Amino Acids - Uses, Benefits and Sources
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and very important part of human body. Proteins are formed of hundreds of smaller units named as amino acids which are attached to one another by peptide bonds. There are 20 different amino acids in which nine are essential and 11 are non essential. All the 20 amino acids are required by the body in different concentrations for healthy functioning of body.
Types of Amino Acids
There are two types of amino acids:-
- Essential amino acids - These are amino acids that our body can't synthesize on its own. These amino acids are obtained from various food supplements.
- Non essential amino acids - These amino acids are synthesized by our body. These amino acids are an essential part of proteins, these are not required to be included in diet every day.
Benefits of Amino Acids
- Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins.
- Amino acids act as the source of energy for body.
- These synthesize neurotransmitters.
- These help to maintain the good metabolism.
- These help to maintain the good blood pressure levels, hence good for cardiovascular health.
Food Sources of Amino Acids
- Eggs and dairy foods contain the adequate amount of amino acids.
- A cup of yogurt contains the 14 grams of protein where as egg contains the 6 grams of protein.
- Mozzarella contains 9 grams of protein and low fat Swiss cheese contains 8 grams of proteins.
- Red meat is the one of highest rich food in protein.
Plant Based Sources
- Quinoa and Soy products contain the essential amino acids.
- One cup of Quinoa contains the 8 grams of protein.
- One cup of soybean contains the 29 grams of protein.
- Beans and nuts also provide the significant amount of amino acids.
- Tofu and soy milk also contain the significant amount of amino acids.
Deficiency of Amino Acids
When our diet is deficient in amino acids, may lead to severe health issues named as kwashiorkor. Kwashiorkor is the condition which is characterized by malnutrition.
Symptoms may include:-
- Inflamed and red patches of skin.
- Improper growth
- Loss of muscles
- Cracked nails
- Pot belly
By the consumption of low protein diet, there is deficiency of amino acids in the body. Due to this one can be more prone to cold or other health issues. Moreover there is slow healing of minor injuries or cuts.
Side Effects of High Intake of Amino Acids
Intake of the large amount of protein or amino acids may lead to health impairment also which may include:-
- Due to the consumption of large amount of amino acids, lead to elevated levels of these compounds in blood stream. Due to this kidneys have to filter the high quantities of these compounds from blood which leads to the strain on kidneys.
- High consumption of ammonia may lead to the accumulation of ammonia in liver which can cause the negative effects on liver.
- Over consumption of urine increase the risk of dehydration.