Amino Acids

What are Amino Acids?

Amino acids are molecules that form the building blocks of proteins. There are twenty standard genetic sequences of amino acids in all, and each one serves a different function related to protein biosynthesis, such as maintaining connective tissues like collagen and facilitating better binding of calcium. Of the twenty amino acids, there are eight that cannot be produced by the human body by itself. These are known as essential amino acids, and they must be produced through the consumption of proteins.

If one were to deprive themselves of even one of these sequences through inadequate protein consumption, they could suffer from decreased muscle mass and potentially debilitating maladies.

What are the health benefits of Amino Acids?

The amino acid L-carnitine has been used in association with the treatment of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and chronic fatigue syndrome.  L-Methionine, L-Cysteine, and Glutathione have been used to treat deficient hair growth. Tryptophan has been used for treating insomnia, and tyrosine has been used to improve alertness and cognitive functions.

What foods are good sources of Amino Acids?

Foods like meats, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, and quinoa provide complete proteins and therefore a balanced set of amino acids. It is also possible to combine certain foods to increase the chance of consuming a complete chain of amino acids, such as eating rice with beans.

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This entry was posted in Natural Health Dictionary, Supplements, Vitamins and Nutrients.