Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins; they act as or are synthesised into important molecules in the body such as neurotransmitters, hormones and pigments. Amino acids are needed for muscle mass, hair and to build all the tissues in the body. The balance between different amino acids is important as some amino acids can block the uptake of others, for example lysine can inhibit arginine and vice versa.
Amino acid therapy
Many people associate amino acids with athletes or bodybuilders, but we all need amino acids for our mental well-being, for digestion, the nervous system, the reproductive system and the immune system. For example, the amino acid tryptophan is needed to produce serotonin, which affects our mood.
Amino acid therapy is used for a variety of ailments, including mood and mental health disorders, sleep, fatigue, cognitive function, ADHD and much more.
You can be both too low or too high on certain amino acids. Some reasons why you may be out of balance are:
- weakness in digestion (if you don’t t break down protein properly)
- intake of hydrochloric acid inhibitors (such as Omeprazole)
- low protein intake
- individual biochemical differences
- a lack of cofactors, i.e. supplemental nutrients that we need to utilise the amino acids in the body
- various diseases where the body cannot utilise certain amino acids properly
Who should measure your amino acids?
Measuring the levels of the amino acids can be beneficial if you experience the following problems, for example:
- Mental disorders / mood disorders
- Weight problems (both overweight and underweight)
- For athletes / regular exercisers
- Digestive disorders
- Liver or kidney problems
- Recurring injuries
These amino acids are analysed
- Aspartic acid
- Glutamic acid
About the amino acids
Alanine: In hypoglycaemia, alanine is important for glucose production and can stabilise blood sugar.
Arginine: Used for weight control. Stimulates growth hormones during childhood and puberty. Important for muscles and potency. Accelerates wound healing.
Asparagine: Needed for endurance, nervous system, brain and detoxification of ammonia. Low levels may occur with fatigue and depression.
Aspartic acid: Needed for hormone production and for the nervous system.
Beta-alanine: Needed for the production of carnosine, which promotes muscle endurance and neutralises lactic acid.
Citrulline: Affects growth hormone secretion. Used for fatigue and detoxification of ammonia.
Phenylalanine: Important for our mental and emotional health. Precursor to dopamine, adrenaline and norepinephrine. Used for weight control.
GABA: Has a calming effect and helps us deal with stress. Low levels often occur in depression and anxiety disorders.
Glutamine: Needed for the gut, the immune system, cognitive function and for the acid-base balance. During severe stress, intense training, illness, dieting, trauma, etc., shortages often occur.
Glutamic acid: Acts as a backup nutrient in the brain. Excessive levels can be toxic and are associated with various neurological conditions such as epilepsy.
Glycine: Important for detoxification, for our neurotransmitters and for problems such as back tension and hypersensitivity to chemicals and environmental toxins.
Histidine: Often low in people with rheumatism and people with mental disorders.
Homoarginine: Low levels are seen as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Inhibits the growth of certain bacteria and yeasts such as Candida albicans.
Iso-leucine: Often low in people with mental imbalance. Good for trauma, surgery, sepsis and for controlling diabetes. Important for the muscles.
Leucine: Often low in people with mental imbalance. Good for trauma, surgery, sepsis and for controlling diabetes. Important for the muscles.
Lysine: Needed for bone health and to treat herpes simplex infections (and possibly other viruses). Vegetarians and vegans often have low levels.
Methionine: Important for detoxification of heavy metals and radiation. Acts as an antioxidant. May reduce certain types of depression. May be beneficial for alcoholism and drug addiction.
Ornithine: Stimulates growth hormone to increase muscle mass but high doses can cause insomnia. Strengthens the immune system.
Proline: Too high levels can be toxic and are more often the problem than too low levels.
Sarcosine: Can be used in various psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia.
Serine: High levels of serine compared to cysteine can occur in psychotic patients.
Taurine: Needed for bile acid production, liver function, the central nervous system, brain, to drive GABA and more. Too low levels often occur in epilepsy.
Threonine: Needed for gastrointestinal health, collagen production and tooth enamel. Deficiency can cause neurological dysfunction and paralysis.
Tryptophan: Needed for sleep and mood. Can calm anxiety and depression.
Tyrosine: Needed for the thyroid gland, sleep, mood and to produce neurotransmitters such as dopamine, adrenaline and norepinephrine.
Valine: Often low in alcohol addicts. Important for people with brain damage and neurological diseases. Important for the muscles. Increases performance.
How to do the Amino Acid Test?
The Amino Acid Test should be taken on an empty stomach in the morning. All our health tests including the blood tests are collected at home. Capillary blood is obtained by pricking a finger and the blood is collected on a dried blood spot (DBS) paper that is sent to our ISO certified lab for analysis. You will receive your result digitally. Children can also do the test, provided that they are able to perform a blood test.