Which amino acids does the body need? This article answers this question and gives an overview of the essential amino acids.
Amino acids are tiny particles, but besides water they are the most important components that the human body needs. The amino acids are the building blocks of the human body and the solid mass of the body consists mainly of these amino acids.
8 essential amino acids
Protein molecules are composed of amino acids and protein is particularly important for the human body. There are 23 amino acids in total, of which the body can produce 15 itself. However, the remaining 8 amino acids must be supplied to the body through food and are therefore vital, i.e. essential. Sources for the absorption of these amino acids are available in plant and animal form.
Herbal foods with proteins may be:
- Pulses, especially lentils and beans
- herbs, such as chives and cress
- as well as soy products.
Animal foods for protein uptake may be:
- Milk products such as cheese, curd cheese or yoghurt,
- and especially fish.
In addition, some dietary supplements made from whey, for example, supply the essential amino acids.
What are amino acids?
Twenty percent of the human body consists of protein. Protein plays a decisive role in almost all biological processes and amino acids are the building blocks for this.
A large part of our cells, muscles and tissues consists of amino acids, i.e. they fulfil many important bodily functions, e.g. the structuring of the cells. They also play a key role in the transport and storage of nutrients. Amino acids influence the function of organs, glands, tendons and arteries. They are also indispensable for wound healing and tissue repair, especially in muscles, bones, skin and hair, as well as for the removal of deposits of all kinds that occur in connection with metabolism.
The importance of amino acids for human well-being is increasing.
Meirion Jones, a well-known BBC journalist, reported that, unlike years ago, many doctors have now confirmed that amino acid intake (including via dietary supplements) can have positive effects.
Jones and Erdmann explain the changes in medical opinion as follows: “Unfortunately, in the real world, countless factors are working to prevent our bodies from receiving a complete and balanced supply of these important substances. These factors include pollution from burning fossil fuels, hormones fed to cattle, the intensive use of fertilisers in agriculture and even habits such as smoking and drinking that can prevent our bodies from making full use of what we eat.
Even worse is the amount of food that is lost through processing before we actually consume it….. By giving the body an optimal diet, amino acids help to replace what has been lost and thus promote well-being and vitality.
A recent study by DAK from Germany has shown that older people in particular are more susceptible to malnutrition. “If the body lacks a minimum of energy and nutrients, the body cannot fulfil its physical and mental functions. Without the necessary vitamins, proteins (amino acids), trace elements and minerals, there is a risk of weaknesses and metabolic disorders that can have serious consequences. ”
The amino acid pool must be right.
Jones believes that almost every disease of civilization is a consequence of imbalances in our metabolism. The amino acid pool is jointly responsible for a balanced metabolism.
The amino acid pool describes the total amount of free amino acids in the human body. The size of the pool is about 120 to 130 grams for an adult man. When we ingest protein in our diet, the protein in the gastrointestinal tract is broken down into the individual amino acids and then reassembled into new protein. This complex biological process is called protein biosynthesis. The entire amino acid pool is transformed or “replaced” three to four times a day. This means that the body must be supplied with more amino acids, partly through protein biosynthesis, partly through nutrition or through the consumption of suitable dietary supplements.
The goal is to keep the amino acid pool complete and in the right combination.
If one or more amino acids are not available in sufficient quantity, protein production is weakened and metabolism can only function to a limited extent.
This is not only true for older people, because young people can also be affected by the negative consequences of limited nutrient supply. These include weight problems, hair loss, skin problems, sleep disorders, mood swings and/or erectile dysfunction, but also arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular imbalance (high cholesterol level, high blood pressure) or even menopausal symptoms.
Tasks of amino acids in the human body
The protein or amino acids are mainly needed for cell renewal and cell regeneration. Likewise, the body cannot produce enzymes and hormones without amino acids and these are also needed for the formation of proteins in the blood. Furthermore, these acids also control the metabolism and stabilize the blood sugar level. They are also immensely involved in the body’s immune defence and transport a wide variety of substances into the blood plasma. Such substances can be Vitamins or iron. The amino acids also occur in many body fluids, such as blood, semen or in digestive secretions and these are also components of bones, muscles or also hormones and membranes.
Amino acids, human building blocks
Amino acids are one of the most important components of the human body. These can be used in many different ways, for example to achieve a weight reduction or to achieve a targeted muscle build-up. The essential amino acids must be added to humans through food, because the body cannot produce them itself.