Why We Need Amino Acids
by Chester Ku-Lea
Next to water, amino acids in the form of proteins make up the greatest portion of
our body weight. They comprise tendons, muscles and ligaments; organs and glands;
hair and nails; important bodily fluids, and are a necessary part of every cell in the
body.

There are over 20 amino acids, separated into two categories - essential and non-
essential. Essential amino acids are those that cannot be manufactured by your body,
hence, it is essential that you obtain them from your diet. Non-essential amino acids
can be manufactured by your body, however, your body must have the right
combination of essential amino acids and supporting nutrients to optimize healthy
protein maintenance, so supplementation may be desirable. 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, are used by the body in ways other than protein-building and are often used
therapeutically.

Who is likely to be deficient?

Dieters, some strict vegetarian body builders, and anyone consuming an inadequate
number of calories may not be consuming adequate amounts of amino acids. In
these cases, the body will break down the protein in muscle tissue and use those
amino acids to meet the needs of more important organs or will simply not build
more muscle mass despite increasing exercise.

Amino acids are not only absolutely integral to life, but they can have a profound
impact upon how clearly we think and how well we feel.

Benefits

• builds cells and repairs tissue
• assists with wound healing
• increases athletic performance


About The Author

Chester Ku-Lea is a health nutrition consultant and is the owner of
- a provider of premium health nutrition and sports
supplements.  
AMINO ACIDS are the building
blocks of the body. Besides
building cells and repairing tissue,
they form antibodies to combat
invading bacteria & viruses; they
are part of the enzyme &
hormonal system; they build
nucleoproteins (RNA & DNA);
they carry oxygen throughout
the body and participate in
muscle activity. When protein is
broken down by digestion the
result is 22 known amino acids.

As the building blocks of protein,
amino acids are vital to health.
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