Amino Acid Glossary
Amino Acids play several key roles within the human body and are responsible, or assist with, several bodily functions required to sustain life.
For instance, amino acids assist in building and maintaining all bodily tissues like skin, muscles, ligaments, tendons, organs, blood, and bones. Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein and are the vital components of skin, hair, muscle tissue, the body’s organs, blood cells, various enzymes, hormones, and body fluids. Amino Acids are also responsible for regulating functions such as growth, digestion, and maintaining the body’s immune system.
There are two kinds of Amino Acids, Essential and Non-Essential. Essential Amino Acids are not produced within the body naturally and are extracted from the foods we consume each day.
Non-Essential Amino Acids are found naturally within the body and are produced by the body from the essential amino acids or from the normal breakdown of proteins.
As is evident, amino acids play a vital role within the human body and are required for countless bodily functions that are required to maintain life. This being said, it is critical that you consume foods that contain the various amino acids on a daily basis. By doing so, you will ensure that the body has the nutrients needed to support a life that is filled with good health and wellness.
Essential Amino Acids
Arginine supports the muscular system and is one of many components that make up creatine. Arginine supports optimal liver function, strengthens the immune system, heals injuries, and helps control cholesterol levels.
Histidine is needed to produce histamine, a neurotransmitter that assists with sleep regulation, nerve suppression, and sexual function. Histidine also assists with the growth and repair of tissue and creates red and white blood cells.
Isoleucine assists in the production and maintenance of proteins. Isoleucine supports hemoglobin and blood clot formation and stabilizes blood sugar levels. In combination with leucine and valine, it supports muscle tissue repair.
Leucine supports the regulation and production of protein. Leucine assists in growth hormone production, immune system activities such as wound and infection healing, muscle tissue repair, and regulation of blood sugar levels.
Lysine promotes the production of carnitine. Lysine supports the immune system, promotes collagen synthesis, enhanced absorption of calcium, general development and growth, and maintains adequate levels of blood cholesterol.
Methionine supports the regulation of glutathione, which protects the liver from toxin damage. It prevents the accumulation of fat within the liver, metabolizes fatty acids, and promotes healthy collagen formation.
Phenylalanine supports the central nervous system’s regulation of appetite and satiety. Phenylalanine is converted into norepinephrine and dopamine which improve mood and increase memory and learning.
Threonine supports proper mental health and combats high stress situations. Threonine assists with healthy collagen formation, reduces excess fat from accumulating within the liver, and aides in the production of antibodies.
Trytophan supports the central and peripheral nervous system. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin which regulates sleep, mood, and appetite. Tryptophan is a natural painkiller and prevents symptoms of premature aging.
Valine reduces degradation in muscular protein and improves synthesis of muscle protein. Valine supports detoxification of excess ammonia and when used in a combination with other amino acids has proven to reduce food intake by 50%.
Non-Essential Amino Acids
Alanine assists the body in the regulation of blood sugar levels. Alanine plays an important role when low sugar levels exist within the body by helping to breakdown glucose molecules into usable energy.
Asparagine supports normal nervous system functionality due to it’s role in signal transmission between nerves. Asparagine is necessary for protein production and is involved in nitrogen transportation throughout the body.
Aspartic acid supports the synthesis of several other amino acids. Aspartic acid assists in maintaining central and peripheral nervous system health and is required for maintaining appropriate pH levels within the blood stream.
Cysteine promotes increases in the level of glutathione. Glutathione reduces the damage caused from free radicals. Glutathione assists in detoxifying the liver and promotes the excretion of heavy metals such as lead and mercury.
Glutamic acid stimulates the synthesis of gamma-aminobutryic acid (GABA). GABA helps balance excitatory signals. Glutamic acid assists in creating muscle proteins and in the metabolic processing of fats and sugars.
Glutamine, when converted into glutamic acid, is essential for proper brain function. Glutamine assists in the production of protein, is utilized as fuel for certain immune system cells, and aides in the removal of ammonia from the brain.
Glycine increases gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) and taurine levels. It promotes the synthesis of hemoglobin, bile acids, proteins, ATP, peptides and nucleic peptides, creatine, other amino acids, and regulates blood sugar levels.
Proline supports collagen, a fiber that is extremely important in tendons, ligaments, connective tissue, and skin. Proline makes up approximately 15% of collagen and thus supports the body’s various structural components.
Serine is required to produce tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin. Serine is present in the production of antibodies and immunoglobins and in the formation of various other cells, as well as in the functioning of RNA, DNA.
Tyrosine supports the central nervous system and assists in maintaining several types of neurotransmitters. Tyrosine reduces tissue and organ damage caused by free radicals, controls appetite, and produces hair and skin pigment.