CAM Conference

Amino Acids …….

by Theresa Smith

Supplement: Amino acids supplements are a safe, highly effective way to improve overall physical well-being and appearance. Amino acids are critically important to life and health – they are crucial for growth, maintenance and repair of the human body as they are involved in the formation of muscle and tissue proteins, skin, hair, nails and enzymes. They are also a vital part of the immune system, the body’s defense mechanism.

History: Amino acids have been heavily researched for their amazing healing potential and powerful contribution and effects on the body’s metabolism. Amino acids are called the “building blocks” of protein since about 40,000+ different types of proteins found in the body are made from only 20 amino acids. Roughly 75% of the material found in most cells, excluding water, is protein. Consequently, the body needs thousands of complex proteins to run every second. And the body constantly builds these new proteins from isolated, singular amino acids. Recent studies have also shown that some amino acid supplements may also be valuable in treating physiological disorders as well as improving endurance. As a result, sales of amino acid supplements have exploded during the last decade.

Description: Amino acids are an important class of organic compounds that consists of a basic amino group, an acidic carboxyl group and an organic side chain, which is unique to each amino acid. Every amino acid comes in two forms, a left-hand (L) and right-hand (D) form.

Amino acids are the key to protein metabolism. The body cannot directly use proteins found in food until it digests them into isolated, singular (free) amino acids. Proteins consist of chains of hundreds or thousands of amino acids joined with peptide bonds. Enzymes break up the peptide bonds and create isolated amino acids, which are made into different proteins. The body can’t store amino acids and will break down it’s own protein source, including healthy muscle, to meet its need for amino acids.

Of the 20 amino acids that make up our bodies, fourteen are non-essential, that is, they are manufactured by the body with proper nutrition; eight are essential – they cannot be manufactured by the body and must be ingested in the diet.

Essential amino acids:

Lysine – ensures adequate calcium absorption, helps form collagen, aids in production of antibodies, hormones and enzymes.

Tryptophan – a natural relaxant, helps reduce insomnia, anxiety and depression.

Methionine – principal supplier of sulfur, which prevents hair, skin and nail disorders. Also, helps regulate liver and kidney functions.

Phenylalaine – produces norepinephrine, a chemical that transmits signals between nerve cells and the brain. Reduces hunger pains.

Threonine – helps the digestive and intestinal tracts function smoothly. Is an important constituent of collagen and elastin.

Valine – promotes mental vigor, muscle coordination and calm emotions.

Leucine & Isoleucine – provide ingredients for manufacturing essential biochemical body components, some of which are used in producing energy, upper brain stimuli and alertness.

Although food sources can provide adequate protein intake, it’s still fairly difficult to achieve the right amino acid balance for your body’s specific needs. There are many conditions that increase the need for amino acid supplements, including lifestyle, diet and the most common, stress. Physiological stress, such as illness or trauma, or psychological stress, as in moodiness and anxiety, adversely effects the body.

It’s not the quantity of protein you take, but the quality and ratio of amino acids that keeps the body healthy and stable. Although the body can make 40,000+ proteins from essential amino acids, it can only make as much as allowed by the least amino acid present in the body.

This is called rate limiting and it makes balancing amino acid metabolism, using food protein, more difficult.

Amino acid supplements are not intended to replace dietary protein, but enhance it. Studies have shown that the body requires at least 20 times more amino acid intake as vitamins, and 4 times more than minerals. Using individual amino acids allows for customized therapy based on individual needs and desires. Beware of “pre-digested” amino acids or protein isolates that are often suggested as amino acid supplements.

They can provide adequate protein intake; however, they retain food allergies and are chemically treated to break up only some of the peptide bonds, which can affect digestion. Those with reduced kidney or liver functions should consult a doctor before taking amino acid supplements.

Amino acids are part of our daily lives and, when supplemented in a precise manner, can safely help relieve many undesirable symptoms.

Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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