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L-Alanine plays a vital role in glucose-alanine cycle between tissue and liver. It is used for protein construction as well as involved in the metabolism of tryptophan and vitamin pyridoxine. It provides energy for muscles and central nervous system in order to strengthen the immune system. It helps in the metabolism of sugars and organic acids, and enhances the germination rates of Bacillus subtilis spores. It also displays a cholesterol-reducing effect in animals.
ɑ-Amino acids can be converted to the corresponding ɑ-chloro acids with a high degree of retention of configuration, by diazotization in the presence of HCl: J. Am. Chem. Soc., 76, 6054 (1954). The intermediate is thought to be a rigid oxiranone which prevents racemization. For an improved technique and list of examples, see: Org. Synth. Coll., 8, 119 (1993):
Moozeh, K.; So, M. S.; Chin, J. Catalytic Stereoinversion of L-Alanine to Deuterated D-Alanine. Angew. Chem. 2015, 127 (32), 9513-9517.
Richter, N.; Farnberger, J. E.; Pressnitz, D.; Lechner, H.; Zepeck, F.; Kroutil, W. A system for µ-transaminase mediated (R)-amination using l-alanine as an amine donor. Green Chem. 2015, 17 (5), 2952-2958.