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The Role of Amino Acids in Good Health

Amino Acids are the “building blocks” of the body and make up proteins. There are over 40,000 different proteins in the body; these make up the greatest proportion of the body after water.

Quite amazing then that just 22 amino acids ensure the constant building of protein cells, and the growth, maintenance and repair of many crucial systems including your muscles, tissues, skin, hair and nails. Amino acids also play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy immune system.
 
Of the 22 amino acids, eight are considered essential as they can only be acquired through the diet, the rest are manufactured by the body (under normal healthy circumstances).  As the body cannot store amino acids, it is essential to ensure your diet is adequate. Certain lifestyle factors such as stress can mean that amino acids are in more demand by your body.
 
The Eight Essential Amino Acids

  • Lysine – plays a role in calcium absorption, forming collagen, and the production of hormones and enzymes. Best food sources of Lysine - cheese, eggs, lima beans, potatoes, milk, meat and brewer's yeast
  • Tryptophan – the relaxing amino acid, supports restful sleep, and helps to protect your body from stress, anxiety and depression. Best food sources of Trytophan - oats, bananas, dried dates, milk, cottage cheese, meat, fish, turkey, corn, peanuts
  • Methionine – has important role in liver and kidney function, supplies sulphur to your hair and skin, helps to breakdown fats. Best food sources of Methionine - eggs, fish, lentils, chicken, beef, onions, soybeans, yogurt, cheese,
  • Phenylalanine – appetite control and plays a role in signals between your brain and nerve cells. Best food sources of Phenylalanine - beef, chicken, pork, fish, milk, yogurt, eggs, cheese, nuts and seeds, almonds, avocados, lima beans, peanuts
  • Threonine – promotes a healthy digestion and liver function, plays a role in antibody production. Best food sources of Threonine - dairy, beef, chicken, eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds
  • Valine – supports all round vitality, muscle coordination, maintains healthy levels of nitrogen in the body. Best food sources of Valine - grains, meat, mushrooms, peanuts, dairy products
  • Leucine – helps to maintain energy and muscle health, regulates blood sugar and plays a role in weight maintenance. Best food sources of Leucine - cottage cheese, sesame seeds, peanuts, lentils, chicken and fish
  • Isoleucine - necessary for haemoglobin formation, and regulates blood sugar and energy levels. Best food sources of Isoleucine - eggs, fish, lentils, chicken, beef, sesame seeds, cottage cheese, wheat, almonds and dairy products
It is clear from these food sources, that dietary amino acids come largely from animal source products; vegetarians and vegans are especially likely to be lacking in amino acids and should adjust their diet accordingly. A food state supplement providing amino acids would be worth considering, for example Zell Oxygen containing 16 Amino Acids Chlorella which contains 19 amino acids, or Barley Grass Juice Powder
 
Indeed anyone who wants to ensure adequate amino acids will benefit from one of these broad spectrum supplements that provide 100% natural amino acids rather than opting for synthetic isolated amino acid supplements.
 
The Fourteen Non Essential Amino Acids
 
It should be noted, that there may be cases where some of these are considered conditionally essential, as the body may not be able to adequately manufacture them
 

L-Arginine, L-Cysteine, L-Glutamine, L-Glycine,  L-Tyrosine, L-Alanine, L-Asparagine, Aspartic Acid, Glutamic Acid, L-Glutamine, L-Ornathine, L-Proline, L-Serine, L-Taurine 

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