Amino acids are organic compounds that serve as the building blocks of proteins, which are crucial for the structure and function of cells in living organisms. There are 20 standard amino acids that can combine in various ways to form a vast array of proteins. These amino acids share a common structure, consisting of a central carbon atom (alpha carbon) bonded to an amino group (NH2), a carboxyl group (COOH), a hydrogen atom, and a variable side chain (R group).
Amino acids are classified into two main categories based on the nature of their side chains:
Essential Amino Acids: These are amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own, and they must be obtained through the diet. There are nine essential amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
Non-essential Amino Acids: The body can synthesize these amino acids, so they do not need to be obtained directly from the diet. There are eleven non-essential amino acids: alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamine, glutamic acid, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine.
Amino acids play crucial roles in various physiological processes, including:
Protein Synthesis: Amino acids link together through peptide bonds to form proteins. The sequence of amino acids in a protein is determined by the genetic code.
Enzyme Function: Many enzymes, which are biological catalysts, are proteins composed of amino acids. Enzymes facilitate and regulate biochemical reactions in the body.
Cell Structure: Amino acids are essential for the structure and function of cells, including the formation of cell membranes and various cellular organelles.
Neurotransmitters: Some amino acids serve as precursors for neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers that transmit signals between nerve cells.
Immune System Function: Amino acids are involved in the production of antibodies and other components of the immune system.
While proteins are the primary macromolecules composed of amino acids, these compounds also have other roles in the body, including serving as precursors for certain hormones and playing a part in metabolic processes. A balanced and varied diet is essential to ensure an adequate intake of both essential and non-essential amino acids.
Causes of Amino Acids Deficiency
There can be many reasons for amino acid deficiency, about which we are explaining in detail below.
- Deficiency of nonessential amino acids can occur during conditions such as serious illness or injury.
- Amino acid deficiency may occur due to undernutrition.
- Eating less food rich in amino acids and proteins.
- Inability to absorb protein in the body.
- Inability to utilize amino acids properly through the digestive system.
Symptoms of Amino Acids Deficiency
Amino acid deficiency can lead to many diseases and even death, therefore, in case of amino acid deficiency, it is important to identify its symptoms and remove it. Symptoms of amino acid deficiency may be as follows.
- weak immune system
- sudden weight loss
- graying of hair
- skin depigmentation
- muscle weakness
- physical weakness
- accelerated aging
- complaint of edema
- hair thinning and breakage
After the symptoms of amino acid deficiency, we are telling the benefits of amino acids.
Benefits of Amino Acids
There can be many benefits of amino acids to the body, about which we are giving further information. To get these benefits, it is important to include amino acid rich foods in the diet.
1. Improve mood
Tryptophan is also a type of amino acid. It is considered beneficial in improving mood and maintaining mental health. It helps in producing serotonin hormone in the body. This hormone is known to improve mood as well as improve and control mood. According to a research published by NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology), tryptophan can cure all mood related disorders.
2. Improve sleep quality
Amino acids may be beneficial in improving sleep quality . According to a research conducted on sleep patients, glycine amino acid may be beneficial in improving sleep quality in humans. During the research, patients were given 3 grams of glycine to improve sleep quality and sleep disturbances. Glycine has the effect of relieving insomnia as well as fatigue. Not only this, tryptophan amino acid is also known to improve the quality of sleep.
3.Reduce stress level
The amino acid may reduce stress levels while improving sleep quality . According to a research, amino acid supplements usually reduce the symptoms of depression and other mental illnesses, because they can be converted into neurotransmitters. Amino acids like tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylalanine are also believed to play an important role in preventing depression.
4. Relief from muscle weakness
Amino acids are also known to strengthen muscles by keeping them away from weakness. One research paper suggests that leucine taken in additional amounts may be able to overcome muscle protein deficiency. It can prove helpful in the prevention and treatment of sarcopenia i.e. muscle weakness. Along with leucine, other amino acids are also considered essential for muscles.
5.Helpful in reducing weight
Increasing weight i.e. obesity is considered to be the root of many diseases. Amino acids may also be beneficial in reducing excess body fat and obesity. According to a research, branched chain amino acids (BCAA), along with vitamin B6, can slightly reduce the fat of legs, waist and hips. Glutamate amino acid has also been found beneficial in controlling weight.
At the end of the article we are telling you the disadvantages of amino acids.
Amino Acids Side Effects
Amino acids have many benefits for health, but in excess quantity or in some other circumstances, they can have disadvantages.
- Consuming amino acids in excessive amounts causes toxicity in the body.
- Eating habits may be affected.
- Growth may be affected.
- Taking it in excess may cause changes in brain amino acid levels.
- Its excessive use can cause damage to bones.
- There may be pressure on the kidneys and liver.
Like all nutrients, amino acids also have many benefits for the body. It can be easily consumed through foods. Just don’t think of taking amino acid supplements after knowing its benefits. Doing this without doctor’s advice can cause loss of amino acids. Along with its disadvantages, we have also given a list of amino acid rich foods in the article. Now include foods rich in it in your diet and avail the benefits of amino acids.
Frequently asked questions
What function do amino acids perform in the body?
The body uses amino acids to make proteins, which help the body break down food, grow, repair body tissues, and many other functions. Amino acids can also be used by the body as a source of energy.
When should I take amino acids?
Amino acids can be taken anytime in the form of foods.
Can amino acids help lose weight?
Yes, amino acids have been considered beneficial in reducing weight.
Is it safe to take amino acids every day?
Yes, it is safe to take amino acids every day. By doing this the body can be saved from its deficiency. Just pay special attention to its quantity.
Are amino acids good for skin?
Yes, amino acids have been considered beneficial in keeping the skin healthy. It can be beneficial in the problem of loose and wrinkled skin, sun-damaged skin by increasing the keratin, collagen and elastin of the skin.