Amino acids and nutrients
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.
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 (then you do not break down the protein properly)
- intake of hydrochloric acid inhibitors (such as Omeprazole)
- low protein intake
- individual biochemical differences (we are different and have different needs)
- 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
Optimal nutritional levels are important for the body’s general health, both too low and too high levels can create physical imbalances. During hard physical training when we sweat a lot, minerals are secreted and can lead to nutritional deficiencies. This test measures sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc and selenium.
These amino acids are analysed in the Performance Test
- Aspartic acid
- Glutamic acid
The following nutrients are analysed in the Performance Test
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.
About the nutrients
Sodium: Needed for the acid-base balance, the water and salt balance in the body, and to regulate blood pressure. Deficiency can occur with strenuous exercise, people who sweat a lot and drink a lot of water, or people with chronic diseases.
Potassium: Potassium is needed for the body’s water balance, to regulate blood pressure and for nerve and muscle function. In case of potassium deficiency, insulin is not released and sugar is not converted into energy and instead stored in the liver, which can lead to hypoglycemia.
Calcium: Essential for maintaining the bone mass necessary to support the skeleton, but is also needed for nerve signals, muscle contraction, blood coagulation and various enzymatic processes. Calcium is also needed to transport nutrients through our cell membranes.
Magnesium: Needed for hundreds of different enzyme reactions and for the absorption of other minerals (calcium, phosphorus, sodium and potassium). Magnesium and calcium work in synergy, for example in our muscles and nerves. Magnesium acts as a natural antihistamine.
Iron: Known for its oxygen-binding ability and is needed to transport oxygen to the lungs and our cells and is vital for our immune system. Iron is toxic in excessive amounts. Hemochromatosis, or iron overload, is a condition in which your body stores too much iron. It occurs in about 1 in 250 people and few are aware of this. Therefore, you should never supplement with iron without first measuring your levels.
Copper: Needed for the cardiovascular system, bone structure, brain, nerves, connective tissue and thyroid, among other things. Copper is also needed to form superoxide dismutase (SOD) which is a powerful antioxidant.
Zinc: Zinc deficiency is common worldwide. Zinc plays a relevant role in growth and development, for our genitals, enzymatic reactions, digestion, for the synthesis of DNA and RNA and much more. Vegans are often at risk of deficiency.
Selenium: Selenium is an important antioxidant and protects the body from oxidation, which can destroy cells and accelerate aging. Selenium is also important for the immune system and protects against heavy metals such as arsenic and mercury. However, selenium is toxic in high amounts.
How does the Performance Test work?
The Performance 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 into a tube or a paper that is sent to our ISO certified lab for analysis. You will receive your result digitally as soon as the lab has analysed your sample.