Amino Acids: The Building Blocks to Life


Confusion reigns yet again! Eat red meat, don’t eat it. Eat more chicken, at least until you start clucking! Eggs are the most complete protein on the planet – nope, they are well-known allergens! Save the planet be a vegetarian – uh oh, I’m saving the planet and losing a lot of muscle…forget the planet!

So, let’s take a brief tumble and look at the action of amino acids. Here we go! Amino acids are the building blocks of all foods containing protein. There are 28 amino acids known to the world of science, nine of which are termed essential. Essential means this: you must put these nine amino acids into your body daily. The ’9 Big Guys’ must come from protein-based foods you choose to gift your body with (or not). They are found in varied proteins with groupings of two to nine amino acids in different foods, with an egg (including the yolk) being the Big Kahuna because it contains all nine of the essential amino acids!

Amino acids are categorized in three main groups, which target varied organs and systems. For example, there are nine amino acids termed “nuero transmitter” amino acids that support healthy brain and nervous system functions. So, if you ingest these amino acids in abundance, you’ll find insomnia, anxiety, depression, stress, cravings for sugar, alcohol and your need for drugs may very well quickly dissipate.

The branched-chain amino acids support healing after surgery or injuries, help with bone and hair growth, decrease muscle wasting and help build muscle give the correct consumption or ratio of proteins to oils to carbohydrates as well as exercise.

The sulfur-containing amino acids lower allergy responses, make your skin beautiful, build collagen, giving you stamina and endurance, beat fatigue and help new cells regenerate during chemotherapy and radiation.

In the neurological transmitter group there are two essential amino acids out of nine total, while in the branched-chain amino acids genre, three out of a total of four are essential, and in the sulphur amino group one out of five are essential.

All told, in these three groupings there are six essential amino acids. To make it more dazzling. There are three more not categorized, which are essential: Lysine, Histadine and Threonine! Lysine is known to stimulate immunity and squelch herpes expression. Histadine helps healthy tissue and nerve production, healing from trauma and increases clotting factor.

Lastly, the essential amino acid threonine supports central nervous system function (calming you down) during stress and supports liver detox and heart function.

How does all of this information affect you personally? Here is the bottom line: If you consume dairy, animal and or fish proteins, ideally you should rotate. All complete protein sources (eg. fish, meat, eggs) should be consumed no more than two to three times per week, (not days, but actual meals). For example, consume chicken no more than twice a week, eggs two to three times a week, salmon two times a week, etc. This way, you will consume a wide variety of amino acid-bearing foods, which will present the ‘essential’ amino acids enabling support of all organ and system functions.

If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, the best approach is to combine foods. It’s a lot of work! For example, to recreate the amino acids found in 4 oz. of organic chicken you would need to combine the following: 2 cups legumes, 1 cup grains, 1 cup vegetables, 1 Tbls raw seeds or nuts, PLUS 1 Tbls essential omega 3-6-9. OR, you could simply take a 9 essential amino acid blend supplement (liquid under tongue is best) two times per day. My favorite is Biotics Liquid Aminos.

So for those of you who are post menopausal, recovering from a trauma or in a growth cycle, your need for amino acid support more than doubles.

The non-essential amino acids are, quite simply, not essential, as your body can make these collectively from the foods you eat. The essential amino acids are essential and must be consumed daily, as your body cannot make them internally and, hence, must be sourced from protein varied foods or good food combining. If we all met our essential amino acid needs, face lifts, saggy knees and Botox would be a thing of the past!


About Deborah Arneson

Deborah Arneson holds a B.S. in Food Science, a M.S. in Counseling Psychology and is a licensed clinical nutritionist. A veteran in her field, she specializes in solving hormonal imbalances: increasing energy, focus, moods, eliminating anxiety, constipation and sleep problems though one on one nutrition counseling and Ayurvedic practices.