September 19, 2017

Balenine in Baleen Whales/ヒゲクジラ内のバレニン

Baleen whales contain large amounts of balenine. Here is some info about this substance.

Balenine is one type of imidazole dipeptide. Nα-β-Alanyl-1-methyl-L-histidine. Also known as ophidine. It is contained in large quantity in the muscle of a baleen whale, and is considered a biological material having anti-fatigue action.
Balenine was identified from the muscle of a baleen whale for the first time in 1962. In 1976, it was confirmed to exist in the muscle of sperm whales, blue-white dolphins, toads, and common scallops. By 2009, it was found that whereas the muscle of sperm wales did not contain much balenine (several mg per 100 g), it was contained in large quantity in the muscle of minke whales, sei whales, Antarctic minke whales, fin whales, and Bryde's whales (one thousand and several hundred mg per 100 g).

バレニンとは、イミダゾールジペプチドの一つ。Nα-β-アラニル-1-メチル-L-ヒスチジン。別名:オフィジン (ophidine)。ヒゲクジラの筋肉中に多量に含有され、抗疲労作用のある生体物質とされる。
(Source/出典: バレニン)

Two other main types of imidazole dipeptide are carnosine (contained in the breasts of migratory birds, among others) and anserine (contained in migratory fish like tuna, among others).

Here is some info about balenine content.
(Source: PDF file released from the Japan Whaling Association)

Comparison of balenine content (translation by me)
                                                    Balenine (in mg per 100 g)

Tuna                            Red flesh   Not detected
Bonito (skipjack tuna)   Red flesh   Trace
Fin whale                     Red meat  1,466
Minke whale                 Red meat  1,874
Sperm whale                Red meat  553
Cow                             Beef         2 or less
Pig                              Pork          48 or less

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