What are Amino Acids?

Amino acids are the chemical units that makeup proteins, or “building blocks,” as they are popularly called. They also are the end products of protein digestion or hydrolysis.
Amino acids contain about 16 percent nitrogen. Chemically, this is what distinguishes them from the other two basic nutrients, sugars and fatty acids, which do not contain nitrogen.


How does Amino acid work?

Amino acids enable vitamins and minerals to perform their jobs properly. Even if the body absorbs and assimilates vitamins and minerals, they cannot be effective unless the necessary amino acids are present. For example, low levels of the amino acid tyrosine may lead to iron deficiency. Deficiency and/ or impaired metabolism of the amino acids methionine and taurine has been linked to allergies and autoimmune disorders. Many elderly people suffer from depression or neurological problems that may be associated with deficiencies of the amino acids tyrosine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, and histidine, and also of the branched-chain amino acids-valine, isoleucine, and leucine.
These are amino acids that can be used to provide energy directly to muscle tissue. High doses of branched-chain amino acids have been used in hospitals to treat trauma and infection patients. Some people are born with an inability to metabolize the branched-chain amino acids. This potentially life-threatening condition, branched-chain ketoaciduria (often referred to as maple syrup urine disease because keto acids released into the urine cause it to smell like maple syrup), can result in neuro-logical damage and necessitates a special diet, including a synthetic infant formula that does not contain leucine, is0-leucine, or valine.

Essential Amino Acid and Non-Essential Amino Acids

      There are approximately twenty-eight commonly known amino acids that are combined in various ways to create the hundreds of different types of proteins present in all living things. In the human body, the liver produces about 80 percent of the amino acids needed. The remaining 20 percent must be obtained from the diet. These are called the essential amino acids. The essential amino acids that must enter the body through diet are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Although infants need to obtain histidine From their diet, most adult bodies can make enough. The nonessential amino acids, which can be manufactured in the body from other amino acids obtained from dietary sources, include alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, citrulline, cysteine, cystine, gamma-aminobutyric acid, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, ornithine, proline, serine, taurine, and tyrosine.
       The fact that they are termed nonessential does not mean that they are not necessary, only that they need not be obtained through the diet because the body can manufacture them as needed. Nonessential amino acids can indeed become essential under certain conditions. For instance, the nonessential amino acids cysteine and tyrosine are made from the essential amino acids methionine and phenylalanine. If methionine and phenylalanine are not available in sufficient quantities, cysteine and tyrosine then become essential in the diet. Also, in times of stress such as an illness, both arginine and glutamine are considered to be “conditionally essential.” Hospitalized patients have benefitted from amino acid supplements of each to enhance the functioning of their immune systems. Arginine is popular with bodybuilders, who claim they feel a rush of blood flow, which helps them lift heavier weights.

Amino Acids Product Examples

If you have some concerns about Amino acids supplement, please Book with our Naturopathic Doctor.
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