Amino acids are the basis of protein. Their many jobs in the body include cell building, tissue repair and forming the antibodies that fight bacteria and viruses.

They are an important part of the hormonal system and the enzyme system, and build RNA and DNA. Amino acids take part in muscle activity and transport oxygen throughout the body. When proteins are digested, they break down into 22 amino acids. Because they are the building blocks of protein, amino acids are essential to your overall health.

Aside from water, amino acids in the form of proteins make up most of our body weight. Tendons, ligaments, muscles, glands, organs, hair, nails and bodily fluids all contain amino acids. They are absolutely necessary for every cell in the body.

In your body, there are over 20 amino acids. These are grouped into two categories: essential and nonessential amino acids. Essential amino acids have to come from your diet because your body cannot make them. Your body can make non-essential amino acids, but may need some supplementation to maintain the proper balance of essential amino acids and other nutrients for optimum protein maintenance.

Of the twenty amino acids needed to build the proteins that build and repair the tissues in the body — eleven are non-essential and nine are essential. The essential acids include lysine, leucine, isoleucine, phenylalaline, methionine, valine, tryptophan and threonine. These must come from the diet.

Histidine, another amino acid, is called semi-essential because sometimes, the body requires a dietary source of it and sometimes it does not. Arginine, aspartic acid, asparagine, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, proline, tyrosine, glycine and serine are the non- essential amino acids.

Carnitine and a few other amino acids are used for tasks other than protein building and may be used therapeutically. Dieters, bodybuilders on a strict vegetarian diet and any person who does not consume enough calories may be in danger of an amino acid deficiency.

The bodies of those suffering from such a deficiency might try to compensate by breaking down the protein in muscles to use those acids for more important organs. Another way they might try to make up for a deficiency is by refusing to build more muscle mass even if the person increases exercise.

Amino acids affect how we think and feel. They are essential to life because they build cells, repair tissues and help to speed wound healing. Many people use amino acid supplements to increase athletic performance, however even those who do not need them for that need to ensure that they have the proper balance of amino acids to perform other vital tasks in the body.

You May Also Like