Let us create a 3D eBook for you!
Let us create a 3d Digital eBook for you! DigyCat.com

Understanding Amino Acids and their Importance in Diet


The importance of protein in a healthy diet is well known to nutritional scientists, and widely understood by the general population. Indeed, every bodily system is directly or indirectly supported by protein. For example, protein supports the structural development of cells, helps ensure the integrity of tissue, aids digestion, carries hormones, and strengthens the immune system[i].

More recently, however, the motivation for people to choose protein-rich foods has been fueled by carbohydrate-free and carbohydrate-reduced diets, such as the Atkins? Diet, South Beach Diet? and Isometric Diet?. Via each of these diet programs, millions of people are vigilantly scanning food labels, and asking pertinent health questions when eating out. Added to this growing number of protein-aware people are, of course, the millions of bodybuilders, powerlifters and athletes who have demonstrated for centuries the irreplaceable value of protein in building and maintaining muscle.

As impressive and inspiring as it is to see that more people than ever before are "protein-conscious", there is still more useful protein information to learn. It is well past time to add an understanding of amino acids to this protein knowledge base.

Many people - understandably -- do not recognize that amino acids are not acids as they are conventionally understood. Rather, they are the molecular units that comprise protein. They are, quite simply, the very building blocks of protein.

Amino acids are organic compounds that contain two groups of molecules: amino (-NH2) and carboxyl (-COOH). There are a total of 19 amino acids in the human diet, of which 11 are non-essential, and the remaining 8 are essential. It is this critically important fact - that there are 2 kinds of amino acids -- that should be well understood and acted upon by eaters everywhere.

If the term "amino acid" does not readily suggest the link to protein, the terms "non-essential" amino acids and "essential" amino acids can be sources of even greater confusion. The nutritional world is fond of the word "essential", and uses it often to describe something that is important, or critical, or irreplaceable. For example, a nutritionist may rationally inform her patient that eating 50 grams of protein per day is essential; and by this she means "very important".

This same application of the term does now, however, flow to the "essential" and "non essential" amino acid vocabulary.

Non-essential amino acids are those that the body is able to synthesize itself. This does not mean, of course, that the body can create these non-essential amino acids out of nothing. Rather, it means that the body's own internal laboratory can create these 11 non-essential amino acids from raw materials. It is for this reason that these 11 amino acids are called non-essential; it has nothing to do with the term "important" or "unimportant". These 11 non-essential amino acids include, in alphabetical order:[ii]

- Alanine
- Arginine
- Asparagine
- Aspartic Acid
- Cysteine
- Glutamic Acid
- Glutamine
- Glycine
- Histidine
- Proline
- Tyrosine

The remaining 8 amino acids are called essential; and this refers to the fact that they cannot be synthesized. The body can only receive them exogenously (eg. through food). These essential amino acids include, in alphabetical order:[iii]

- Isoleucine
- Leucine
- Lysine
- Methionine
- Phenylalanine
- Serine
- Threonine
- Tryptophan
- Valine

Understanding the importance of amino acids is critical, because a failure to eat foods that contain these essential amino acids can lead to deficiency and adverse health effects. These effects can include - but are not limited to -- fatigue, allergies, loss of memory, and even heart disease[iv]. When one considers the pain and suffering caused by any of these four ill health effects, and the myriad of subsequent ailments that they can provoke, it becomes readily apparent that a knowledge of amino acids, and especially "essential" amino acids, must be a part of an intelligent eater's knowledge base.

While there has been some movement on the part of nutritional supplement companies to provide eaters with convenient and palatable sources of protein, many of them have put their marketing needs first and ignored amino acids altogether. As a consequence of this omission, some eaters are actually suffering from an "overdose" of incomplete protein. This is because what they are eating may not provide them with the total, essential protein that they need. The only complete proteins on the planet are derived from dairy, meat, fish, poultry and soy, and these foods are not present in our most common foods. There are, however, protein supplements that also offer proteins with the full spectrum of amino acids.

The solution here is uncomplicated and accessible. Eaters must simply choose to eat foods and nutritional supplements that offer a "complete" source of protein. This means that all 19 essential amino acids must be present including, of course, the "essential 8" amino acids that the body cannot synthesize.

There are some companies - though still clearly in the minority - that create nutritional supplements that carefully ensure that all of the amino acids are present. It is notable that these companies do not necessarily have to do this, since neither the Food and Drug Administration nor many consumers are demanding this from their food labeling; at least, not yet. This is all the more reason to laud those companies that are putting people and nutrition first, and marketing a distant second.

