NEW: Amino Acids Overview

Amino Acids

Organic compounds that combine to form proteins.


The human body uses amino acids to make proteins to help the body:

· Growth and repair of tissue.

· Hormone synthesis.

· Regulate metabolic pathways for reproduction and proper immune system function.

· Transport of nutrients throughout the body.

· Can be used to provide energy (ATP) under certain condition.


9 ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS

Cannot be made by the body: Must come from food.

Lisoleucine

A BCAA involved in muscle development and repair.


Leucine

A BCAA that helps to maintain nitrogen balance and energy supply.


Lysine

Key for a healthy immune system and the formation of collagen and muscle tissue.


Methionine

· Like Arginine, is a Sulphur containing essential AA.

· It helps the body to effectively process and remove fat.

· The body needs high levels of methionine to produce taurine, cysteine, and glutathione.


Phenylalanine

Forms important brain neurotransmitters [norepinephrine (noradrenaline), epinephrine (adrenaline), and their precursor L-dopa] and thyroid hormone which regulate metabolism.


Threonine

· Maintains protein balance and supports normal growth and development.

· Involved in supporting the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, immune function, and liver function.

· It’s needed to produce serine and glycine that produce elastin, collagen and muscle tissue.

· Combined with methione and aspatic acid, threonine also helps to process fatty acids and prevent liver failure.


Tryptophan

· Produces the neurotransmitter serotonin that affects emotions and mood.

· Needed for the manufacture of vitamin B3 (niacin).

· Assists with the regulation of blood sugar and prevents radical damage and cholesterol buildup.


Valine

· A BCAA that promotes the repair of tissues, energy prevision, blood sugar regulation, and normal growth and development.

· Involved in stimulating the central nervous system.


Histidine (for infants, not adults)

· Essential for infants to ensure the regulation of growth and natural development and repair mechanisms.

· The body needs it to produce histamine, glutamate, ferritin and haemoglobin.

· Essential for various metabolic reactions, energy and blood supply as well as detoxification of heavy metals.

· Other functions include the regulation of the blood pH and supporting the healing of wounds.


NONESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS

Produced by the body

Alanine

· Alanine and Glutamine helps maintaining Amino Acid Metabolism in the body.

· Converted in the liver into pyruvate which helps in maintaining glucose levels in the blood.


Asparagine

· Transports nitrogen inside the body and has cell building capability.

· An important amino acid required for neuron development.

· Improves stamina of athletes.


Aspartate

· Combined with iron, copper, magnesium, and zinc to increase solubility of dietary supplements.

· Acts as a neurotransmitter for stimulating NMDA receptors.


Glutamate

· Major mediator of signal transduction in the CNS.

· Apart from protein synthesis, it plays a crucial role in brain metabolism.

· Used in the treatment of Schizophrenia patients.


CONDITIONAL AMINO ACIDS

Usually not essential, except in times of illness and stress

Arginine

Heals wounds, detoxifies kidneys, immune and hormone maintenance, and artery dilation.


Cysteine

· N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) by doctors in an overdose of Acetaminophen.

· Treatment of chronic bronchitis.

· With nitroglycerin, improves better blood inflow which lowers chest pain felt by angina patients.

· Improves Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).


Glutamine

· Aids in faster muscle recovery.

· A nitrogen carrier that helps in synthesis of protein by the cells.

· Reduces the chances of infection in burn patients.

· Helps in healing wounds quickly.

· Administered intravenously to help kill infection bacteria post a surgery.


Tyrosine

· Phenylketonuria  - body unable to produce phenylalanine and in low quantities can result in brain damage.

· Tyrosine aids in Phenylalanine production.

· Replenishes neurotransmitters like dopamine, norepinephrine (noradrenaline), and epinephrine (adrenaline) to help reduce stress.


Glycine

· Combined with glutamate, might benefit the treatment of schizophrenia.

· May prevent ischemic stroke of the brain caused by the blockage of a blood vessel in the brain.

· Glycine under the tongue during the stroke may help limit the damage.


Ornithine

· Used in the urea cycle to help remove excess nitrogen from the body.

· Works as a catalyst that turns ammonia into urea, which is then removed via urination.


Proline

· Helps to form collagen, acts as a shock absorber, and reduces friction in the musculoskeletal system.

· Aids in Arteriosclerosis prevention by enabling the artery walls to release fat buildup in the bloodstream and decrease chances of blockage.


Serine

· Produces tryptophan and in turn synthesizes serotonin to improve mood.

· Also involved in the proper functioning of RNA and DNA, muscle formation, and immune maintenance.

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