Quest Vitamins LTD,
Amino acids are constituents of protein. They are composed of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sometimes Sulphur. From the different combinations and patterns of the 20 amino acids derived from the diet, it is possible to make as many as 100,000 different proteins in the body. We require these proteins for growth and development, as well as for the synthesis of hormones and enzymes. Protein is also essential to our physical development.
Amino acids can be "ESSENTIAL" or "NON-ESSENTIAL"
Certain amino acids are known as "essential" because they are just that - essential in our diets. That is, we cannot make them in our bodies, so we must obtain them from food. High biological value protein foods which contain all eight essential amino acids are meat, fish, poultry, eggs and soya beans.
The eight essential amino acids are: leucine, isoleucine, valine, lysine, methionine, L-phenylalanine, tryptophan and threonine. (On food supplement labels of amino acids the ?L? denotes natural form, and the ?D? denotes synthesized - the opposite applies to Vitamin E!).
There are two semi-essential amino acids: arginine and histidine. These are known as semi-essential because they are necessary during the growing phase of the human body from childhood to adulthood.
Non-essential amino acids do not have to be obtained through diet. The body is capable of creating these from the essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals in the body.
Amino Acid Complexes
Individual amino acids are best taken on an empty stomach, unless the pack states otherwise. Amino acid supplements are usually available as 'free form' or 'peptides', these are both preferable as they are pre-digested (broken down) forms and easily absorbed into the bloodstream. 'Free form' means that the amino acids are in a single state and 'peptide' means that only two are joined together.
It is considered prudent not to advise 'individual' amino acid supplements to pregnant women or children. Protein for both these groups is best derived from food, so that an imbalance of amino acids is less likely to occur. Teenage boys who are thinking of body building are also well advised to stay away from growth-promoting individual amino acid supplements. Physical training and good diet are more beneficial to their development.
These vary according to the individual amino acid being taken as a supplement. (Refer to pages on individual amino acids - see index page).