Amino Acids

Amino acids are naturally occurring, organic compounds that combine to form proteins. In the simplest form, an amino acid contains carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen along with a side chain that contains these elements again or a combination of these elements with additional elements. They are essentially the building blocks of proteins. They also help determine the quality of protein in the body. 

Proteins are essential to healthy body function and in breaking down food. Every cell requires protein and protein is found throughout the body from the skin to heart, bones, muscles and tissues.

There are 20 amino acids naturally occurring in proteins, of which there are ten essential proteins that the human body cannot produce. One of these amino acids, arginine, is required only for young people and children before adulthood. The remaining nine essential amino acids that all human beings need but cannot produce themselves are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.

We receive these amino acids through food and supplements. Any food that contains all nine essential amino acids is called a complete protein.

Amino acids occur naturally in many foods typically associated with protein such as animal sources that include meats, milk, fish and eggs, and plant sources that include soy, beans, legumes, nut butter, and grains like buckwheat and quinoa. 

A lack of any of these nine essential amino acids can cause protein deficiencies that lead to cardiovascular dysfunction, an increased risk for infectious disease, make existing nutrient deficiencies, such as that of vitamin A and iron, worse.

There are several naturals, organic supplements that can provide essential amino acids to the body in capsule or liquid format. When taken along with a healthy diet where you consume foods containing naturally occurring amino acids, you can alleviate any deficiencies and related symptoms and improve your health and body function.