Amino acids are the building blocks from which proteins are made. Proteins are an essential part of our nutrition and make up about 20% of our body weight.
Twenty-two naturally found amino acids make up these proteins. Eight are considered to be essential because the body cannot make them. These are only obtained from our diet.
The others are called semi- or non-essential because the body can manufacture them.
How can amino acid supplements benefit you?
As principal components of proteins, they are needed for the growth, maintenance and repair of our internal organs (especially heart and brain), muscles, hair, skin, nails and eyes.
Proteins are also needed for creating antibiotics that help us to fight infection. Haemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of our blood is made of protein, as are any hormones, such as insulin. Proteins are also important for growth and repair of body tissue.
To avoid imbalance it is recommended to take a basic mixture containing both essential and non-essential amino acids.
There are two forms of amino acids:
- L-form which are found naturally in protein
- D-form which can be synthesised, yet not part of body proteins.
It is preferable to take supplements containing the L -form.
Animal foods are a particularly rich source including milk, cheese and eggs. A wide variety of them are also found in plant foods. It was once thought that vegetarians needed all 8 essential ones in one balanced meal, to get enough protein but recent research has shown that they do not have to be all taken together.
When using amino acid supplements, you need to take them half an hour before eating, because they compete with the ones present in food, and they are then not so well absorbed.
Generally, meat-eaters consume too much protein, but deficiencies can still occur because if one is missing it can compromise the functioning of other amino acids. Deficiencies too, especially of the non-essential ones can occur in vegetarians, those on special diets or with poor digestion.
To avoid deficiencies and to maintain good health a balanced scientifically formulated supplement is necessary.
What to be aware of when choosing amino acid supplements
- It is important to choose supplements that have been scientifically formulated in order to increase bio-availability (meaning that the body can easily assimilate them effectively).
- Ensure that supplements are produced to pharmaceutical standards.
- Poorly formulated supplements pass through the digestion and are excreted with little benefit to the body.
- There needs to be enough of a particular vitamin, mineral, amino acid, antioxidant or herb to actually make a difference. Trace amounts of herbs are generally not going to be very effective.
- Be sure that the product does not contain any fillers, artificial colours, flavours or other additives.
- Many products contain ingredients that cancel each other out.
- Labels do not always exactly reflect the content of the bottle. There are wide variations in quality and pricing between synthetic and natural ingredients.
When buying amino acids or any other supplements it is advisable to only purchase from a reputable source.
These are the amino acids commonly used in clinical practice
L-tryptophan – for sleep and anxiety
L-lysine – Herpes simplex treatment and prevention
DL-phenylalanine – pain
L-carnitine – weight loss, cardiovascular disease
L-arginine – wound healing, body building
L-ornithine – bodybuilding
L-cysteine – antioxidant, detoxifier
L-taurine – alcohol and sugar cravings/addictions
L-tyrosine – depression
Amino Acids: L-Carnosine
L-carnosine is considered a di-peptide that is found naturally in our body. You can find it in our skeletal muscle, in our heart, our brain, and other tissues of the body as well. When you see the word di-peptide, it means that there are two amino acids involved here.
Carnosine is actually created when you put two amino acids together, which are beta-alanine and L-histidine. The concentration of L-carnosine unfortunately decreases as we begin to age. We have now found out that L-carnosine can be used as an anti-aging nutrient.
This means it helps to keep our body, especially our skin, looking its best and to keep it glowing with radiance. AGE’s are abnormal proteins that help diminish aging and are offset by L-carnosine as well. Also, in our skin, collagen can become cross linked as well. This is why we may end up developing wrinkles and lines in our skin.
Collagen is needed to keep our skins elasticity and to help it look its best. When collagen breaks down, we do not have any elasticity left to it. Carnosine is beneficial to us because it helps to slow down this process of our skin aging. There are other benefits that come along with L-carnosine. One benefit is the fact that it helps to prevent atherosclerosis.
Other than this, it helps with inflammation of the joints, and even helps avoid the formation of cataracts. Also, L-carnosine helps to remove toxins from our body. These toxins can cause serious damage if they are left alone and not removed from the body. Carnosine helps because it can bind to certain toxins in the body to neutralize the damage avoid further damage from taking place.
Primarily carnosine helps to regulate the amount of zinc and also the amount of copper within our body. It can even help us stay away from nervous system disorders such as a stroke.
How exactly does it protect us from nervous system problems?
Studies show that many problems in our nervous system happen by excitotoxicity. This excitotoxicity is caused by our body being sensitive to a substance called glutamate. This sensitivity can eventually lead to brain cell damage in our body. Excitotixicity can cause a chain reaction which eventually causes cell death in our brain.
Amino Acids: The Health Benefits of L-Lysine!
L-lysine is one of the essential amino acids that our body needs.
Essential amino acids are amino acids that our body cannot manufacture itself, and we have to get it into our system by taking supplements or getting it from our diets.
An amino acid is considered a small building block of protein, many of them together makeup a protein molecule. They have an important function in our body, which is to help our body tissues grow and to keep them healthy and functioning.
L-lysine is an amino acid that our body needs. This is because it has many benefits to our body. One type of benefit for our body that comes from L-lysine is the fact that it naturally helps shingles if we are dealing with it.
Shingles are very painful and devastating, and could be embarrassing for some people. L-lysine can help with shingles naturally and can make them less painful. There are other drugs that can be used to help with shingles, but they can be harmful.
