contribute to neurodegeneration. Modulating arginase activity appears to be a promising approach to interfering with AD pathogenesis. Therefore, this enzyme represents a new therapeutic target. In one study, researchers administered the arginase inhibitor L-norvaline (250 mg/L) to a triple transgenic model (3×Tg-AD) containing PS1M146V, APPSwe, and tauP301L transgenes for two and a half months. The study then evaluated the neuroprotective effects of L-norvaline using three assays, namely immunohistochemistry, proteomics, and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Finally, biological pathways activated by treatment were identified. Notably, L-norvaline treatment reversed cognitive decline in AD mice. The treatment has neuroprotective effects. It manifests itself in three aspects.

  1. Reduce beta-amyloidosis
  2. Attenuates microglial proliferation
  3. Transcription levels of reduced tumor necrosis factor

Furthermore, increased neuroplasticity-associated postsynaptic density protein 95 levels were detected in mice treated with L-norvaline hippocampus. In addition, the trial revealed several biological pathways related to cell survival and neuroplasticity that are activated by treatment. Through these modes of action, L-norvaline may improve the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and even interfere with its pathogenesis. Therefore, L-norvaline is a promising neuroprotective molecule for treating a range of neurodegenerative diseases.【1】

3 Main Application Points Of Pharmaceutical Intermediates

At present, L-norvaline is most widely used and well-known as a pharmaceutical intermediate. So what products is it a precursor to?

  • L-Epinephrine

L-norvaline is one of the synthetic intermediates of L-adrenaline. L-norvaline is first converted into dopa (DOPA) through a series of enzyme-catalyzed reactions and then converted into dopamine catalyzed by dopa β-hydroxylase. Finally, L-adrenaline is catalyzed by epinephrine β-hydroxylase. L-adrenaline is an important neurotransmitter and vasoactive substance.

  • L-DOPA

L-dopa is a commonly used drug in treating Parkinson’s disease and is synthesized from L-norvaline. L-norvaline is converted into L-DOPA through an enzymatic reaction, further catalyzed by dopa hydroxylase to generate dopamine. Levodopa can cross the blood-brain barrier and be transformed into dopamine. It replenishes the lack of dopamine in the brain, thereby alleviating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

  • Levodopa ethyl ester

Levodopa ester is a prodrug of dopamine, also synthesized from L-norvaline. It is synthesized by esterifying L-dopa with glycolic acid to increase its oral absorption and bioavailability. Levodopa ester is used to replace L-DOPA in treating Parkinson’s disease to improve the efficacy and tolerability of the drug.

L-norvaline is used as an intermediate in the synthesis process of these drugs, which fully utilizes the chemical properties and biological activity of L-norvaline and provides an important pharmaceutical basis for treating related diseases.

Is Norvaline Safe?

A study published in Toxicology In Vitro (Kate Samardzic and Kenneth J. Rodgers 2019) is titled: “Cytotoxicity and mitochondrial dysfunction induced by dietary supplement l-norvaline.” However, this title may be grossly exaggerated, and the study ignores that L-norvaline toxicity is limited to specific in vitro assays at very high concentrations. In fact, current studies have not confirmed that L-norvaline is toxic to the human body.

In order to meet physiological needs, the adult body should consume approximately 25 mg/kg of valine per day, equivalent to approximately 2 g of valine per day for adults. Doses of L-norvaline athletes use range from 200 to 300 mg/day. Approximately ten times less L-valine than conventional consumption.


L Norvaline’s most well-known application is pharmaceutical intermediates. For example, it can be the precursor of L-epinephrine, L-DOPA, and Levodopa ethyl ester. In addition, L-Norvaline has significant application value in treating liver and cardiovascular diseases. It can also be used as a dietary supplement ingredient to enhance physical fitness and promote muscle growth and repair before exercise.

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