How Do Your Supplement’s Amino Acid Stack Up?

The human body requires a certain amount of an amino acid mix in order to sustain life and to perform all its metabolic functions. Without these amino acids, nutrients such as water, fat, carbs, proteins, minerals and vitamins are not able to be stored or delivered around the body to its various cells, cells are not able to communicate or get the energy they need, enzymatic chemical reactions can’t occur, mood, concentration and sleep can be affected, skin and hair health is affected, and the amount of oxygen and circulation in the body are negatively impacted, as well as many other functions being impaired. There are over 500 identified amino acids that exist, but there are only 22 that are needed to build proteins that are essential for life to exist. These are categorized as either an “essential” or “non-essential” amino acid. An essential amino acid is not one that is more necessary or important than a non-essential amino acid, but is one that the body cannot produce on its own and therefore has to come from foods we eat. The essential amino acids that humans need are:

  • phenylalanine
  • valine
  • threonine
  • tryptophan
  • isoleucine
  • methionine
  • leucine
  • lysine
  • histidine
A lack of one or more amino acid can come from not eating the right foods which can be a problem for vegetarians or vegans in particular or people who can’t eat solid foods, or can be the result of digestive issues, certain chronic illnesses, or just from the way foods are processed or cooked that destroy the amino acids in it. The right balance of amino acids our bodies need is also important and can be affected by infections, having a deficiency of vitamins C or B, overtraining or engaging in vigorous exercise or by using certain medications or drugs.

Getting Your Amino Acids
The best way of course to get these vital amino acids and especially the essential amino acids in the diet is by eating the right whole foods. Since amino acids build protein, any foods with protein have amino acids. This includes meat, poultry, fish, dairy, grains, nuts and legumes. Foods with the highest amounts of certain amino acids include grass fed beef, dairy, wild caught seafood, sea vegetables, spirulina, AFA bluegreen algae, brewers yeast and some vegetables such as cabbage, beets, beans, and spinach. But if getting amino acids is not possible from foods alone, a supplement for amino acids is another solution. There have been numerous research studies done showing that amino acid supplements can be beneficial. A 2007 study in Menopause reported post-menopausal women using an amino acid supplement for three months showed a loss in abdominal fat. Another study from June 2010 in Muscle & Nerve reported using a supplement with the amino acid leucine kept muscles that were not being used from breaking down in rats. And a study from February 2009 in the Journal of Nutrition Science and Vitaminology reported the use of an amino acid supplement with isoleucine, valine, and leucine increased the ability for more strenuous exercise and a higher efficiency of oxygen supply to the body. You should check with your healthcare provider before taking an amino acid supplement however as getting too much protein can put a strain on the kidneys and your provider can help you decide if this is a safe route for you. Some of the benefits that have been found from taking an amino acid supplement include:

  • People who have a lot of physical demands such as athletes show increased stamina and performance. 
  • The amino acids arginine and methionine combine to create creatine which is important for skin health, needed to produce energy for cells, and regenerate tissues and cells. After the age of 40 our cells do not renew as fast as when we were younger taking up to 40 days to regenerate instead of the 28 days they once did. Creatine helps boost the cells that produce collagen and elastin keeping skin healthy and youthful looking. Arginine also is important for circulation, immune system health, reducing cholesterol levels, supplying oxygen to the body, promoting growth of hair and can help burn off fat.
  • Recovery time from surgery or physical trauma is reduced. 
  • The amino acid carnitine helps move fatty acids to be used as fuel for the body which exercise can then burn off thus reducing weight gain and the amount of fat our bodies tend to store as we get older. 
  • The amino acid glutamine is important in balancing acid, making protein, preventing breakdown of muscle tissue, providing energy for mitochondria, supports brain functions such as focus and memory, helping the small intestines in absorbing nutrients, speeding recovery time from stress and disease, and supporting kidneys and even though the body can make it, this slows down as we get older. If the body doesn’t have enough glutamine it takes protein from muscles to create it thus damaging the muscles. 
  • Support for those with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, adrenal fatigue, liver disease, HIV or Aids, and other similar conditions. 
  • The amino acid taurine helps balance electrolytes, supports the immune system, and aids with the health of the cardiovascular system, reduces cholesterol levels, regulates blood pressure levels, reduces thickening of arteries, and insulin sensitivity. People with high levels of taurine have been found to have reduced risks of heart disease. 
  • The amino acid methionine helps in detoxifying lead and copper in blood, reduces risk of heart attack, reduces risk of oxidation from polyunsaturated fatty acids, and protects the liver.
  • The amino acid phenylalanine, has been shown to elevate mood and decrease appetite.
  • The amino acid tyrosine is a precursor to thyroxin, which is a hormone associated with reducing symptoms of depression and can help in treating eating disorders by elevating mood and decreasing cravings.

Bluegreen Algae for Superior Amino Acid Supplementation
Instead of an isolated amino acid supplement, another option is to eat whole food AFA bluegreen algae supplements. Microalgae is high in these usable proteins, providing 50 to 70 percent usable protein. This is a higher percent than any plant or animal source can provide. It has all the amino acids our bodies need, including being a rich source of phenylalanine, an amino acid that crosses the blood-brain barrier faster than any other amino acid. AFA bluegreen algae has the amino acids that are the building blocks of healthy nerve cells and neurotransmitters needed for proper brain function. It also provides a perfect ratio of essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, helps maintain normal, healthy blood chemistry that feeds the brain, and provides an ideal balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, complex sugars, and fiber. Whether you take the form of AFA bluegreen algae with the cell wall removed that allows its nutrients to easily pass through the blood brain barrier or the basic form of AFA bluegreen algae loaded with vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, antioxidants and all the essential amino acids similar to the proportions found in human breast milk, AFA bluegreen algae stacks up as a superior way to get the amino acids all life needs to function.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products at wholesale prices on our website.

Jeffrey Bruno,PhD., Edible Microalgae
Jeffrey Bruno,PhD., Eat Light & Feel Bright

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