They are often referred to as the building blocks of proteins. Needed for vital processes such as building of proteins, synthesis of hormones & neuro-transmitters, tissue growth, energy production, immune function & nutrient absorption. The body needs 20 different amino acids to grow & function properly, although only 9 are classified as essential. The non-essential amino acids can be made by the body.
Foods that contain all 9 essential amino acids are referred to as complete proteins: meat, seafood, dairy, poultry &eggs. There are plant based proteins, yet they contain all 9 essential amino acids: soy, quinoa & buckwheat.
Symptoms of low level amino acids can be irritability, poor concentration, fatigue, depression, hormonal imbalances just to name a few.
The 9 essential amino acids that can not be produced by the body are: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, valine & tryptophan.
*Phenylalanine: plays an integral role in the production of proteins & enzymes & the production of other amino acids.
*Valine: helps stimulate muscle growth & regeneration & is involved in energy production.
*Theronine: principal part of structural proteins such as collagen & elastin. Also play a role in fat metabolism & immune function.
*Tryptophan: needed to maintain proper nitrogen balance & a precursor to serotonin.
*Methionine: necessary for tissue growth & the absorption of zinc & selenium. Also important for metabolism & detoxification.
*Leucine: critical for protein synthesis & muscle repair. Also helps regulate blood sugar levels, stimulates wound healing & produces growth hormones.
*Isoleucine: involved in muscle metabolism & is heavily concentrated in muscle tissue. It's also important for immune function, hemoglobin production & energy regulation.
*Lysine: plays a major role in protein synthesis, absorption of calcium, hormone & enzyme production, energy & immune function and the production of collage & elastin.
*Histidine: used to produce histamine, a neurotransmitter vital to immune response, digestion, sexual function & sleep-wake cycles. Critical for maintaining the myelin sheath which is a protective barrier that surrounds the nerve cells.