How amino acids function:
Amino acids are popularly referred to as "building
blocks". Amino acids are chemical units that makeup proteins. They are
composed of 16 percent nitrogen, which creates the distinguishing
difference between two other basic nutrients; sugars and fatty acids.
Because proteins provide the structure for all living organisms and
amino acids are an essential component of protein, a person can readily
understand the importance of amino acids to life in general and
especially to a healthy organism. In contrast to water proteins makes up
the second greatest portion of the persons body weight. This is an
indicator of just how important proteins and amino acids are to the
body. Proteins are substances, which makeup muscles, tendons, ligaments,
organs, glands, nails, hair, vital body fluids, and bones. As you can
see, proteins are really an essential component of all aspects of the
body. Enzymes and hormones are actually proteins and as we know enzymes
and hormones regulate all bodily processes.
Proteins form the structural basis of chromosomes, through which our
genetic information is passed from parent to offspring. Embedded in the
cells DNA is the actual genetic code that represents instructions on how
each cell should make it's protein.
Proteins are actually a chain of amino acids linked together. Each
protein is composed of specific groups of amino acids and in a specific
arrangement. In this way, each protein in the body is specifically
designed to fit a specific need and as a result proteins and not
interchangeable. Each protein has its own unique makeup and
Indeed, in-take of nutritional supplements such as vitamins and
minerals must be accompanied by amino acids in order to be a simulated
and absorbed by the body. Even though vitamins and minerals may be
absorbed by the body they lose their effectiveness if an absence of
amino acids is present.
The actual process whereby amino acids create proteins is: we take-in
foods with dietary protein which is broken down into its amino acid
forms which is than used by the body to build specific proteins as
needed. From this vantage point one can observe the importance of amino
acids as in vital nutrient.
Even in the brain, amino acids are able to pass through the blood brain
barrier. In the brain, amino acids act as neurotransmitters, which
facilitate the transmission of chemicals from one cell to another,
enhancing communication between cells.
Approximately 28 commonly known amino acids combine to create hundreds
of types of proteins found in all living things. Certain amino acids,
which are not produced by organs and glands of the body, are called
essential amino acids. These amino acids must be obtained through
ingesting of food material into the body. The essential amino acids
include histidine, isoleune, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine,
threonine, tryptophan, and valine. The remaining amino acids are
referred to as nonessential. This does not mean they are not essential,
it merely means, that they do not need to be obtained through diet,
because the body can produce them itself.
Because the process of creating proteins is true breaking proteins into
amino acids and we assembly into other proteins is ongoing, it becomes
very important for the body not to run sure of material enough almost
proteins to break down for assembly. From a manufacturing point of view
it would be like running out of raw material use in preparation of
products to be sold. A factory commits the ultimate sin if it allows
itself to run out of raw material and/or inventory needed to produce its
product. In the same fashion for individuals to allow the body to run
out of the necessary proteins needed to be broken down in the assembled
into new and diverse proteins can create severe adverse conditions.
Eating a well balanced diet is essential in feeding how human machine
with the necessary proteins in order for it to continue to rebuild
Taking supplements as sources for amino acids:
Although it is not common to take supplements
containing amino acids formulas, they are available. They are usually
combined with other multivitamin formulas. Most amino acid supplements
are derivatives of animal protein, yeast protein, or vegetable protein.
When choosing amino acids supplements, it is important to find
supplements of amino acids, in products containing the L.-forms of amino
acids, which are considered to be more compatible with human
biochemistry. Generally speaking, taking amino acids as supplements
should not be taken for long periods of time. Typically, it's a good
idea to alternate individual amino acids that fit your needs and back
them up with amino acids complex in supplemental form, taking the
supplements for two months and then skipping two months. Many
researchers warn against taking large doses of amino acids over extended
periods of time and stress moderation is the key. They point out, some
amino acids have potential toxic effects when taken in large doses. Do
not give supplemental amino acids to a child or take doses of any amino
acids in excess of the recommended dosage on the label without specific
directions from your physician.