Amino acids are one of the central chemicals needed by the body to function well. They are the building blocks of proteins and serve as intermediates in protein metabolism.

Importance of Amino Acids to Human Health

The importance of amino acid is directly related to the indispensability of proteins in our body. Proteins are what make up your muscles, ligaments, organs, tendons, tissues, glands, nails, hair – almost every part of your body is made up of proteins. In the same way, repair, maintenance of cells and critical bio-chemicals processes in the body are dependent on proteins.

What are the Two Types of Amino Acids?

Amino acids are classified into two general types: essential and non-essential amino acids.

Essential Amino Acid

Essential amino acid are the substances that an animal cannot manufacture for itself, but that are necessary for the maintenance of the organisms̕ s health thus must obtain from the food.

Non-Essential Amino Acid

Non-Essential amino acid are the substances that an animal can manufacture from body, specially by the liver but cannot obtain from the food.

Amino Acids List

Here is the list of 20 amino acid that your body can not live without:

A List of Essential Amino Acid (Indispensable Amino Acid)

Here is a list of essential amino acid found in your body:

Non-Essential Amino Acid

Your body can produce the other half of the twenty amino acid out of other chemicals that are present in your body. Refer to the non-essential amino acids list below:

  • Alanine (from pyruvic acid)
  • Arginine (from glutamic acid)
  • Asparagine (from aspartic acid)
  • Aspartic Acid (from oxaloacetic acid)
  • Cysteine
  • Glutamic Acid (from oxo glutaric acid)
  • Glutamine (from glutamic acid)
  • Glycine (from serine and threonine)
  • Proline (from glutamic acid)
  • Serine (from glucose)
  • Tyrosine (from phenylalanine)

Amino Acid Sources (Essential)

Foods with amino acid include animal and vegetable sources. Most of the animal sources such as meat, eggs and milk are considered to be “complete protein sources” meaning that these contain all the essential amino acids that your body needs. Vegetables are also good amino acid food sources (especially soy, nuts and beans) but most of them do not usually contain all of the ten. For instance, rice is not a good source of lysine and isoleucine.

Amino Acid Deficiency and Supplementation

These days, deficiencies of the amino acid happen more often than you think. Many people, especially those who try weight loss programs and vegetarians, consume insufficient amounts of protein. Thus, supplementation of amino acids has been increasingly necessary.

Why are Amino Acid Important?

Amino acid provide the cells the building material to maintain their basic structure, helps them to produce the energy body needs and are essential for every metabolic functioning.

How many amino acid are there?

There is a total of 20 amino acid found in our body.

How many essential amino acid are there?

There are 9 amino acid that are essential for your diet. We should note that arginine is also an essential amino acid during growth periods.

Is Arginine an Essential Amino Acid?

Arginine is known as a semi-essential or conditinally essential amino acid. If you are at a development stage or growth period, it is considered as an essential amino acid. For example, arginine is essential for infants and growing children.

Is Histidine an Essential Amino Acid in Humans?

Histidine was considered as an essential amino acid for infants only but further studies have shown that it is essential for both adults and infants.

What are Semi Essential Amino Acid?

Amino acid that is required in certain conditions is known as semi essential amino acids. Arginine and histidine are two amino acids that are grouped as semi essential amino acid. (New studies indicate that histidine is essential for adults)

Can your body manufacture the nine essential amino acid?

In short, your body can not make essential amino acid. You have to get these amino acid from food sources.