What are amino acids?
We normally get amino acids naturally in our diet, and particularly through the various animal sources of meat such as pork, chicken, beef etc. Problems may arise when following the diet for endometriosis and reducing the consumption of animal products like meat and dairy. This may lead to a reduction of essential amino acids in the diet, so taking supplements may be helpful.
Amino acids build muscles, cause chemical reactions in the body, transport nutrients, prevent illness, and carry out other functions. The body needs 20 different amino acids to maintain good health and normal functioning.
Amino acids are classified into three groups:
Essential amino acids
Essential amino acids cannot be made by the body. They must come from food. The 9 essential amino acids are: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
Non-essential amino acids
Non-essential means that our bodies produce an amino acid, even if we do not get it from the food we eat. Non-essential amino acids include: alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine.
Conditional amino acids
Conditional amino acids are usually not essential, except in times of illness and stress. Conditional amino acids include: arginine, cysteine, glutamine, tyrosine, glycine, ornithine, proline, and serine.
What do the amino acids do in the body?
Essential Amino Acids
Histidine - helps bone development and supports the immune system
Isoleucine - stimulates brain alertness
Leucine - stimulates protein production, helps produce energy and healthy brain function
Lysine - helps in the absorption of calcium
Methionine - helps lower cholesterol and has an important role in urinary tract health
Phenylalanine - performs the function of a pain reliever as it produces norepinephrine
Threonine - prevents fat build-up and elimination by assisting digestive tract function
Tryptophan - helps brain function in relieving headaches and aiding proper sleep patterns
Valine - promotes mental and nervous system function
Non-Essential Amino Acids
Alanine - serves as a muscle tissue building block and helps to metabolize sugar
Arginine - helps in tissue repair, wound healing and cell regeneration
Asparagine - works in the formation of proteins, muscles, neurotransmitters and antibodies
Aspartic acid - aids in the expulsion of toxins such as ammonia
Cysteine - works to protect cells from damage
Cystine - antioxidant that helps to slow down the aging process and is important to skin health
Glutamine - helps brain function and gives energy to the body
Glutamic acid - aids weight loss by decreasing cravings
Glycine - essential for a healthy immune system and cell development
Proline - essential for bone and circulatory health
Serine - helps the immune system and has numerous digestive benefits
Tyrosine - helps the nervous system and promotes memory, alertness and hormone release
The benefit of amino acid supplements depends on the specific acids contained in the product – and between them they have far reaching benefits for the entire body.
Certain amino's have calming benefits and can be helpful to aid sleep. Other amino acids can improve muscle tone and strength, while other amino's can assist with strength and cognitive performance.
For endometriosis, some of the beneficial amino acids would include Glycine to support the immune system, Arginine to aid wound healing, and Phenylalanine as it performs the function of assisting pain relief.