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Amino Acids Supplements

Amino Acids Supplements

Amino acids are very important for our body, since they play a major role in metabolism. They are also known as the building blocks of proteins. They can be linked together with each other in many sequences, in order to form a huge variety of proteins. Amino acid supplements are consumed in addition to that of naturally obtained amino acids in the body. Apart from this, they also play a very important role in other biological activities. There are in all, 22 proteinogenic amino acids; out of which 9 are essential, 9 are non-essential, and 4 are semi-essential.

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They band together in chains to form the stuff from which life is born. This is a two-step process: first, they get together and form peptides or polypeptides, and it is from these groupings that proteins are made.

A total of 20 different kinds of amino acids form proteins, with the types involved determining the shape of the proteins formed. Commonly recognized ones include glutamine, glycine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, and valine. Three of those phenylalanine, tryptophan, and valine - are essential amino acids for humans; the others are isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, and threonine. This type cannot be synthesized by the body, so they must be ingested through food.

One of the best-known essential amino acids is tryptophan, which performs several critical functions for people. It helps induce normal sleep; helps reduce anxiety, depression, and artery spasm risk; and helps produce a stronger immune system. Tryptophan is perhaps most well-known for its role in producing serotonin, which is what gets all the press at Thanksgiving time for putting people to sleep after the big holiday feast.

Amino acids make up 75% of the human body. They are essential to nearly every bodily function, and every chemical reaction that takes place in the body depends on them and the proteins that they build.

Amino Acids Supplements

Important Amino Acids and their Benefits
As the basic units of proteins, amino acids are vital for protein synthesis. They are used by the body for building and repairing muscles, ligaments, tendons, skin, hair, and nails. They are required for cell growth, enzyme synthesis, the synthesis of antibodies and hemoglobin, and also for supporting the various biochemical processes required for sustaining life. Some of these compounds also act as neurotransmitters, while others facilitate the functions of the vitamins and minerals.

1. L-arginine: It is important for maintaining the health of the cardiovascular system. It assists liver detoxification, along with maintaining a healthy immune system. It is required for the release of growth hormones as well. It may prove helpful in kidney disorders.

2. L-lysine: L- lysine or lysine is important for the growth and repair of the muscles. Along with vitamin C, it plays an important role in collagen formation. This essential amino acid facilitates the absorption of calcium, and the production of antibodies, enzymes, and hormones. It can lower the levels of triglycerides in the body, and may prove effective in treating cold sores and genital herpes.

3. L-cysteine: Cysteine can protect the body cells from the highly reactive free radicals. It can promote the process of detoxification, besides providing protection against copper toxicity.

4. L-glycine:
Glycine takes part in the production of glycogen, which is then stored in the liver. Glycogen is broken down to glucose whenever the body is in need of energy. Glycine also supports and strengthens the immune system.

5. Tyrosine: It is basically required for the synthesis of catecholamines, such as dopamine and noradrenaline. It has been observed that individuals suffering from depression usually have low levels of tyrosine. This is the reason why, it is sometimes used in the treatment of depression.

6. L-histidine: This compound is the precursor of histamine, which is the chemical released by the immune system during an allergic reaction. Histidine dilates the blood vessels, and it has been found to be effective in reducing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

7. Leucine: This branched-chain amino acid helps reduce the breakdown of muscle proteins. It can facilitate the healing of broken bones as well.

8. Glutamine: It is the most abundant amino acid found in the muscle tissues. It serves as an important source of energy. Glutamine also supports the immune functions of the body.

9. Isoleucine: It provides energy to the muscles, and prevents muscle wasting or breakdown. It plays an important role in the formation of hemoglobin as well.

10. Methionine: Methionine is the precursor of cysteine and creatine. In other words, our body can synthesize these two compounds from methionine. In addition to these, methionine can help remove toxic substances from the liver, and facilitate the regeneration of liver cells. It may help reduce the level of blood cholesterol.

11. Tryptophan: It is essential for maintaining the rate of growth and metabolism. Tryptophan is the precursor of the neurotransmitter, serotonin. Serotonin is known to calm the central nervous system. A low level of serotonin is often associated with conditions like depression.

Benefits of Amino Acids

Cell Growth
Amino acids when not broken down are necessary for the synthesis of cell protoplasm. They also have a vital role in building the cells. Moreover, these amino acids bring about the repair of worn out parts during the breakdown of tissue proteins while body goes through metabolic processes.

