Amino Acids- Their Roles in Our Everyday Lives

The human body consists of many essential elements. For the smooth functioning of the body and to keep it up and running, it needs to have proper nutrients. Likewise, to live a healthy life, one needs to have proper nutrients. These six essential nutrients are Fats, Carbohydrates, Proteins, Vitamins, Minerals, Water.

Among some other important nutrients, there is Amino Acids. Amino Acids build up the Proteins. Therefore, many components of Amino Acids come together to form protein.

What are Amino Acids?

All living things, from microorganisms to humans, have certain vital compounds that are common to them. These are known as Amino Acids. All living things have the same 20 types of Amino acids. Amino Acids make up around 20% of our body. After water, Amino Acids are the next most significant component in our bodies.

How many types of Amino Acids are there?

Our bodies have the power to create Amino Acids. But out of a total of 20 Amino Acids, it cannot produce 9 amino acids. So, we need to take them in through the foods we eat. These are Essential Amino Acids.

9 essential amino acids are as follows:

  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Valine
  • Histidine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Tryptophan
  • Threonine

The remaining 11 Amino Acids are termed as Nonessential Amino Acids. Our bodies naturally produce these. Some of the Nonessential Amino Acidsare:

  • Asparagine
  • Alanine
  • Glutamic acid
  • Aspartic acid

Apart from essential and nonessential Amino Acids, there is another type of Amino Acids. These are Conditional Amino Acids. They are not usually necessary, but one needs them if one is injured, sick, or stressed.  The Conditional Amino Acids are as follows:

  • Tyrosine
  • Glutamine
  • Ornithine
  • Proline
  • Cysteine
  • Arginine
  • Glycine
  • Serine

If a person is sick or injured, their body will not produce enough conditional Amino Acids. So it’s always recommended that they take these Amino Acids via food or supplements.

What are the roles and importance of Amino acids?

Amino Acids play a very pivotal vital role in our lives. A body cannot function properly without the help of Amino Acids. Out of essential Amino Acids, nonessential Amino Acids, and conditional Amino Acids, Essential Amino Acids’ role is vital. Different essential Amino Acids have other functions. For instance:

  1. Valine: Valine is one of the three branched-chain Amino Acids. It helps to speed up the process of the growth of the muscle. It also helps with the restoration of the muscles and producing energy.
  2. Leucine: Leucine is also one of the three branched-chain Amino Acids. It helps in the synthesis of protein and repairs muscles. It also helps to keep the blood glucose level in check. Other than these, it helps in the stimulation of wound healing and the production of growth hormones.
  3. Isoleucine: The last of the threebranched-chain Amino Acids is Isoleucine. It helps to speed up muscle metabolism. As a result, the muscle tissues have a large amount of Isoleucine. It also helps in the process of immunity, production of hemoglobin, and regulation of energy.
  4. Phenylalanine: This is a vital type of Amino Acid, as it plays a massive role in the proper structuring and functioning of the enzymes and proteins and the production of other vital Amino Acids.
  5. Tryptophan: This helps to maintain a decent amount of nitrogen in one’s body. It also assists serotonin to regulate and maintain one’s appetite, mood and sleep.
  6. Threonine: Threonine helps to maintain the fat metabolism and functions of immunity.
  7. Methionine: This one helps in the metabolism and the detoxification of one’s body. Methionine is also vital for the growth of the tissue. This plays a pivotal role in absorbing selenium, zinc, and other materials that are important for one’s health.
  8. Lysine: Lysine plays an essential role in protein synthesis and hormones. This also helps to produce a major role in the production of enzymes and calcium absorption. In addition, it also helps with the production of energy, immunity, elastin, and collagen production.
  9. Histidine: It is one of the essential Amino Acids, as it is used to produce histamine. Histamine is vital for immunity, sexual function, digestion, and the sleeping cycle. This also maintains the myelin sheath. The myelin sheath barrier that borders the nerve cells and protects those.

From where do we get Amino Acids?

Our body cannot produce the essential Amino acids. Therefore, one needs to intake those verbally. So, one must provide these through the diet.

Many foods are rich in essential amino acids. They help one to fulfill their daily quota of Amino Acids. Foods that contain all nine essential Amino Acids include:

  • Soy
  • Milk and other Dairy Products
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Corn
  • Eggs
  • Fish and other seafood
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Baked beans and lima beans
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Whole wheat
  • Almonds, Brazil nuts, and cashews
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Buckwheat

Amino Acids supplements:

In case one cannot eat this food or doesn’t get this food daily, they need to take the Amino Acid supplements.

Amino Acid supplements are taken only when a person cannot get their daily dose of enough Amino Acids. However, there are certain benefits of taking the  Amino Acid supplements like:

  • Improve muscle function- An Amino Acid called Tryptophan is essential to improve muscle function. When a person cannot have food rich in Tryptophan, they resort to taking supplements that will help them with an increased muscle function. These supplements also maintain the number of amino acids in our skeleton muscles.
  • Improve sports performance- As athletes need high proteins, they also need many Amino Acids. Therefore, consuming Amino Acid supplements shortly before or after exercise will increase muscle growth.
  • Maintain glucose levels in the blood- Amino Acids are vital to maintaining the glucose level in blood. Therefore, if a person cannot get these amino acids from food, they should take amino acid supplements to maintain their glucose level in the blood.
  • Improve skin conditions- Amino Acids supplements can improve skin conditions. Young women prefer to take these supplements to improve their skin condition and make it better.

Amino Acids are, therefore, very vital. They play a crucial role in our daily lives. Without these Amino Acids, one would face many problems, like weak muscles, hormonal issues, irregular sleep cycle, weak metabolism, and dysfunctional sexual activities. Therefore, a human body should have a decent amount of Amino Acids. Consuming or having more or less than the recommended amount is not suggested.

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