Amino Acids’ Health Benefits
Many people are aware of the importance of amino acids, but few people know exactly what they are formed of or how they work. Be sure to take these structural and functional concerns into account before attempting to assure a sufficient daily intake of amino acids.
The Chemical Composition of Amino Acids
A nitrogen (N) atom, two hydrogen (H) atoms, and two ‘free’ chemical bonds make up the ‘amine’ group in amino acids. Carbon (C) and oxygen (O) are bonded to each other to form the carboxyl group, which is also known as the carboxylic acid group (oxygen and hydrogen, OH). There are a number of types of amino acids in the human body, which are known as “alpha” amino acids because they have a “side chain” of different composition. Alpha amino acids have a chemical structure of H2N-CHR-COOH in chemistry, where this side chain is further shortened to the symbol ‘R’. In the middle of the structure, the carbon atom is known as the “alpha” carbon, because it has a hydrogen atom on one side and the R chain on the other.
What Do Amino Acids Do?
The most important role they play in healthy biochemistry is to supply the building blocks for all the proteins the body needs. Proteins, on the other hand, are composed of alpha amino-acids, which are organized in linear chains despite their higher molecular complexity. The amino-acid sequences of proteins in the human body are typically identical, but the particular sequence of amino-acids is what distinguishes them. In the same way as there are infinitely many ways to compose sentences, there are infinitely many ways to compose protein sequences.
Essential and non-essential variants of alpha-amino acids are commonly differentiated. As a result, it is important to know if your body is capable of synthesizing the acid ‘de novo’ from other chemical compounds. In cases where it is not possible to receive these amino acids from the food, it is vital to do so (hence the name). As long as the body can synthesis these amino acids from smaller precursors, they aren’t considered “non-essential.”
Definitions and Types of Amino Acids, Both Required and Optional but Not Required
Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) are three of the eight essential amino acids. When it comes to the human body, they are made up primarily of leucine, isoleucine, and valine; they make up around one third of the muscle mass. BCAAs are available as dietary supplements to boost muscular growth and strength, which should be evident to any athlete looking to bulk up. Clinical burn patients benefit from their application in clinical practice as well. Muscle building is just one of the many vital biochemical activities that they perform. A few examples of this include stimulating the production of human growth hormone (leucine), regulating blood sugar (isoleucine), and stabilizing the environment (isoleucine). In this case, we’re referring to the body’s internal environment, which includes the metabolic processes that generate energy. As the final BCAA, Valine, protects the muscles from being used as a source of energy during strenuous physical activity.
Additionally, lysine (for proper carbon absorption and muscle regeneration), methionine (the sulfur that assists the body to generate glutathione), threonine, tryptophan and phenylalanine are all essential amino acids. alanine, asparagine, aspartate, cysteine, glutamate, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, tyrosine, arginine, and histidine are the twelve non-essential amino acids required for healthy human biochemistry (in alphabetical order) (children require four amino-acids from this group as essential amino acids because they cannot yet synthesize them; these are cysteine, tyrosine, histidine and arginine).
Supplements for Amino Acids
There isn’t enough room to go into detail about each of these compounds, but it’s worth paying attention to four in particular because of their importance to human health and well-being.
Tryptophan, an important amino acid, is a fundamental component of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is associated with feelings of happiness. Serotonin depletion has been linked to depression and a host of other troubling mental health conditions, including irritability, sleeplessness, and panic attacks. Some commercially available tryptophan supplements can quickly restore serotonin levels to a more optimum level.
Phenylalanine is another necessary amino acid that can be purchased as a supplement. Tyrosine, a non-essential amino acid, is derived from it, and it plays a key function in energy metabolism. To combat weariness, chronic pain, food cravings, and even the discomfort of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), phenylalanine supplements can be helpful. It’s important, however, not to exceed the recommended daily dosage of 5000 mg.
Supplementing with tyrosine can aid in the production of key hormones like adrenaline and noradrenaline and the neurotransmitter dopamine. As part of the nervous system’s circuitry, dopamine has a number of critical functions, including promoting a positive state of well-being. It can aid those who are tired and sad, and it also helps to maintain a healthy thyroid.
Glutamine supplements are also used to alleviate feelings of exhaustion as well as to create glutamic acid, which is crucial for brain health. During times of high stress, it is used up quickly, indicating its importance in the functioning of the brain. Supplements may be necessary to replenish it. In addition, it aids in the prevention of sugar cravings.