Amino acids build cells, repair and develop tissues, produce enzymes and play a key role in mental health of a person. They are building blocks of protein and significantly, the body through
assimilation of amino acids produces over 50,000 proteins and 15,000 enzymes. An
amino acid can be defined as any molecule that contains both amino and
carboxylic acid functional groups. Amino acid is a simple organic compound
containing carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and in some cases sulfur.
There may be hundreds of amino acids present in nature, but the human body needs about two dozen of them to provide them the required nutrition. As such amino acids can be broadly divided
into two - essential amino acids that cannot be synthesized in the body and
adequate amounts has to be obtained from diet; the non essential amino acids
can be synthesized in the human body from an available source of nitrogen and a
carbon skeleton. Amino acid supplements are consumed in addition to the
naturally obtained amino acids in the body.
Essential amino acids include isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. Non essential amino acids include Arginine, alanine, asparagines, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamine, glutamic acid, glycine, proline, serine and tyrosine.
Why amino acids?
In addition to developing the physical and mental health of a person, amino acids play a prominent role in
normalizing moods, concentration, aggression, attention and sleep in an individual.
Researchers and medical professionals opine that adequate quantity of amino
acids is an essential factor in maintaining good nutrition.
Amino acids deficiency can affect athletic performance. It can affect cardiovascular health and neurological balance, cause arthritis and threaten cognitive functions. Vegetarians, those with
allergies, stress related fatigues and hypoglycemia benefit from amino acids
intake. One sign of diminishing amino acids level in the body is trouble in
digesting food. This in turn can lead to poor nourishment as the body cannot
digest food at full capacity.
Many manufacturers claim that amino acid supplements contain certain special properties such as cure of
herpes, strengthening of finger nails, cure for split ends in hair, improvement
of sleep patterns and relief from depression.
Amino acid supplements
Various amino acid supplements are available as individual amino acids or in a number of combinations. The
most popular amino acid supplements are arginine, tryptophan, tyrosine,
glutamine and lysine.
These supplements of amino acids come in the form of pills, capsule, powder which contains a concoction of amino acids. Amino acids supplements can be sourced in the market where they are
available aplenty. About one and one half grams of powder thrice a day is
sufficient to provide the body with enough supply of amino acids.
Amino acids in diet can be derived from protein rich sources such as meat, fish, dairy products, and
vegetables such as legumes, peas and grains. Drinking plenty of protein milk
shake or hemp seed protein shake every day is a natural way to improve amino
acid in the diet. Whey protein powder could also be mixed with some fruit
juice. Soy sauce is yet another substitute full of amino acids. Processed foods
are low in amino acids.
Amino acid supplements for women
Partaking lesser amounts of protein results in essential amino acid deficiencies. As such, amino acid
metabolism is vital to the body and any insufficiency can lead to illness.
Modern women suffer from stress which is a primary health issue in their lives. Many pack in a grueling
exercise regimen too. In this process, they
deplete the amino acid L-glutamine from the body which is important for
cellular repair and energy.
Amino acid supplements are used in women for support of emotional health and treatment during times of
depression. As such, amino acids are building blocks of life and they aid in
cellular energy production and make up proteins in the body tissues. Formation
of antibodies, muscles, collagen, hormones, enzymes, hemoglobin,
neurotransmitters and receptors are provided by amino acids.
Amino acid supplements children
Children with ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) exhibit neurotransmitter deficiencies in the
brain which are responsible for regulating behaviors, memories and learning
abilities. Amino acids are the building blocks that make up neurotransmitters.
Lack of amino acids can lead to impaction of neurotransmitters.
It is therefore necessary that children consume amino acid supplements that can help correct certain chemical imbalances in the brain and encourage proper functioning of neurotransmitters.
Any deficiency in amino acids in children can invariably lead to concentrating
problems, lack of focus and insomnia. Erratic behaviors can be curbed with
amino acids consumption.
Amino acid supplements for height
HGH (Human growth hormone) enables one to grow taller and works well during the peak period in men and
women. However, HGH secretion depletes as the years go by after adolescence,
and one can improve the chances of growing tall by increasing HGH levels.
Amino acids are the basic ingredients that help the body grow taller by replenishing the body cells and
stimulating the body to secrete HGH. Although the human body produces many
amino acids naturally, supplements are available to improve function of the
body. L-Arginine is an acid supplement which has the potential to burn fat and
release HGH within the body. L-Arginine can kick start the pituitary gland
which produces HGH.
Amino acids and body building
Body builders supplement their diets with branched chain of amino acids - leucine,
isoleucine and valine. These are used for muscle production, maintaining muscle
tissues, preserving muscle glycogen stores and preventing muscle breakdown
during strenuous exercise. Creatine is another popular muscle building
supplement that contains amino acids 1-methionine, 1-arginine and 1- glycine.
These amino acids enhance physical training effects and improve performance of
Amino acids benefits
One of the key benefits of amino acid is its ability to improve anti-cancer defenses. It
is found that amino acids contain the necessary tools to resist and fight
cancer. As amino acid has the property to improve and expedite the healing
process, it is beneficial for treatment of gastric ulcers, especially acid
related gastric ulcers.
- Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C are the vitamins required for amino acid metabolism. They help absorption of amino acids and it is necessary to include these vitamins in daily amino acid supplements.
- L Forms are recommended of amino acid supplements as they are more acceptable to the body.
- It is absolutely essential to check whether the supplement contains all the necessary amino acids in the right proportions.
- Normally, it is advised to take single amino acid supplements on empty stomach as this facilitates its
- Amino acid works best when all essential and non essential ones are provided to the body. It should be ideal to add a complete amino acid supplement to individual amino acid supplementation.
Side effects of amino acid supplements
Although most supplements of amino acids are practically harmless and offer many
benefits, there are some supplements that can cause restlessness, anxiety and
rapid heart beat at higher doses. For instance, Tyrosine if taken in large
amounts can cause restlessness and anxiety.
Too many amino acid supplements intake increase the load on the kidneys. Unbalanced
amino acid mixtures or single amino acids can be toxic. Amino acid supplements
used on the basis of a high protein and low fat diet can cause abnormal heart
It is essential to check with the doctor before consuming any kind of amino acid
supplement. It is also necessary to stick to the recommended dosage to avoid possible side effects.