Alanine is a non-essential amino acid that helps the body convert glucose and eliminate excess toxins from the liver. Alanine is crucial for preserving balanced levels of nitrogen and glucose in the body. It also helps to protect cells from damage during aerobic activity and is needed to process B vitamins. Alanine is found in meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, fish and avocado.
Arginine or L-arginine is considered an amino acid that is needed to keep the keep the liver, skin, joints, and muscles healthy. Arginine helps strengthen the body’s immune system by increasing the output of T lymphocytes (T- cells) from the thymus gland. It regulates hormones and blood sugar, and promotes male fertility. In addition, research has shown that this amino acid may improve circulation which may treat impotence and heart disease. Arginine is involved in a variety of hormonal processes in the body. It stimulates the pancreas to release insulin, is used to make the pituitary hormone vasopressin, and regulates the production of the growth hormone.
Asparagine or L-asparagine is a non-essential amino acid involved in the metabolic control of cell functions in the nerve and brain functioning. It helps maintain equilibrium of the central nervous system. Low levels of asparagine may indicate poor metabolism or synthesis of aspartic acid. Which can result in the inability to properly synthesize and excrete urea, which is the major waste product of excess dietary protein. The inability to excrete urea can result in buildup of nitrogen containing toxic metabolites that can lead to confusion, headaches, depression, irritability or in extreme cases psychosis.
Aspartic acid also known as L-aspartate, is thought to help promote a robust metabolism. It is sometimes used to treat fatigue and depression. This amino acid helps transport minerals needed to form healthy RNA and DNA to the cells, and strengthens the immune system by promoting increased production of immunoglobulins and antibodies (immune system proteins). Aspartic acid keeps your mind sharp by increasing concentrations of NADH in the brain, which is thought to boost the production of neurotransmitters and chemicals needed for normal mental functioning.in buildup of nitrogen containing toxic metabolites that can lead to confusion, headaches, depression, irritability or in extreme cases psychosis.
Cysteine is found in beta-keratin and is the main protein in nails, skin and hair. It helps maintain a healthy, youthful appearance by encouraging collagen production and skin elasticity. N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a form of the amino acid cysteine that is most easily absorbed from supplements. NAC may be effective in the prevention and/or treatment of cancer, heavy metal poisoning, smoker’s cough, bronchitis, heart disease, cystic fibrosis, acetaminophen poisoning, and septic shock. Its detoxifying effects may also help enhance the benefits of regular exercise by protecting the body from oxidative stress.
Glutamic acid also called glutamate it is an excitatory neurotransmitter that increases the firing of neurons in the central nervous system. It is a major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain and spinal cord. It is converted into either glutamine or Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA), two other amino acids that help pass messages to the brain. Glutamic Acid is important in the metabolism of sugars and fats, and aids in the transportation of potassium into the spinal fluid and across blood/brain barriers. It is found at high levels in the blood and may infiltrate the brain in small amounts. The brain can use glutamic acid as fuel.
Glutamine is an amino acid that helps build and maintain the muscles of the body. It also helps remove toxic ammonia from the liver and helps maintain a healthy central nervous system. Glutamine easily passes through the blood-brain barrier. Glutamine is also an important source of energy for the nervous system. If the brain is not receiving enough glucose, it compensates by increasing glutamine metabolism for energy. Glutamine promotes a healthy digestive tract by helping to balance acid/alkaline levels in the body. Glutamine also protects the liver from the effects of alcohol and acetaminophen overdose.
Glycine is one of the non-essential amino acids and is used to help create muscle tissue and converts glucose into energy. It is also essential to maintaining healthy central nervous and digestive systems. Glycine is used in the body to help construct normal DNA and RNA strands, the genetic material needed for proper cellular function and formation. It helps prevent the breakdown of muscle by boosting the body’s levels of creatine, a compound that helps build muscle mass.
Histidine is an amino acid that is used to develop and maintain healthy tissues in all parts of the body. Particularly the myelin sheaths that coat nerve cells and ensure the transmission of messages from the brain to various parts of the body. It acts as a natural detoxifier in the body. People with bipolar disorder should not take histidine.
Isoleucine is a branched-chain essential amino acid that is best known for its ability to increase endurance and help heal and repair muscle tissue and encourage clotting at the site of injury. Is also keeps energy levels stable by helping to regulate blood sugar. A deficiency of isoleucine produces symptoms similar to those of hypoglycemia, and may include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, depression, confusion, and irritability.
Leucine works with the amino acids, isoleucine and valine to repair muscles, regulate blood sugar and provide the body with energy. It also increases production of growth hormones, and helps burn visceral fat, which is located in the deepest layers of the body and is the least responsive to dieting and exercise.
Lysine is an essential amino acid known for its antiviral properties. It helps prevent outbreaks of herpes and cold sores, and is needed for hormone production. It supports the growth and maintenance of bones in both children and adults. Lysine is involved in the production of antibodies which promotes a healthy immune system. Which may be part of the reason it is so effective at fighting herpes viruses. This amino acid promotes the formation of both collagen and muscle protein, and may help speed up recovery from surgery and sports injuries as well.
