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Amino Acids

Amino-acids

Amino acids are compounds that combine to form proteins, the building blocks of the  body. There are two kinds of amino acids: essential and non-essential. Essential amino acids are those that can't be produced in the body, so you get these from foods or supplements.

Amino Acids are used by the body to build proteins and vital to optimum health. Without them, the body cannot fully utilise vitamins and minerals from either the diet or supplements. We require these proteins for growth and development. Proteins are essential for the formation of cells and the 20 essential and non-essential amino acids are reassembled into hormones, enzymes, neurotransmitters, antibodies and nutrient carriers. They play a critical role in all the body's systems, including immune and hormone functions and are used to repair damaged tissues. The liver produces 80% of the amino acids the body’s needs, the remaining essential ones must come from the diet. The dominance, or the deficiency, of an amino acid may determine our behaviour or influence an organ’s fundamental performance.

To strengthen the body’s system in general, more protein should be eaten in the diet. Concentrations of amino acids are found in supplements or protein powders (e.g. powdered whey). Single amino acids can be taken to assist targeted functions (e.g. lysine to prevent cold sores) and for effectiveness they should be taken away from other protein based foods. When proteins are digested or broken down, amino acids are left.

The eight essential amino acids include:

  • Isoleucine

  • Leucine

  • Lysine

  • Methionine

  • Phenylalanine

  • Threonine

  • Tryptophan

  • Valine

  • Serine