Amino acids are organic compounds that link together to form protein. A large proportion of our cells, muscles and tissue us the protein formed by amino acids to break down food, grow, heal, and perform other bodily functions. Without amino acids, we could not survive, for that reason, amino acids are considered "the building blocks of life."
Currently scientists have identified over 50 different types of amino acids of which 20 are used to make the protein in our body. These are further categorized into three groups: essential, nonessential and conditional.
- Essential Amino Acids are: Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, and Valine. These are “essential” because they cannot be made by the body and must come from food.
- Nonessential Amino Acids are: Alanine, Asparagine, Aspartic Acid, Glutamic Acid. These are “nonessential” because they naturally produced by our body
- Conditional Amino Acids are: Arginine (essential in children, not in adults), Cysteine, Glutamine, Glycine, Proline, Serine, and Tyrosine. These are not usually considered essential, except in times of illness and stress.
Amino acids are important because they help the body function properly and help to transport and store vital nutrients. When multiple amino acids link together they form peptides. Peptides then can act as a neurotransmitters or hormone in the body, influencing how the body responds to things such as food, exercise, sleep and overall aging.
A decrease in amino acids and peptide production can occur during times of stress or illness or physical changes. Symptoms of a decreased supply of nutrients can result in weight issues, hair and skin issues, sleep problems, erectile disorders, arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular issues and even increased menopausal symptoms.
Supplements of amino acids are common practice for many health conscious individuals, however peptide supplementation is becoming more widely requested because the body is able to able to absorb the amino acids much easier due to its smaller size and formulation.
Amino acids and peptides are essential part of a healthy lifestyle.
National Library of Medicine-National Institute of Health