ABOUT PROTICA

Founded in 2001, Protica, Inc. is a nutritional research firm with offices in Lafayette Hill and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Protica manufactures capsulized foods, including Profect, a compact, hypoallergenic, ready-to-drink protein beverage containing zero carbohydrates and zero fat. Information on Protica is available at http://www.protica.com

You can also learn about Profect at http://www.profect.com

REFERENCES

[i] Source: "Amino Acids. Diet-and-health-net. http://www.diet-and-health.net/Nutrients/AminoAcids.html

[ii] Source: "Amino Acids". About.com. http://exercise.about.com/library/Glossary/bldef-amino_acids.htm

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Source: "What are Amino Acids?". Vanderbilt University. http://vanderbiltowc.wellsource.com/dh/content.asp?ID=759

Copyright 2004 - Protica Research - http://www.protica.com


MORE RESOURCES:

Nutrition - Google News

This RSS feed URL is deprecated

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Nutrition classes provide healthy eating tips - Camp Lejeune Globe


Camp Lejeune Globe

Nutrition classes provide healthy eating tips
Camp Lejeune Globe
Martin said the instructors want to educate Marines so they eat healthy foods and don't end up on the Body Composition Program. They want to educate as many people as they can. While some Marines and Sailors don't know correct eating habits, others ...

and more »

Dog Dietician: Retired Yakima vet finds calling with dog nutrition - Yakima Herald-Republic


Yakima Herald-Republic

Dog Dietician: Retired Yakima vet finds calling with dog nutrition
Yakima Herald-Republic
Genetics and proper training play a key role in developing those traits, but Laughery, a retired veterinarian, has found nutrition for dogs often gets overlooked. “It has been a passion and in veterinary practice there are many problems that cannot be ...

Ann Grandjean, a pioneer in nutrition, spent years advising and rooting for Husker athletes - Lincoln Journal Star


Lincoln Journal Star

Ann Grandjean, a pioneer in nutrition, spent years advising and rooting for Husker athletes
Lincoln Journal Star
Ann Grandjean, a pioneering figure in the world of nutrition, has died. Grandjean was the founding director of the International Center for Sports Nutrition and director of the Center for Human Nutrition — both on the University of Nebraska Medical ...

Barren students discuss school fitness and nutrition - Glasgow Daily Times


Glasgow Daily Times

Barren students discuss school fitness and nutrition
Glasgow Daily Times
Red Cross Elementary Principal Michael Davis, left, listens to Eastern Elementary School fifth-grader Hannah Pegg, middle, and third-grader Ellie Collier, right, as they discussed school fitness and nutrition last Thursday at the Barren County Schools ...

Nutrition, not just for weight loss - Petoskey News-Review


Petoskey News-Review

Nutrition, not just for weight loss
Petoskey News-Review
A Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad at McDonald's contains 350 calories, not including dressing. If the salad is coupled with a small McCafe Caramel Macchiato, you add 260 calories. So, while the two fast food options of a burger or a salad are only 190 ...

ADM Animal Nutrition expands team of research and sales professionals - National Hog Farmer


ADM Animal Nutrition expands team of research and sales professionals
National Hog Farmer
ADM Animal Nutrition, a division of Archer Daniels Midland Company, is pleased to announce the addition of five new individuals to its growing team of experts. John Bowzer joins ADM Animal Nutrition as the lead research scientist in aquaculture. Bowzer ...

New faculty member targets research on maternal nutrition - AroundtheO


AroundtheO

New faculty member targets research on maternal nutrition
AroundtheO
Physiologist Elinor Sullivan wants to understand early childhood health through the lens of maternal health. Her research examines the influence of maternal nutrition and how other factors, such as the metabolic state of mothers during pregnancy ...

What's new in food and nutrition for 2018 - Seattle Times


Seattle Times

What's new in food and nutrition for 2018
Seattle Times
Vegetables have always been good for you, and there are very, very few paradigm shifts of the “everything you thought you knew about nutrition is wrong” sort. Very few. That said, here are six interesting shifts that may change how you shop and eat in ...

Dean's Nutrition Corner: The foundation of a healthy lifestyle - Wicked Local Norwood


Wicked Local Norwood

Dean's Nutrition Corner: The foundation of a healthy lifestyle
Wicked Local Norwood
Welcome to the very first installment of Dean's Nutrition Corner. I am Dean Adams, the head nutrition coach at Compete Strength and Conditioning in Norwood, MA. I spend my days coaching athletes, lawyers, moms, MMA fighters, and people from all walks ...

and more »

LargeFriends.com - the best dating site for plus-sized singles!
SuccessfulMatchCentral.com - the best dating site for plus-sized singles!

PreLaunchX

DietRight.biz Domain Is For Sale - $8,500 For Enquiries eMail Us

© www.DietRight.biz 2012

home | site map | links