Sep 24, 2010 • By alanmcmyra •
Amino acids are critically important for life to exist and they have an important role in function such as the metabolism of an organism. They are the building blocks of proteins and form parts of coenzymes and aid in the biosynthesis of nutrients the body needs. All in all amino-acids are very important in nutrition and have a central part to play in food technology. Thisarticle will explain why amino-acids are so important and give you important knowledge you can use to eat healthy.
One of the most essential things for a healthy body is protein, after water it is the most abundant stuff that the body is made out of. Protein is required for the operation of enzymes, organs and muscles in the body. If you don't have enough protein then the chance that you will get some kind of disease increases quickly. A lack of amino-acids can cause heart-attacks, strokes and high blood pressure amongst other things.
There are many more different amino-acids that the body needs and they are divided into two groups. Essential amino-acids and non-essential amino-acids. Essential amino-acids are acids that the body can not create itself and so we need an outside source in order to get enough of them. This can be through food or through supplements. Essential amino-acids include: Valine, Tryptophan, Phenylaline, Threonine, Methionine, Lysine, Isoleucine and Leucine. We will take a closer look at two essential amino-acids.
The function of methionine together with argenine and glycine is to create creatine in the liver. Creatine is important for growing and maintaining muscles in the body. It can also create choline in order to synthesize Vitamin B12 which is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are important in order to protect cells from free radicals which contribute to aging and inflammation of cells. You can find this amino-acid in pork, whole milk, cheese, grapes, watermelon, cauliflower, sweet potato, celery and rice. The RDA of this particular amino-acid is 22mg per kg bodyweight for children and 13 mg for adults.
Lysine is another important amino-acid for the body. It cannot be synthesized within the body and so we need external sources of it. Together with zinc and Vitamin A and C we use it to to fight viral infectionsand also helps to regulate our appetite as well as help improve our concentration. To get enough of this amino-acid into your body you need to eat mango, apple, pork, milk, beef, papaya, spinach, beet root, potato, lentils, rice, cauliflower and cashew nuts.
Non-essential amino-acids include alanine, aspartic acids, glycine, serine, glutamic acid and tyrosine. There are also specific amino-acid requirements during growth phases such as when a child is growing up or when an adult is working out or otherwise improving their health. This is because amino-acids are the building blocks for protein. The proteins in our body can be divided into two kinds. Functional proteins which include hormones like insulin, thyroid hormone and digestive enzymes. Structural proteins are found in muscles, bones, cell walls and connective tissues. In addition amino-acids are also necessary for neurotransmitters, so that our brain cells can communicate with each other and so keep them healthy and working correctly.
As you can see getting enough amino-acids is essential for every aspect of your health and you should look to get all the amino-acids your body needs through a healthy diet based on fresh natural food and potentially through the use of supplements as well if you want to tackle a particular health issue or fitness goal.