Your Secret AA* Batteries (*THAT'S AMINO ACIDS); We've All Heard of Them but How Many of Us Know the Hidden Wonders of the 23 Amino Acids Found in Our Food?

By Anderson, Amy | Daily Mail (London), April 9, 2002 | Go to article overview

Your Secret AA* Batteries (*THAT'S AMINO ACIDS); We've All Heard of Them but How Many of Us Know the Hidden Wonders of the 23 Amino Acids Found in Our Food?


Anderson, Amy, Daily Mail (London)


Byline: AMY ANDERSON

MANY people are aware that amino acids are good for you, but the majority don't know what they are - or that amino acids can help prevent and cure a wide range of specific health conditions, from cold sores to memory loss.

Amino acids are made from varying amounts of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen.

Chains of them are held together with bonds known as peptides.

These chains are what are used to make proteins in the body, which then form muscles, hormones, enzymes, skin, hair, organs and the building fabric of bones.

There are 23 amino acids, all of which provide different benefits in the building of proteins in certain parts of the body.

Here, Linda Lazarides, author of a book called The Amino Acid Report, tells AMY ANDERSON about them.

SERINE

RESEARCH has found that supplementation with serine can improve memory function for things such as numbers, names and lists in the over-60s by as much as 12 years, because it helps to release two crucial memory neurotransmitters, acetylcholine and dopamine.

It is found in eggs, walnuts, gelatine and almonds.

L-ARGININE

THIS is used mainly to make muscle tissues and sperm, as well as relaxing blood vessels. Recent research has found that L-Arginine helps in reducing angina, high blood pressure and glaucoma. Supplementation has also been found to help increase muscle mass for weight-trainers.

It is found in gelatine, peanuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, red meat, fish, oats and grains.

For the treatment of high blood pressure and angina or for increased muscle bulking, you will need to take a L'Arginine supplement of between 500-1,500mg daily.

ASPARTIC ACID

RESEARCH has shown that aspartic acid is beneficial for cancer patients who have undergone radiotherapy because it helps red blood cell-producing organs to regenerate after radiation exposure.

It can be found in walnuts, gelatine, almonds, sunflower seeds, meat and fish. It is not sold as pure supplement, but can be taken as a mineral called magnesium aspartate.

CARNITINE

THIS is a strong detoxifier that can help to speed up the fat-burning process. Research has found that supplementation with carnitine can help to increase weight loss in people who are overweight, as well as helping to reduce unsightly cellulite, caused by the build-up of toxins in fat under the skin.

It can be bought as a supplement and is usually taken in 500-2,000mg daily doses. It is found in red meat, liver, dairy products and yeast.

CYSTEINE

RESEARCH has shown that cysteine can be used when an overdose of paracetamol has been taken because it helps to break down toxins in the liver. It is also helpful for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, as well as helping to remove excess heavy metals from the body.

It is found in sunflower seeds, oats, eggs, wheatflour and Brazil nuts. It can be bought as a supplement, and a typical dose is 500mg daily, three times a day, which is equivalent to a large bowl of porridge.

GLYCINE

GOUT sufferers are helped by glycine supplements because it helps to break down uric acid in the kidneys.

Several scientific studies have found that a supplement can reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia.

Another study has found that supplementing with glycine significantly improved symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Glycine is found in gelatine, buckwheat flour, walnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds. It can be bought as a supplement if treating particular conditions, but an average daily intake should be about 3-5g, which can be got easily from food.

HISTADINE

ITS main function is for making histamines that cause allergies and hay fever, so sufferers should make sure their intake is not too high.

Research has shown that people with rheumatoid arthritis have very low levels of histadine and that supplementation reduces joint inflammation. …

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