Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, which are essential macronutrients required for many important functions in the body. There are 20 different amino acids, each with a unique chemical structure and specific function.

Amino acids are necessary for the synthesis of proteins, which are used to build and repair tissues in the body, including muscles, bones, skin, hair, and nails. Proteins also play a role in the immune system, as they are used to create antibodies that help fight off infections and diseases.

Amino acids also play a role in the production of hormones and enzymes, which are involved in many processes in the body, such as digestion, metabolism, and energy production. They are also important for the synthesis of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals in the brain that help regulate mood, behavior, and cognitive function.

Some amino acids are considered “essential” (EAAs) meaning that the body cannot produce them on its own and they must be obtained through the diet. These include histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Other amino acids are “non-essential,” meaning that the body can produce them on its own.

In addition to their roles in protein synthesis and other bodily processes, amino acids can also be used as an energy source by the body. When the body needs energy and does not have enough carbohydrates or fat available, it can break down proteins and convert their amino acids into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis. However, this is not an efficient way to produce energy, and it can lead to muscle loss over time.