Storing Proteins
In adults or older people, protein synthesis is less than protein breakdown. This is because proteins cannot be stored when nitrogen equilibrium is established. But proteins curiously enough can be stored on account of these amino acids, when the protein synthesis is at a higher rate compared to its break down.

Muscle Building and Recovery
This is one of the most important health benefits of amino acids. Proteins when taken as supplements or essential amino acids obtained from food facilitate faster and active muscle building. For those who rigorously workout, these are all the more crucial because they can help in muscle and body recovery in the time span between workouts.

Immune System and Digestion
Amino acids give the required boost and support to our immune system and metabolism as well. Some of the important immune system cells produced in our body are because of the amino acids. Digestive process is helped through the creation of enzymes by amino acids.

Amino Acids Supplements

Foods with Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Though your body is capable of producing some amino acids, you need to provide the body with the remaining ones. Amino acids that are manufactured by your body (mainly in the liver) are termed as non-essential amino acids. The ones which your body needs to obtain from the food are referred to as essential amino acids. These are all crucial for our health, as they help in making proteins that are required for the development of strong cells and muscles. This in turn helps in strengthening the immune system.

It's not true that only meat and fish can supply ample amino acids. Vegetarian foods are also a good source. Meat, eggs, poultry, and dairy products are recognized as the complete sources of proteins, because they contain all the essential amino acids.

List of Foods Rich in Amino Acids
Eggs, Beef, Chicken, Liver, Pork, Red meat, Lamb, Turkey, Veal, Shellfish, Parsley,
Seaweed (Spirulina), Shredded coconut, Pumpkin, Peas, Cauliflower, Celery, Beets,
Potatoes, Brown rice, Tomatoes, Brewer's yeast, Soy products, Fenugreek seeds, Pears,
Peaches, Mangoes, Figs, Mushrooms, Milk, Yogurt, Papaya, Apricots, Bananas, Apples
, Watermelon, Avocados, Cashews, Pistachios, Hazelnuts, Walnuts, Almonds, Peanuts, Sunflower seeds, Sesame seeds, Pumpkin seeds, Macadamia Nuts, Pecans, Shrimp, Snails, Teff, Oats
, Raw cereals, Wheat, Sprouts, Lentils, Onions, Squash, Rye, Garlic, Wheat Germ, Quinoa,
Seafood, Legumes, Cheese (Parmesan, Edam, Mozzarella, Cottage cheese), Fish (Cods, salmon, tuna, and sardines)

Health Benefits of Foods Rich in Amino Acids
• Foods containing high amounts of amino acids help in preventing hair loss.

• Amino acid rich food helps in inhibiting the growth of tumors and cancer.

• Amino acids enhance the process of liver detoxification by neutralizing ammonia and maintain the nitrogen balance, thus, contributing towards improving the overall health.

• They are required for the proper functioning of the reproductive system. They also help in increasing muscle mass and promote weight loss.

• They also promote fast healing and repair of skin and connective tissue. They are essential if you want to have healthy skin, hair, and nails.

• Deficiency of amino acids may result in an imbalance of enzymes and hormones. They trigger the release of insulin, thus, contribute towards balancing the sugar levels. They also work well if you are suffering from arthritis.

• They also stimulate the production of growth hormone. They are required for strong bones and collagen. They help avoid fatigue and increase your stamina.

• They help prevent neural and brain disorders by maintaining the balance in the central nervous system. Amino acid rich foods help in maintaining the heart health as well.

• They help avoid depression and improve memory. They help in offering a sound sleep and prepare the body for stress management. These manifold properties have made amino acid supplements popular in all parts of the world.

Our body stores excess fats and carbohydrates for future use, but it does not store an excess amount of amino acids. So, a regular supply of foods fortified with amino acids is extremely essential for staying fit. Now, that you know about the health benefits of amino acids, do include plenty of amino acid-rich foods in your daily diet.

Today, amino acids are largely used for preparing supplements, which are particularly popular among athletes and body builders. They use these supplements for enhancing their performance, and for building muscle mass. Apart from these, these supplements are sometimes used for treating certain conditions like alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, stress, weight loss, eating disorders, and chronic fatigue. They are also used for the production of biodegradable plastics, animal feed, and drugs and cosmetics.

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