Nov 7, 2012

The What, Where, How, When and Why: Amino Acids

I have grown increasingly intrigued by oral and injectible amino acid therapy ever since stumbling upon Amino acids are complicated and I don't claim to know the first thing about them, but I do wonder if they could help improve the strength of our stretchy connective tissues as they did in one young woman's experience. She claims she is less flexible since starting a carefully tailored and administered amino acid therapy regime with her doctor. I would love to be less flexible, as would most EDS sufferers. Amino acid therapy an area that I believe warrants further research in relationship to connective tissue disorders. I am happy to welcome guest blogger Martina from Gracewell Healthcare who graciously tackled the basics of amino acids. 

Essential Amino Acids
Non-essential amino acids
Aspartic Acid
Glutamic Acid



The What, Where, How, When and Why: Amino Acids

This guest guest post was generously contributed by Gracewell Healthcare

What: They Are/The Benefits of Them

Amino acids consist of a mixture of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. The human body naturally stores twenty of these acids. However, another nine must be obtained from food sources. It is absolutely essential that we have every single one of the amino acids, as they each perform a special function. In general terms they combine to form proteins, which are important for the building and maintenance of muscles and processing of the brain. Amino acids have also been found to play a role in weight reduction.

Where: To Find Them

There are a wide range of foods and drinks that are high in protein. Meats such as pork and beef fall under this category and contain the complete variety of amino acids. Less fattening alternatives such as fish and chicken are also complete amino sources. Those individuals who refuse to consume meat or dairy products can still maintain the protein levels by eating vegetables, nuts and whole grains. Health experts advise the consumption of at least 60g of proteins every single day. Some people may even opt to maintain the healthy diet with supplements.

How: To Consume/Recognise/Identify Them

In scientific terms amino acids are formed from a central carbon atom, to which the Carboxlyic acid, Hydrogen, Amino and variable 'R' groups are attached. Amino acids can join together in the formation of dipeptides and polypeptides. They have fairly complex names such as phenylalanine, which is known as a provider of energy and tryptophan, which can combat sleep deprivation and depression. As previously mentioned, the standard amino acids form part of our natural DNA structure. The essential amino acids must be consumed as food or drink.

When: They Come Into Play/Their Function in the Human Body

A high profile scientist by the name of Dr. Elson Haas has stated that around one fifth of the human body is made up of proteins. They are a major constituent part of the eyes, skin, muscle and brain. Without these proteins human beings wouldn't exist. Apart from keeping us alive the proteins and amino acids that they are made up from play a key role in the processing of messages from the brain and generation of energy. People who are unable to maintain their amino acid levels may experience depression, insomnia and extreme lethargy.

Why: They Are Important

It is essential that humans consume foods and drinks containing amino acids on a daily basis. That's because the body uses them in a variety of means, including the building of organ and muscle tissue and development of hormones such as adrenaline. It is definitely worth taking supplements that include vital aminos such as Threonine, which prevents the onset of illness and disease, and  Leucine, which allows for the processing of vitamins, minerals and protein. Anybody who fears that they may not be consuming enough amino acids or requires assistance on the selection of supplements is advised to see a medical expert. 

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