What are essential amino acids, organic compounds that play many critical roles in your body. You need them for vital processes such as building proteins in food, hormones and neurotransmitters. They are concentrated in foods rich in protein, such as meat, fish and soy. Some of them are synthesized by the human body, but essential amino acids must be obtained from food.

Non-essential amino acids

Non-essential amino acids can be obtained from the human body through various pathways of biosynthesis. Healthy people with normal amino acid synthesis produce the following acids: alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamine, glycine, serine, glutamic acid, proline and tyrosine.

What are essential amino acids
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Essential amino acids

Essential amino acids cannot be produced by the human body and must be obtained from food. These one are mandatory because the lack of sufficient bioavailability has adverse health effects. In the 1930s, the essentiality of eight amino acids was established. The eight essential amino acids are isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. Dietary sources of amino acids are foods rich in protein.

Nine essential amino acids

When amino acids were first classified by essentiality, only eight of the 22 standard amino acids were identified as essential for the elderly. For some time, histidine was thought to be essential only in early childhood, making it a conditional amino acid. However, later, when it was found to be essential throughout human diseases, histidine was reclassified as an essential amino acid.

– Phenylalanine. Your body converts this amino acid into the neurotransmitters tyrosine, dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. It plays an important role in the structure and function of proteins and enzymes and the production of other ones.

– Valin. This is one of the three branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) on this list. Valine helps stimulate muscle growth and regeneration and is involved in energy production.

– Threonine. It is a major part of structural proteins, such as collagen and elastin, which are important components of the skin and connective tissue. It also plays a role in fat metabolism and immune function. – Tryptophan. Often associated with drowsiness, tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates your appetite, sleep and mood.

What are essential amino acids
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– Methionine. This amino acid plays an important role in metabolism and detoxification. It is also necessary for tissue growth and the absorption of zinc and selenium, minerals that are vital to your health.

– Leucine. Like valine, leucine is BCAA, which is crucial for protein synthesis and muscle repair. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels, stimulates wound healing and produces growth hormones.

– Isoleucine. The last of the three BCAAs, isoleucine is involved in muscle metabolism and is highly concentrated in muscle tissue. It is also important for immune function, hemoglobin production and energy regulation.

– Lysine. Lysine plays a major role in protein synthesis, calcium absorption and the production of hormones and enzymes. It is also important for energy production, immune function and the production of collagen and elastin.

– Histidine. Your body uses this amino acid to produce histamine, a neurotransmitter that is vital for immune response, digestion, sexual function and sleep-wake cycles. This is crucial for maintaining the myelin sheath, a protective barrier that surrounds your nerve cells.