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An essential amino acid needed for the formation of protein in the body, valine has a stimulating effect. It's one of the three-branched chain amino acids and, in combination with the other two, leucine and isoleucine, valine benefits muscles and helps repair muscle tissue after injury. See 'Amino acid'; 'Leucine'; 'Isoleucine'

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.

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