Methionine is an essential amino acid that helps the body process and eliminate fat. It contains sulfur, a substance that is required for the production of the body’s most abundant natural antioxidant, glutathione. Methionine is essential for the formation of healthy collagen used to form skin, nails, and connective tissue, and helps reduce the level of inflammatory histamines in the body.
Ornithine helps remove toxic ammonia from the liver, and may reduce the effects of cirrhosis of the liver and disorders associated with liver malfunction. In one study participants taking 18 grams of ornithine aspartate for two weeks showed significant improvement in blood tests and liver functioning. By helping to elevate growth hormone levels, ornithine may help speed the production of muscle tissue and offset the effects of aging.
Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid that is needed for normal functioning of the central nervous system. The body needs phenylalanine to make epinephrine, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These three neurotransmitters basically control the way you perceive and interact with your environment. Phenylalanine supplementation may help you feel happier, satiated and more alert. It has also been known to treat chronic pain and improve memory and concentration. Phenylalanine, which aids in melatonin production, may be effective for treatment of vitiligo, a condition that causes white patches on the skin.
Proline helps the body break down proteins for use in creating healthy cells in the body. It is absolutely essential to the development and maintenance of healthy skin and connective tissues, especially at the site of traumatic tissue injury. It helps to keep muscles and joints flexible and helps reduce sagging and wrinkling that accompany UV exposure and normal aging of the skin. People with pain caused by insufficient cartilage or collagen formation could benefit from extra proline in their diet.
Serine helps form the phospholipids needed to make every cell in your body. It is also involved in the function of RNA and DNA, fat and fatty acid metabolism, muscle formation, and the maintenance of a healthy immune system. It also found in the proteins used to form the brain, as well as the protective myelin sheaths that cover the nerves. Without serine, the myelin sheaths could fray and become less efficient at delivering messages between the brain and nerve endings in the body, essentially short circuiting mental function. Serine is also needed to produce tryptophan, an amino acid that is used to make serotonin, a mood-determining brain chemical. Both serotonin and tryptophan shortages have been linked to depression, insomnia, confusion, and anxiety. Research suggests that low levels of serine may contribute to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia (FM). Serine helps produce immunoglobulins and antibodies for a strong immune system, and also aids in the absorption of creatine, a substance made from amino acids that helps build and maintain all the muscles in the body, including the heart.
Taurine is a sulfur-containing amino acid that is manufactured in the body from the amino acids, methionine and cysteine. It helps regulate the nervous system and the muscles and plays an important part in keeping the brain and heart healthy. Taurine helps move potassium, magnesium, and sodium, three nutrients that are key to brain and heart functioning into the cell membranes. Taurine is known to provide support for neurotransmitters and to have a protective effect on the brain.
Threonine is an essential amino acid that promotes normal growth by helping to maintain proper protein balance in the body. Threonine also supports cardiovascular, liver, central nervous, and immune system functioning. Threonine is needed to create glycine and serine, two amino acids that are necessary for the production of collagen, elastin, and muscle tissue. Threonine helps keep connective tissues and muscles throughout the body strong and elastic, including the heart. Where it is found in significance, Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid that helps regulate mood and stimulates the nervous system. It can also help speed up the metabolism and treat conditions characterized by chronic fatigue.
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid. Your body uses tryptophan to make proteins, the B-vitamin niacin and the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin. However, in order to make niacin and serotonin, you also need to have sufficient iron, riboflavin and vitamin B6. L-tryptophan is used for insomnia, sleep apnea, depression, anxiety, facial pain, a severe form of premenstrual syndrome called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), smoking cessation, grinding of teeth during sleep (bruxism), attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Tourette’s syndrome, and to improve athletic performance.
Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid that helps regulate mood and stimulates the nervous system. It can also help speed up the metabolism and treat conditions characterized by chronic fatigue. The body needs adequate supplies of tyrosine to make many important brain chemicals that help regulate appetite, pain sensitivity, and the body’s response to stress. It is also needed for normal functioning of the thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal glands. Low levels of tyrosine may lead to hypothyroidism, low blood pressure, chronic fatigue, and sluggish metabolism. It also helps build strong bones and tooth enamel, and may speed wound healing or recovery from injury. Without adequate amounts of phenylalanine, the body can’t manufacture its own supply of tyrosine and without adequate amounts of tyrosine, the body cannot metabolize phenylalanine. A shortage of either of these amino acids could leave you vulnerable to a host of mental disorders, including anxiety, depression, low libido, and chronic fatigue.
Valine is a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) that works with the other two BCAAs, isoleucine and leucine, to promote normal growth, repair tissues, regulate blood sugar, and provide the body with energy. Valine helps stimulate the central nervous system, and is needed for proper mental functioning. Valine helps prevent the breakdown of muscle by supplying the muscles with extra glucose for energy production during intense physical activity. Valine also helps remove potentially toxic excess nitrogen from the liver, and is able to transport nitrogen to other tissues in the body as needed. Valine may help treat liver and gallbladder disease, as well as damage to these organs caused by alcoholism and drug abuse. Valine may help treat or even reverse hepatic encephalopathy, or alcohol related brain damage.