Tag Archives: 12 non-essential amino acids

Chronic Liver Disease Shows Amino Acid-Sulphur Deficiency

Turns out that your liver can benefit from the sulphur-containing amino acids methionine and cysteine. Health benefits of amino acids such as these are excellent, but this is especially true for those with liver disease. As it turns out, those with chronic liver disease actually show a pattern of sulphur deficiency, so both cysteine and methionine may help with this.

Advanced liver disease and methionine / cysteine amino acids

In advanced or chronic liver disease, the metabolism of the sulphur-containing aminos, such as methionine and cysteine, are is impaired (no difference in the amino acid taurine, however).

In a study by P Almasio, G Bianchi, et al., at the Clinica Medica R, Università di Palermo, in Italy, the researchers published their discoveries based on 60 people who had chronic liver disease. The results show a pattern of amino acid deficiency in these patients.

10 of the subjects were used a control because they were healthy, but the other 50 patients had chronic liver disease, which was proven via biopsy.

The breakdown of their liver disease impairments

Hypermethioninemia (an extreme amount of methionine) was present in only these cases:

10 cases compensated cirrhosis
10 cases decompensated cirrhosis

Plus there were:

30 cases chronic hepatitis

The results of this clinical trial showed cysteine, a metabolite of methionine metabolism, was “markedly reduced in patients with compensated chronic liver disease, while in advanced cirrhosis its concentration was within the normal range.”

Methionine is an essential amino acid, which means you can only get it through diet, particularly protein foods such as meats (chicken, beef, pork, lamb, plus fish and eggs). Also, cysteine is a non-essential amino acid, which means the body can produce this amino acid on its own. No differences were observed (in plasma levels) for the amino acid taurine between groups.

What was observed was how sulfur-containing amino acid metabolism was deranged and “possibly located at various steps along the trans-sulphuration pathway, is also present in mild forms of chronic liver disease.”

What this means is that a key marker for those with chronic liver disease is that sulphur-containing amino acids are deficient. This can be true for people suffering from decompensated cirrhosis), or hepatitis.

The study did not explain whether supplementing intake with cysteine or methionine would affect the—chronic liver disease–patients in a positive way or not, but it is good to know that both of these amino acids are in ample amounts when associated with healthy livers, yet levels are abnormal in diseased livers.

Reference:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8025302

L-Phenylalanine Benefts and Dangers

There is an old saying that nothing, in and of itself, is either good or bad. This is true also of the amino acid phenylalanine. What the pros or cons are of taking this amino acid depends on your situation. I will go over some of the dangers as well as the health benefits of this essential amino acid (amino acids are building blocks for protein). “Essential” means that you have to get this amino acid through your diet since your body cannot make it on its own.

Phenylalanine Dangers

The dangers of phenylalanine can include things like drinking sodas that contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame (Nutrasweet, Equal) that contain phenylalanine, but only if you have PKU. PKU is the genetic disorder phenylketonuria, which can cause brain damage or mental retardation or even seizures or death. Phenylalanine is found in protein foods such as meat (beef, chicken, pork, turkey, etc.), fish, eggs, and dairy, and can also be purchased as supplements.

Phenylalanine is not a health concern for healthy people who do not have PKU. However, aspartame, according to the Mayo Clinic, can cause “a rapid increase in the brain levels of phenylalanine” in large doses. They advise to use aspartame-containing products cautiously if you take medications like neuroleptics, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or medicines that contain levodopa; avoid phenylalanine also if you have tardive dyskinesia, have a sleep disorder, or other mental health condition, including anxiety disorder.

All of that said, what are the benefits of phenylalanine?

L-Phenylalanine Benefits

The different forms include D- phenylalanine, L- phenylalanine, and DL- phenylalanine (50/50) in the forms of phenylalanine supplementation. In fact, all 22 common amino acids are provided by protein foods.

The University of Maryland Medical Center says that 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.”

Norepinephrine also affects mood, so phenylalanine is used to help treat depression. People who are deficient in this amino can experience a lack of energy, confusion, memory issues, lack of appetite, decreased alertness, and depression.

The University of Michigan Health System says that the form L-phenylalanine (LPA) can be converted to L-tyrosine, but also into “ L-dopa, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. LPA can also be converted (through a separate pathway) to phenylethylamine, a substance that occurs naturally in the brain and appears to elevate mood.”

Other uses for phenylalanine include treating:

Alcohol withdrawal
Chronic pain
Depression
Lower back pain
Osteoarthritis
Parkinson’s disease
Rheumatoid arthritis
Vitiligo

Please check with your doctor before diagnosing or taking any phenylalanine supplements or making any serious changes to your lifestyle, including diet and protein foods that contain this amino acid.

References:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/phenylalanine/faq-20058361

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/phenylalanine

http://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-2895002#hn-2895002-uses

Dr. Oz: L-Glutamine, L-Arginine and Weight Loss

According to Dr. Oz, there are three amino acids that can help with weight loss: L-Carnitine, L-Glutamine, and L-Arginine. But first we must know what weight loss problems we are dealing with… the weight loss amino acids are simply not enough if we did not mention what specific issues they will help.

There are a number of issues that go along with weight gain and obesity. Dr Oz has discussed all of them at one time or another, surely, from lacking energy, weight management, storing food as fat or sugar (glycogen in particular), and sluggish metabolism rates.

All of these can be helped by these three weight loss amino acids, but which goes with which?

Here’s a simple guide…

Amino Acids for Weight Loss

L-Carnitine for Weight Loss

One of the issues with losing weight is maintaining the weight once you’ve lost it. It is common for people to gain the weight back, and slip back into old habits. The amino acid L-carnitine can help you to get a hold on your weight management.

L-carinitine is also known for supplying your body with energy since it releases stored energy. Sometimes when caloric intake is reduced people get weak feeling, or lack the energy to stay awake, or get out and do things (even taking a walk can seem like too great an exertion). L-carnitine can help release the energy you need to move forward in your diet plan.

L-Glutamine for Weight Loss

Many times the food we eat gets stored as fat in the body. L-glutamine can help your body store the energy as a sugar called glycogen instead of fat, which makes it more usable by the body and easier to get rid of later.

Glycogen is stored in the muscles and liver and plays an important role in the body’s glucose cycle. This can be used for quick energy, whereas fat takes longer to utilize and eliminate.

L-Arginine for Weight Loss

Metabolism is a huge indicator in many people on whether they are prone to obesity or not. Having a slow metabolism can be a single inhibitor to weight loss, when everything else seems to be going well for others on a similar diet. L-arginine is considered the natural metabolism booster.

Remember that you can get all three of these amino acids (all 22 aminos, actually) from food, and protein foods in particular. It doesn’t take much protein since all meats like beef, chicken, and pork have all the amino acids, as do fish and eggs.

However, discuss with your doctor about taking the weight loss amino acids L-carnitine (weight management and energy), L-glutamine (storing sugar as glycogen instead of fat), and L-arginine (metabolism booster).

Reference:

http://www.ediblenature.com/store/pg/195-Dr-Oz-Anti-Aging-Metabolism-Weight-Loss-Energy-Tips.html

List of 9 Essential Amino Acids in Eggs

Eggs are a protein food that are jam-packed with 9 essential amino acids for your health. Not only do eggs help feed your brain, improve your eyes, are a high source of biotin plus vitamin D, but they also have more protein than any meat.

My mom was told by her naturopathic doctor to eat 4 eggs per day that are high in omega-3’s. This is, of course, to help her macular degeneration. The Lutein and zeaxanthin in eggs may reduce the risk of losing your eyesight due to macular degeneration. So far it seems to be helping her as the degeneration has already slowed or stopped.

The 9 essential amino acids in eggs are listed below, but first, a quick primer on essential versus non-essential amino acids and what that means…

Essential amino acids vs. non-essential amino acids

“Essential” does not mean necessary, but rather that the 9 essential amino acids must be gotten through diet. “Non-essential” means that your body can produce the amino acids on its own, without dietary supplementation.

Sometimes the body is deficient in its ability to make amino acids, and in severe cases it can cause diseases or health problems. In cases where the 9 essential amino acids can come from the food we eat, it is usually enough for our bodies to produce what it needs to survive, and indeed, thrive!

9 essential amino acids in eggs

The list of 9 essential amino acids (plus the list of non-essential aminos) found in eggs and other proteins like beef, chicken, and fish, include:

Essential Nonessential
Histidine Alanine
Isoleucine Arginine
Leucine Aspartic acid
Lysine Cysteine
Methionine Glutamic acid
Phenylalanine Glutamine
Threonine Glycine
Tryptophan Proline
Valine Serine
Tyrosine
Asparagine
Selenocysteine

Each of these 9 essential amino acids are good for different purposes in the human body. Please check out each one of them in other articles that other authors and I have written on this website. And remember, eggs are a near-perfect protein, can be eaten whole, raw or cooked in a variety of ways, and contain all 9 essential amino acids and 12 non-essential amino acids combined!

Please remember to visit our other health news portals, Medicinal Mushroom Information Center at http://medicinalmushroominfo.com Vancouver Health News at http://VancouverHealthNews.ca and http://todayswordofwisdom.com.

Reference:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/02/27/top-7-foods-that-slow-your-aging.aspx

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19759170