The Importance of Amino Acids

Amino Acids are essential compounds that play an important role in our bodies. Often associated with aiding in protein utilization and rebuilding/repairing of muscle, but amino acids are vital to our body’s nervous, reproductive, immune, and digestive systems.

There are 20 amino acids, while 9 of those are considered essential. The human body does not make these 9 essential amino acids; therefore, we must rely on our diet to provide adequate nutrition to receive these.  These essential amino acids are most often found in the highest concentration in animal proteins such as meat, eggs, and poultry.

When we consume protein, it is then broken down into amino acids to be used by the body for various processes. Those processes include muscle building and regulating immune function.

The nine essential amino acids are:

Phenylalanine is essential to produce tyrosine, dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. It is vital to produce other amino acids as well as the structure and function of proteins and enzymes our bodies need.

Valine is involved in energy production and aids in muscle growth and regeneration.

Threonine is responsible for skin and connective tissue as well as aiding in metabolism and immune function.  Threonine is part of the structural proteins that your skin needs such as collagen and elastin.

Tryptophan helps to maintain a nitrogen balance and is a precursor to serotonin which regulates your sleep, mood, and appetite.

Methionine aids in the absorption of zinc and selenium. It plays an important role in detoxing and metabolism, which aids in healthy tissue growth.

Leucine is responsible for stimulating wound repairs, the production of growth hormones, and regulating blood sugars.

Isoleucine is most important for energy regulation, immune function, and the production of hemoglobin.

Lysine plays a crucial role in the production of hormones and enzymes. It also aids in the absorption of calcium and is important to immune and skin health as well as energy production.

Histidine produced histamine and is required to maintain the myelin sheath that protects our nerve cells. It is also vital to digestion, sexual function, immune response, and maintaining the circadian rhythm.

Although 11 amino acids are considered non-essential. They can be classified as conditionally essential under specific conditions such as illness, cancer, and stress. An example of a non-essential amino acid being conditionally essential is arginine which will aid the body when fighting cancer.

It is vital to maintain proper levels of amino acids to ensure your body’s functional ability. If you cannot maintain these levels through a balanced diet then supplementing may be necessary to receive the essential amino acids.

Stop in or call our office to learn about ways you can improve your diet and learn about our amazing amino acid supplements.