Amino Acids – The Building Blocks of Life
Compiled By The Investigator’s Report Staff
Proteins are large, complex molecules that play many critical roles in the body. They do most of the work in cells and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs.
Proteins are made up of hundreds or thousands of smaller units called amino acids, which are attached to one another in long chains. There are 20 different types of amino acids that can be combined to make a protein. The sequence of amino acids determines each protein’s unique 3-dimensional structure and its specific function.
Amino acids perform a variety of functions in the body that make them essential for optimal health. Here are just some of the many functions they are required for. [i]
- Antibodies: Antibodies are constructed of amino acids and therefore are essential for immune system health. Antibodies bind to specific foreign particles, such as viruses and bacteria, to help protect the body.
- Enzymes: In addition to all of the different digestive enzymes we need for breaking down our food the body also contains systemic enzymes that carry out almost all of the thousands of chemical reactions that take place in cells. They also assist with the formation of new molecules by reading the genetic information stored in DNA.
- Hormones: Every hormone produced by the body requires amino acids. Hormones are messenger proteins, which transmit signals to coordinate biological processes between different cells, tissues, and organs.
- Cell Structure: These proteins provide structure and support for cells. On a larger scale, they also allow the body to move.
- Transportation: These proteins bind and carry atoms and small molecules within cells and throughout the body.
Amino Acids – #1 Way To Build Glutathione
Glutathione is present in all of the cells and tissues of the body and is the most powerful antioxidant free radical scavenger required for immune system management and detoxification.
Glutathione is a tripeptide constructed from three amino acids – Glycine, Glutamic Acid, and Cysteine. Your body produces its own Glutathione using these amino acids. What we know is that poor diet, digestion, and protein metabolism along with pollution, heavy metals, toxins, viruses, bacteria, medications, stress, trauma, aging, infections, radiation, and even the normal aging process can all deplete your Glutathione.
Leading health experts link insufficient digestion and intestinal related disorders as primary culprits causing Glutathione depletion because your body has to break all protein down through an enzymatic process into amino acids. When you start taking a well-rounded amino acid supplement it quickly delivers bioavailable amino acids into your bloodstream, including the tripeptides needed to make Glutathione.
Amino Acids Support Healthy Weight Loss & Build Lean Protein
There is a wealth of research and scientific data to support amino acid usage in the ever-expanding obesity epidemic. There are a number of functions amino acids perform that manage body weight and body fat. Amino acids help control weight, burn fat, and support healthy metabolism.
It has been well established that decreased production of important fat burning hormones is the result of insufficient amino acids. Somatotropin or STH is a growth hormone in the body that is also an important fat-burning hormone. Somatotropin is typically produced while we sleep and stimulates protein synthesis and boosts fat oxidation. Arginine, glutamine and methionine in sufficient quantities have been shown to increase the body’s natural production of this important hormone. Also, since sleeping is what helps the body produce Somatotropin the amino acid tryptophan is quite remarkable because it is very beneficial in aiding quality sleep.
Glutamine helps to manage healthy body weight. Glutamine has been shown to play an active role in the burning of stored dietary fats thus helping to regulate weight. A small preliminary study published in the “European Journal of Clinical Nutrition” in November 2014 found that obese women who took glutamine supplements for four weeks lost weight even without changing their diet and exercise habits. When they took a protein supplement for the same amount of time, they didn’t experience any significant weight loss. This proves that amino acids are the missing component to healthy weight loss.
The Biggest Cause of Sarcopenia, A Muscle Wasting Disease, Is Impaired Digestion and Inadequate Supply of Amino Acids
There are a number of factors linked to sarcopenia such as:
- A reduction in nerve cells responsible for sending signals from the brain to the muscles to initiate movement.
- A decrease in the concentrations of some hormones, including growth hormone,testosterone, and insulin-like growth factor.
- Inadequate intake of calories and/or protein to sustain muscle mass. [ii]
- Smoking, alcohol consumption, processed foods, excess soda, dehydration, and sedentary lifestyles with little to no exercise at all.
While all of the above points are a factor, the biggest cause of sarcopenia is insufficient amino acids in the blood and cells that are responsible for every chemical process that occurs in the human body, including building new bone cells and muscle tissue. Medical pundits and researchers scratch their heads in wonder because they can’t seem to connect the simple dots.
Everything that we eat has to be processed through the digestive system and broken down into usable parts. Protein needs to be broken down into amino acids. If there is any interruption in your digestive system at all, there is no possible way for your body to efficiently break protein down into amino acids.
