Amino Acid
Amino Acid (Illustration /

Amino Acid: Definition, 8 Functions, and Benefits

Amino acids are organic compounds consisting of nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and other elements.

Our body needs 20 different amino acids in order to grow and function properly. Although all 20 of these types are useful for health, only nine amino acids are classified as amino acids that are important to the body; so-called essential amino acids. The types of essential amino acids are:

  • Histidine,
  • Isoleucine,
  • Leucine,
  • Lysine,
  • Methionine,
  • Phenylalanine,
  • Threonine,
  • Tryptophan, and
  • Valine.

These essential amino acids cannot be produced by the body and should be obtained through food intake. The best sources of essential amino acids are animal proteins such as meat, eggs, and poultry. When we eat food, the protein contained in it is broken down into amino acids. The amino acid compound is then used to aid bodily functions such as increasing volume and muscle growth and regulating immune function.

However, there are also some amino acids outside of essential amino acids that are classified as conditional essentials, as they are considered important only in certain circumstances such as when having a disease or being stressed.

One example is arginine, which is necessary for people who want to accelerate wound healing, and increase the ability to exercise. Arginine should also be consumed through food intake to meet the body’s needs.

Amino Acids Definition

Amino acids are the smallest part of the protein structure. That said, the protein from the food you eat is a collection of several amino acids. As the simplest form of protein, this form of amino acids can be absorbed by the body and perform its functions properly.

Amino Acid Function

Once the amino acids are ready for use, the body then uses to:

  • Helps with any growth process in the body
  • Repairing body tissues
  • Maintaining the balance of bodily fluids
  • Maintaining an alkaline acid atmosphere in the body
  • Forming hormones (for example, thyroid and insulin hormones).
  • Forming enzymes. An enzyme is a molecule of a protein that serves as a catalyst. With a catalyst, any chemical reaction process in the body will be faster and more effective.
  • Form a neurotransmitter. Neurotransmitters are chemical compounds in the brain that help send signals between nerve cells in the brain. Nerotransmitters formed for example named dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.
  • It forms the immune system. Antibodies are key in the immune system. Amino acids make the body’s antibodies to attack target cells that are considered foreign to enter the body.

Amino Acid Benefits

Preventing Hair Loss

Hair loss can not only be prevented by beauty products. This hair problem can also be prevented with amino acids. Yes, one of the benefits of amino acids is to prevent hair loss while maintaining skin and nail health.

According to research from Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, hair loss is quite closely related to iron deficiency and in optimal lysine intake. Well, lysine is one of the many types of amino acids.

Increase Muscle Mass

The benefits of amino acids can also make your muscles “smile”. How could it be? Because, muscles are formed from proteins consisting of a wide variety of amino acids. The more muscle formed, the less room for fat in the body.

Maintaining Heart Health

According to a study published in the US National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, amino acids are good for maintaining heart health. Because, some types of amino acids are believed to be important nutrients for maintaining cardiovascular function. Deficiency of several types of amino acids is associated with cardiac dysfunction.

Maintaining Balance of Hormones and Enzymes

You should be vigilant if you lack amino acids, because it can be that hormones and enzymes in your body get messed up, especially balance hormones. Another amino acid benefit is to release insulin, so that the balance level of blood sugar is maintained. Meanwhile, growth hormone can increase the development of muscle mass and aid the process of burning fat and energy, as well as strengthening bones and collagen.

Read also:
How Does Insulin Work?

Increase Stamina and Memory

Foods high in amino acids can also keep you from being tired. In addition, the benefits of amino acids can also improve the process of detoxifying ammonia by the liver. As a result, your overall body health is improving. Not only that, but it can also avoid depression and improve memory.

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Amino Acid: Definition, 8 Functions, and Benefits

Post in | Last updated: October 26th, 2020 |