Many people use steroids and other drugs to help with shingles. The good news is many people swear by L-lysine when it comes to helping with shingle issues naturally. There has been no study or research on this, but it has worked for the people who use it.
Also, L-lysine helps with genital herpes and also helps with cold sores. It helps reduce the severity and number of outbreaks. Studies have shown that L-lysine helps with both of these skin problems.
Another benefit of L-lysine is the fact that it helps stimulate collagen buildup in our body. This is a good thing because as we age we end up losing collagen. This collagen buildup can help make our bones stronger and healthier, especially if we are older. L-lysine also helps our body absorb and use calcium, which is why it helps our bones as well.
There are unfortunately some deficiency problems that you should know about when it comes to L-lysine. These symptoms are anemia, tiredness, loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea, and stunted growth; just to name a few of the many.
Taking too much L-lysine each day can cause gallstones to develop in our gallbladders. Do not take more than 1,000 mgs each day, even though we recommend that 1,000 mgs is way too much. We recommend taking around 100 mgs of L-lysine each day.
This will give your body the benefits it is looking for without overdosing on it. If you are pregnant, you should speak with your doctor before taking L-lysine. This is because it could harm the growing fetus in your body.
Also, if you are nursing, we recommend speaking to your doctor before starting to take an L-lysine supplement as well.
Amino Acids: What Is L-arginine and How Can It Help You?
L-arginine is a non essential amino acid. This means we do not have to get it from our diet, because our body can create and synthesize it naturally. Many people decide to take this in a supplement form even if they are not deficient in it at all.
Taking higher than normal doses of this supplement has shown to be extremely beneficial to the body. It has many benefits, which we will explain to you here. One of the first and most popular benefits that come with L-arginine is the fact that it is needed by our body to synthesize nitric acid.
Nitric acid helps to make our blood vessel walls become much more relaxed. This means that blood has a much better chance of not becoming clogged in the body. This benefit can help us lower the chance of stroke, hypertension, high blood pressure, and heart attack risk will all be lowered.
Also, it helps men improve erections and can help men and women with athletic performance as well. Also, L-arginine contains nutrients that help release human growth hormone, or commonly known as HGH. It also stimulates our body to burn fat, which is good for those who are trying to lose weight. Also, it helps to boost our immune system and make it stronger and healthier.
L-aginine also helps our body build more muscle, which is very beneficial for athletes. L-arginine helps our pituitary gland produce more human growth hormone. Also, somatostatin helps to inhibit how much human growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland, and L- arginine helps to block this problem. Another great benefit of L-arginine is the fact that it benefits our body by acting as an anti-cancer nutrient. This means it can help our body fight off cancer and to protect the body.
There are some precautions to take when it comes to L-arginine. It is advised not to take this amino acid supplement for an extended period of time. This would be more than 3 months at a time. You want to make sure that you balance out this supplement and not take it for a very long time. You also want to try to find a supplement that has a blend of many amino acids, instead of taking a supplement that has one amino acid.
Deficiencies in amino acids, including L-arginine, can cause health problems which could be severe. We recommend taking about 200 mg of this supplement each day. This will give you the benefits your body needs, but will not be too much or too little. We also get amino acids from the foods we eat, so we want to make sure we do not take too much.
Make sure you are taking the L form of amino arginine. This is because it better matches the amino acid that is already found in our body naturally.
What Can N-Acetylcysteine Do For You?
N-Acetylcysteine, also known as NAC for short, has been born from cysteine, which is an amino acid needed in the body. NAC has become increasingly popular today as a supplement, and a lot of research has been done on it in order to find out all of the benefits that it comes with.
It indeed is packed with many potential health benefits for humans. NAC can benefit you in many ways. First of all, it helps to fortify our body. It does this by protecting our body from different types of toxins. These toxins are chemicals and byproducts that are found in herbicides and even cigarette smoke, for example.
Getting rid of these toxins from our body is very important, because these toxins are not good for our body. NAC is also a very powerful antioxidant. This means that it can help neutralize free radical chemical reactions in the body.
What Are Free Radicals?
They are molecules that are floating around our system, and sometimes they clash and create a chemical reaction. This chemical reaction can cause cellular damage and also damage to the rest of our body.
The job of antioxidants is the fact that they help to neutralize these chemical reactions, therefore making them not affect our cells and our body in a negative way. Damage to our skin is very likely from free radical reactions.
NAC also helps to boost our immune system. It does this specifically by protecting the tissues in our lungs. It also helps avoid kidney damage, and protects our liver and keeps it working and functioning properly. Our liver has an important job in our body, which is to remove toxins.
These toxins can stress out the body from making the liver work too hard. This is why we need to get rid of these toxins using other ways, such as taking NAC supplements or eating foods containing NAC. NAC can also help those who suffer from diabetes. It can help with diabetic neuropathy as well as other nervous system conditions including multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s.
There are some precautions in taking NAC. It is deemed to be very safe, but there is no recommended daily allowance when it comes to NAC. We recommend taking between 30 to 50 mg each day of NAC. Taking too much can cause problems in the body, just like any other supplement. Some supplements have dosages that are 1,000 mgs a day, which we do not recommend taking.
Another precaution is that if you are pregnant or nursing, you should speak to your doctor before taking NAC. Any type of supplement can harm the baby in a negative way, so get cleared from your doc before you start NAC.
We recommend NAC because it is a great amino acid that is very beneficial in the body. It will help with a variety of issues in the body, and it is extremely beneficial for everybody and anybody who needs extra of it!