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Nutritional Supplement

Amino Acids Overview

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Twenty amino acids are needed to build the various proteins used in the growth, repair, and maintenance of body tissues. Eleven of these amino acids can be made by the body itself, while the other nine (called essential amino acids) must come from the diet. The essential amino acids are isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Another amino acid, histidine, is considered semi-essential because the body does not always require dietary sources of it. The nonessential amino acids are arginine, alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamine, glutamic acid, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine. Other amino acids, such as carnitine and taurine, are used by the body in ways other than protein-building and are often used therapeutically. L-Theanine is an amino acid found in tea that is said to help relieve stress. Beta-alanine has been used to prevent fatigue during exercise.

References

1. Young VR, Pellett PL. Plant proteins in relation to human protein and amino acid nutrition. Am J Clin Nutr 1994;59(suppl):1203S-12S.

2. Lemon PW. Is increased dietary protein necessary or beneficial for individuals with a physically active lifestyle? Nutr Rev 1996;54:S169-75 [review].

3. Sitprija V, Suvanpha R. Low protein diet and chronic renal failure in Buddhist monks. BMJ 1983;287:469-71.

4. Heaney R. Protein intake and the calcium economy. J Am Diet Assoc 1993;93:1259-60 [review].

5. Abelow BJ, Holford TR, Insogna KL. Cross-cultural association between dietary animal protein and hip fracture: a hypothesis. Calcif Tiss Int 1992;50:14-8.

6. Schürch MA, Rizzoli R, Slosman D, et al. Protein supplements increase serum insulin-like growth factor-I levels and attenuate proximal femur bone loss in patients with recent hip fracture. A randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ann Intern Med 1998;128:801-9.

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2019.