Amino acids are useful components in a variety of metabolisms. Even though, some roles can be highlighted as a function of an amino acid, it is important to be aware that they are part of complex pathways and biological systems. The function and use of an amino acid is dependent on other amino acids, mineral elements, carbohydrate and fatty acids and has an indirect effects that are manifested in myriad metabolisms.
Isoleucine: This amino acid cannot be manufactured in the body, and needs to be supplied in the diet and was first isolated in 1904 from fibrin. It is needed for the formation of hemoglobin as well as assisting with regulation of blood sugar levels as well as energy levels. It is also involved in blood-clot formation.
Leucine: Leucine is an essential amino acid, which cannot be manufactured in the body and is part of the three branched-chain-amino-acids. It helps with the regulation of blood-sugar levels, the growth and repair of muscle tissue (such as bones, skin and muscles), growth hormone production, wound healing as well as energy regulation. It can assist to prevent the breakdown of muscle proteins that sometimes occur after trauma or severe stress. It may also be beneficial for individuals with phenylketonuria – a condition in which the body cannot metabolize the amino acid phenylalanine.
Lysine: Resricts functions of Herpes, improves the bodies ability to create anti-bodies, enhance healing of skin tissue, and essential for wound healing and building collagen.
Methionine: It assists in the breakdown of fats and thereby prevents the build-up of fat in the arteries, as well as assisting with the digestive system and removing heavy metals from the body since it can be converted to cysteine, which is a precursor to gluthione, which is of prime importance in detoxifying the liver. The amino acid methionine is also a great antioxidant as the sulfur it supplies inactivates free radicals.
Phenylalanine: Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid (a building block for proteins in the body), meaning the body needs it for health but cannot make it. The body changes phenylalanine into tyrosine, another amino acid that’s needed to make proteins, brain chemicals including L-dopa, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, and thyroid hormones. Because norepinephrine affects mood, different forms of phenylalanine have been proposed to treat depression.
Threonine: It is required to help maintain the proper protein balance in the body, as well as assist in the formation of collagen and elastin in the skin. It is further involved in liver functioning (including fighting fatty liver), lipotropic functions when combined with aspartic acid and methionine as well as assisting the immune system by helping the production of antibodies and promotes thymus growth and activity. Other nutrients are also better absorbed when threonine is present, and it has also been used as part treatment of mental health.
Trytophan: Tryptophan is one of the essential amino acids that the body uses to synthesize the proteins it needs. It’s well-known for its role in the production of nervous system messengers, especially those related to relaxation, restfulness, and sleep.
Valine: Valine is a member of the branched-chain amino acid family, along with leucine and isoleucine. The three branched-chain amino acids constitute approximately 70 percent of the amino acids in the body proteins. As such, their value in the formation and maintenance of structural and functional integrity in humans is unmeasured. Recent studies have indicated that valine, leucine, and isoleucine supplementation can aid in muscle repair in individuals who have been seriously injured.
Arginine: Arginine changes into nitric oxide, which causes blood vessel relaxation (vasodilation). Early evidence suggests that arginine may help treat medical conditions that improve with vasodilation, such as chest pain, clogged arteries (called atherosclerosis), coronary artery disease, erectile dysfunction, heart failure, intermittent claudication/peripheral vascular disease, and blood vessel swelling that causes headaches (vascular headaches). Arginine also triggers the body to make protein and has been studied for wound healing, bodybuilding, enhancement of sperm production (spermatogenesis), and prevention of wasting in people with critical illnesses.