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"Let food be your medicine" - Hippocrates
|Supplements - Amino Acids|
Amino acids are the building blocks that make up proteins, which are essential to life. When you consume protein-filled food, your body breaks it down into different amino acids.
These amino acids make up muscles, ligaments, tendons, organs, glands, nails, hair, vital body fluids, and control bone growth.
Next to water, protein takes up the greatest proportion of our body weight.
There are twenty-eight amino acids that are combined in different ways to create hundreds of different types of proteins present in all living things.
Amino acids are classified into two categories--essential amino acids and non essential amino acids.
Non essential amino acids are synthesized in the body from other amino acids. The liver produces about 80% of the amino acids needed.
Essential amino acids must be obtained through a protein-filled diet.
Non essential amino acids include:
Essential amino acids include:
There are very few side effects associated with consuming amino acids; they are safe when consumed through food and relatively safe when taken through supplementation (as long as you follow the directions given, that is).
A major concern would be not consuming enough amino acids. This can cause an upset and imbalance in your body, resulting in many ailments. For example: iron deficiency, edema, negative nitrogen balance, indigestion, depression, and stunted growth.
Although, eating a diet containing massive amounts of protein can be very unhealthy. This puts undue stress on the kidneys and liver--which are faced with processing the waste products of protein metabolism.
With excess stress on the liver, too much protein consumption, and poor digestion, toxic levels of ammonia can accumulate. This can be a serious health hazard and should be reported to a doctor immediately. The quality--not the quantity--of protein in the diet it what matters.
Amino acids, vitamins, and minerals all work together, enabling each other to perform their jobs properly. For example, if you take a multivitamin containing vitamins and minerals on an empty stomach, it won’t be absorbed because there are no amino acids in your system.
Likewise, insufficient intake of vitamins and minerals can interfere with the absorption of amino acids. Vitamin C and Vitamin B6 are very important in the absorption of amino acids, as they help to transport the amino acids throughout the body.
Amino acids are available in amino acid formulas (both essential and non essential), in certain multivitamin formulas, protein mixtures, and food supplements. They can be consumed as capsules, tablets, liquids, and powders.
Anyone can benefit from supplementing amino acids into their diet. When you take a specific amino acid or amino acid combination, it supports the metabolic pathway involved in your particular ailment. It is advised that vegetarians take a formula containing all of the essential amino acids to ensure that their protein requirements are met daily.
When supplementing amino acids into your diet, it is best to choose free-form amino acids as they need no digestion and are absorbed directly into the blood stream. Always take amino acids on an empty stomach to avoid making them compete for absorption with the amino acids present in foods.
Amino acids should not be taken for long periods of time; moderation is the key. Never give supplemental amino acids to a child or take doses of any amino acid in excess of the amount recommended.