Science proves that amino acids are contained in most foods as the foundation for protein. As protein is digested, it is broken down into specific amino acids (about 10-essential and 13-nonessential). Once broken-down in the digestion process these new proteins derived from amino acids are selectively fit together like a puzzle forming the body’s solid matter such as skin, eyes, heart, intestines, bone and lean muscle mass.
During the process amino acids (Kerb’s diagram below) are transported to the liver thus entering the blood stream to join legacy amino acids that have been liberated during the synthesis of body tissue. Specific amino acids are used by the liver to manufacture many of the targeted proteins such as liver enzymes, lipoproteins, and the blood protein (albumin).
As amino acids circulate throughout the body, each cell directed by its own DNA blue print, draws from the common pool of available amino acids to synthesize all the numerous proteins required for its functions. In order for protein synthesis to occur, an adequate supply of both essential and non-essential amino acids is vital. If one of the essential amino acids is missing then the bodies healthy synthesis is halted.
These partially assembled proteins are disassembled and the amino acids returned to the blood. Any amino acids that are not used within a short time cannot be stored for future use. They are delivered back to the liver and stripped of their nitrogen. This is then incorporated into urea and excreted by the kidneys. The remaining protein skeleton will be converted to glucose and burned as energy or converted to fat or glycogen for storage.
Although protein synthesis is very important, the body’s number one priority is to obtain sufficient energy to carry on vital functions such as circulation, respiration and digestion. Therefore, in the absence of adequate dietary carbohydrates and fat calories, the body will break down not only dietary protein but protein in the blood, liver, pancreas, muscles, and other tissues in order to maintain vital organs and functions.
Dosage Recommendations for Amino Acid Supplements – The need for amino acids, or protein as a whole, increases with the bodyweight, the standard equation remaining 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, so keep that in mind when supplementing with free form amino acids. The bigger you are, the more you need.
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