The human body requires a complex set of nutrients to sustain good health. While all of these vitamins and nutrients are provided by mother nature, many people still struggle with nutrition deficiencies. Amino Acids are critically important to Hormone Balance. Amino Acids are the building blocks of proteins. There are 20 amino acids intricately involved human function. We make eleven of these on our own, but nine must be absorbed through diet. The amino acids that we have to find in nature are known as Essential Amino Acids.
This need for Essential Amino Acids is why protein is absolutely necessary in the human diet. Our bodies take in protein from the food and drink that we consume and break them back down into their base amino acids. These amino acids are then reconfigured by the body to meet the diverse needs of the various human systems.
What Do Amino Acids Do?
Amino Acids have profound effects on human form and function. Amino acids assist in immunity, direct nutrient allocation and are the building blocks of muscle tissue, just to give a few examples. When you don't meet your Essential Amino Acid goals, this leads to a break down in normal physiological activity.
Some notable symptoms of Amino Acid Deficiency include impaired focus, fertility problems, depression, anxiety, digestive dysfunction, increased susceptibility to illness, and hormone imbalance. D-Aspartic Acid is required for the production of Testosterone, for example. Because every Essential Amino Acid has its own specific roles in human function, the symptoms of Amino Acid Deficiency can vary dependent on the root of the deficiency.
Essential Amino Acids Explained
The following is a brief description of each of the Essential Amino Acids:
Lysine is essential for injury recovery, bone mineral density, muscle mass, hormone regulation, and immune function. Research suggests that Lysene may help prevent viral infection and proliferation. Current guidelines suggest that you should get one gram of Lysine daily in your diet. Excellent sources of Lysine include pumpkin seeds, quinoa, black beans, soy, eggs, and meat.
Histidine is critical to neurological health, as it is the building block of the myelin sheath which protects nerve cells. Histidine is also a precursor of histamine, which is a strong immune modulator that is also involved in digestion and reproduction. Allergy sufferers commonly take antihistamines. Individuals with kidney disease and arthritis are more likely to have a Histidine deficiency. Whole grains, seeds, nuts, poultry, fish, and meat all contain high levels of Histidine.
Threonine is important to many structural aspects of the body's composition. It's a core ingredient of elastin, collagen, and tooth enamel. Threonine also plays an integral role in fat metabolism. Some research has shown that Threonine Deficiency may be associated with impaired immunity. It's believed that Threonine supplementation may be helpful for individuals with mild depression, anxiety, and stomach discomfort. Top sources of Threonine include wheat germ and cottage cheese.
Methionine helps to maintain mineral balance in the human body, aiding in the absorption of zinc and selenium as well as helping to evacuate dangerous heavy metals like mercury and lead. Methionine works with cysteine to promote nail/hair strength and skin elasticity. To meet Methionine goals, eat seeds, nuts, grains, and eggs.
Valine plays a vital role in brain and neurological function. Valine helps ward off anxiety, allows for muscle coordination, and strengthens cognition and focus. Valine supplements are often used to increase energy, encourage tissue repair, and stimulate muscle growth in combination with resistance training. Valine deficiency is associated with psychological/mental impairment and insomnia. Valine is available from a variety of sources, including vegetables, whole grains, mushrooms, peanuts, cheese, and soy.
Isoleucine is vital to the production of various hormones, including insulin. Isoleucine helps control blood sugar and also aids the immune system and the healing of wounds. We become more prone to Isoleucine deficiency as we get older, which can lead to shaking and muscle wasting. To get lots of Isoleucine, include seeds, nuts, lentils, cheese, eggs, poultry, fish, and meat in your diet.
Leucine is critical to growth and cellular metabolism, as it is essential to the production of Human Growth Hormone. Like Isoleucine, it also helps with healing and glucose maintenance. Chronic Luceine Deficiency is associated with fatigue, hair loss, and rashes. Beans, soy, and dairy will help you meet your daily Leucine requirements.
Phenylalanine is a pivotal amino acid that helps build enzymes and proteins and assists the function of other amino acids. The body makes the amino acid Tyrosine from Phenylalanine. Tyrosine is a building block of Melanin as well as several crucial neurotransmitters. Poultry, nuts, beans, fish, soy, meat, and dairy are excellent sources of phenylalanine.
Most people know of Tryptophan because of its effects as a Sedative. Tryptophan is essential to the production of Melatonin and Serotonin, which help us get to sleep and feel better about life, respectively. Serotonin also helps modulate pain and appetite. Tryptophan is plentiful in turkey, a long with other foods high in protein, such as chicken, cottage cheese, and wheat germ.
Considering Amino Acid Supplements?
Amino Acid Supplements can be an excellent way to shore up any potential nutritional deficiencies in your diet. While these supplements are often useful, they should only be taken with the guidance and consent of a medical professional. Our Licensed and Board Certified HRT Clinic can help you determine if your nutritional needs are being met with a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel. We use only the highest quality supplements, such as the fantastic products sourced from Douglas Labs. We can also help you determine if you are a candidate for Hormone Replacement Therapy!
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