Amino Acids Detoxify The Liver and Body
Amino acids play a crucial role in all areas of detoxification. The liver is the primary site of amino acid metabolism and is the storage center for amino acids derived from the diet and those recycled from other proteins. It’s not too difficult to understand that one of the first areas of the body where amino acid deficiencies will show up is in the liver with the insufficient removal of toxins from the blood.
If your diet lacks essential amino acids or your digestive system isn’t breaking protein down properly into amino acids, your body’s detox pathways won’t be working at peak efficiency. Improper digestion, built up toxins and lack of essential amino acids is a quick and sure recipe to slapping a label of disease on some manifested symptom. Daily intake of a good amino acid supplement is a great way to make sure that your body’s detoxification system is functioning efficiently. While detoxification using amino acids may sound foreign to a lot of readers, it is one of the most important things that you need to do to ensure proper elimination of toxins from the body.
Amino Acids Repair Digestion
If you suffer from constipation, acid reflux, indigestion, bloating, GERD, irritable bowel, low stomach acid, chronic diarrhea, heartburn, frequent gas, or any other intestinal disruption it is much more than just an annoying symptom, it is a serious warning sign that a major system malfunction is going on that needs to be corrected. Digestion and intestinal related problems are like dominos. Knock the first domino over and the rest come falling down. Simply put, once there are problems in the digestive system, it’s only a matter of time before a whole bunch of other dominos comes falling down.
Amino acids have been proven to help restore and reestablish healthy digestive functions, strengthening the pancreas, and stimulating the production of digestive acids and enzymes. The pancreas produces over 15,000 enzymes, and amino acids are the building blocks of all of them. If you are struggling with any digestive problems at all, you are not getting adequate amino acids that your body needs.
A well-rounded full spectrum amino acid supplement has the unique feature of providing all the essential and non-essential amino acids required for protein synthesis in free form that still get into the bloodstream despite digestive problems. This means that you won’t have to rely on synthesizing protein from your diet to convert it into amino acids. Amino acids can be vital components in reducing malnutrition. In situations where the digestive system is not functioning due to stress, trauma, surgery or medical intervention, amino acids provide predigested protein ready for immediate absorption to speed recovery. Acid Reflux, Leaky gut, and many other intestinal problems have shown positive results from regular use of amino acids.
A recent Fox News survey reports that 74% of the respondents are living with GI discomfort.
“Over half of them never discussed it with their doctor,’ said Dr. Rashini Raj, a gastroenterologist at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, on behalf of AbbVie Pharmaceuticals, who commissioned the survey. ‘And that’s probably the most alarming part for me, because as you know, sometimes this can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition: celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, EPI or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency — so these are symptoms you shouldn’t ignore, and, unfortunately, a lot of people don’t feel comfortable talking about them.’” [iii]
If your body cannot obtain amino acids it needs from the diet, it will lead to a malfunction and breakdown in the production of muscle tissue, bone cells, hormones, chemicals, neurotransmitters, DNA, cell replication, and thousands of other bodily processes that all require amino acids and minerals to take place.
Amino Acids For Sleep Related Disorders & Brain Health
New findings in the field of dietary supplements point to a deficiency in critical amino acids as one main reason why people struggle with sleep, anxiety, and depression. The amino acid tryptophan has long been known to aid in sleep. Tryptophan is why everyone wants to take a nap after a big Thanksgiving dinner. Amino acids are one of the essential building blocks your body needs to build neurotransmitters, hormones, serotonin and everything your body requires for normal sleep patterns and overall health. Somatotropin or STH is a growth hormone in the body that is also an important fat-burning hormone. Somatotropin is typically produced while we sleep and stimulates protein synthesis and boosts fat oxidation. Arginine, glutamine, and methionine in sufficient quantities have been shown to increase the body’s natural production of this important hormone. Also, since sleeping is what helps the body produce Somatotropin the amino acid tryptophan is quite important because it is very beneficial in aiding quality sleep.
The role and benefits of amino acids in human health encompass so many different aspects of health that it is rather surprising that they are not given primary attention when it comes to supplementation. Almost every person alive is deficient in amino acids and this should be a wake-up call as to why you should be using a great amino acid supplement daily to protect, maintain or restore your health. If you want to address your health challenges naturally without toxic drugs that come with a laundry list of side effects then it’s time to give amino acid supplementation a try.