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About Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks that make up protein. Amino acids are also the end products of protein digestion. This process has the technical name of, hydrolysis.

The structure for all living things is provided by proteins. All living organisms are composed of protein. From the largest animals to the smallest of cells, all things are composed of protein. Next to water, protein makes up the greatest portion of our body weight.

In the human body, protein matter makes up the organs, muscles, ligaments, nails, hair, vital body fluids, glands, and are critical for the development of bones. The hormones and enzymes that catalyze (cause or speeds a chemical change) and control all bodily processes are proteins. Proteins also assist in the exchange of nutrients between the cellular fluids and the tissues, blood and lymph. The genetic code contained in each cell’s DNA is actually information for how to make the cell’s protein.

Proteins are chains of amino acids that have been linked together. Each individual protein is composed of a specific group of amino acids, in a specific order. That specific order is what gives the proteins their exact function and character. In the case of Immunocal, the amino acids linked end-to-end are, Glutamate, L-Cysteine and Glycine. Each protein is made for it’s specific need. Proteins are not interchangeable.

Proteins from the foods we eat are not the same. The protein that we eat is broken down into amino acids, which the body then uses to build specific proteins needed for the body.

It is the amino acids, not the protein, that are the essential nutrients for our body.

Each amino acid has a specific function in the body. Some amino acids act as neurotransmitters, some amino acids work in the process of carrying information from one nerve cell to another, while others are a precursor (comes before) of neurotransmitters.

Certain amino acids are necessary for the brain to receive and send messages. The blood-brain barrier is part of all of this. The blood-brain barrier is a defensive shield that is designed to protect the brain from toxins and other foreign invaders that are circulating in the blood stream. The cells in the brain that make up certain blood vessels are more tightly meshed together. This prevents water-based substances from getting through. Certain amino acids can get through this barrier and the brain will then use these amino acids to communicate with nerve cells in other parts of the body.

Amino acids have a direct relation with vitamins and minerals. Amino acids enable vitamins and minerals to perform their specific jobs in the body properly. Even if vitamins and minerals are absorbed by the body, they cannot be effective unless the necessary amino acids are present. For example, the amino acid tyrosine is necessary for the regulation of iron. Low levels of tyrosine will create iron deficiency. Please note: If you are currently using an SSRI, or just wanting to detox your body from the daily toxins from life, it is vital that you only supplement your body with specific amino acids with complete knowledge of how to take amino acids, why you are taking amino acids and for what duration to supplement amino acids.

There are twenty-eight commonly known amino acids. The liver produces about 80 percent of the amino acids that we need. This is why the amino acid subject is so vital with SSRI or drug usage. SSRI’s are designed to inhibit specific enzymes found in the liver. The actions of SSRI’s will limit the normal functioning of the liver. Thus, blocking the normal functioning and creation of amino acids. The 20 percent of the amino acids not produced by the liver are obtained form the diet.

Amino acids are defined as essential amino acids and nonessential amino acids.

Nonessential does not mean that those amino acids are not needed. The term nonessential amino acid means; an amino acid that can be manufactured by the body as needed. They do not need to be obtained by our diet.

Nonessential amino acids can become essential under certain circumstances. This mainly takes place when you have nonessential amino acids being made by essential amino acids. If your body is too low in the essential amino acids needed to create the nonessential amino acids, the nonessential amino acids will then become “essential”, because you will now need to produce them from your diet.

The process of amino acids making protein or breaking down protein is continuous. The normal and healthy body will create or breakdown these elements as needed, naturally. If one amino acid is too low or depleted, the body will not function properly. This entire chain of events will then be altered or stalled.

What does it do and what scientific studies give evidence to support this?

Amino acids are essential to the human body. Bodybuilders can especially benefit from supplementing amino acids because they aid in repair, growth, and development of muscle tissue. The body, through assimilation of amino acids, produces over 50,000 proteins and over 15,000 enzymes. Amino acids are not only responsible for the production of all the body's enzymes (including digestive enzymes), but they also play a key role in normalizing moods, concentration, aggression, attention, sleep, and sex drive. After protein is consumed, it is broken down into amino acids. Then, individual amino acids are used to create necessary body proteins and enzymes. Digestive enzymes break down the proteins a person consumes into amino acids. Scientists, experts, and medical professionals agree that getting enough amino acids in one's diet is an important factor in maintaining good nutrition.

Who needs it and what are some symptoms of deficiency?

Those who could benefit from amino acid supplementation are vegetarians, people with allergies, stress-related fatigue, or hypoglycemia. Trouble digesting food could be a signal of a diminishment in the production of digestive enzymes. This could lead to poor nutrition because one's body cannot digest food at full capacity. In essence, one's body needs amino acids in order to get amino acids from food.

How much should be taken? Are there any side effects?

One and one-half grams of powder three times a day should be sufficient to provide the body with an adequate supply of available amino acids to assist in digesting food and bulking up. There are no side effects with proper supplementation.

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