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Amino Acids
Arginine

Functions of arginine

  • Enhancing the immune system by increasing the size and activity of the thymus gland which manufacture T-cells.
  • Assist the pancreas to release insulin or glucagons
  • Assist the pituitary gland to release human growth hormone (HGH)
  • Aids in injury rehabilitation, formation of collagen as well as building new bone and tendons
  • Assist in neutralizing ammonia in the liver promoting liver health
  • Precursor of creatine that facilitate the increase of muscle mass, while reducing body fat
  • May increase sperm count

Food sources of arginine

  • Whole-wheat
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Peanuts
  • Soy
  • Chocolate
  • Raisins
 
Carnitine

Note: Carnitine is not really an amino acid but because of its structural sameness it is normally classed with the amino acids. Unlike a true amino acid it is not used in protein synthesis or as neurotransmitter.

Functions of carnitine

  • To transport long-chain fatty acids 
  • Required for the entry of long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria of cells 
  • To remove short-chain organic acids from the mitochondria of cells 
  • Assist in preventing fatty build-up in areas such as the heart, liver and skeletal muscle 
  • May reduces the risk of poor fat metabolism in diabetics 
  • Improves the anti-oxidant effect of vitamin C and E

Food sources of carnitine

  • Red meat 
  • Fish 
  • Chicken 
  • Milk
 
Glutamine

Functions of glutamine

  • Plays a key role in immune system functioning 
  • Assist with the removal of ammonia from the brain 
  • An important source of energy, especially for the kidneys and intestines during caloric restrictions 
  • Act as brain fuel that is an aid to brain functioning and mental activity

Food sources of glutamine 

  • Meat 
  • Fish 
  • Beans 
  • Dairy 
  • Vegetables such as raw parsley and spinach
 
Glycine

Functions of glycine

  • Precursor of creatine that facilitate the increase of muscle mass, while reducing body fat 
  • Is used to construct RNA and DNA 
  • Has a calming effect 
  • Support glucagon production and release 
  • Can inhibit sugar cravings 
  • Is a part of the structure of hemoglobin and enzymes involved in energy production 
  • Aids in the manufacture of other amino acids

Food sources of glycine

  • Meat 
  • Fish 
  • Beans 
  • Dairy
 
Isoleucine

Note: Isoleucine is part of the three “branched chain amino acids” and needs to be supplied together with the other two leucine and valine.

Functions of isoleucine

  • Promote muscle recovery 
  • Essential in the formation of hemoglobin 
  • Assist with the regulation of blood sugar levels as well as energy levels 
  • Involved in blood-clot formation

Food sources of isoleucine

  • Meat 
  • Fish 
  • Almonds 
  • Cashews 
  • Lentils
 
Leucine

Note: Leucine is part of the three “branched chain amino acids” and needs to be supplied together with the other two isleucine and valine

Functions of leucine

  • Assist with the regulation of blood sugar levels as well as energy levels
  • Assist with energy regulation 
  • Helps reduce muscle protein breakdown 
  • Assist with growth hormone production 
  • Support wound healing, growth and repair of bone, skin and muscle

Food sources of leucine

  • Meat
  • Fish 
  • Brown rice 
  • Beans 
  • Nuts 
  • Whole wheat
 
Lysine

Note: Lysine is an essential amino acid

Functions of lycine

  • Required for growth and bone development in children 
  • Assist in calcium absorption 
  • Helps maintain correct nitrogen balance in the body 
  • Helps maintain lean body mass 
  • Is required to produce antibodies, hormones, enzymes and collagen formation 
  • Together with vitamin C and carnitine enables muscle tissue to use oxygen more efficiently, delaying fatigue

Food sources of lycine

  • Meat 
  • Milk 
  • Lime beans 
  • Nuts 
  • Brewers yeast 
  • Potatoes
 
Phenylalanine

Note: Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid

Functions of phenylalanine

  • The major precursor of tyrosine 
  • Enhancing learning, memory, mood and alertness 
  • Help suppress appetite 
  • Assist with the relieve of chronic pain 
  • Is a mojor element in the production of collagen

Food sources of phenylalanine 

  • Meat 
  • Dairy products 
  • Almonds 
  • Avocados 
  • Lima beans 
  • Peanuts 
  • Seeds 
  • Potatoes
 
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