What are Amino Acids?
Amino acids are the breakdown products of proteins, some of which are not readily available in diet and need to be supplemented in a concentrated form. They are the building blocks of proteins. Proteins play a very important role in maintaining our health and make up a big part of the diet. The three main macro-nutrients found in food include carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Proteins are required in our diet, as they are an important building block of muscle and brain tissue.
Amino acids, derived from protein intake, are precursors to brain chemicals such as serotonin, a natural anti-depressant-like chemical produced in the brain. Serotonin requires the amino acid tryptophan, found in foods such as turkey, for its production. Without the proper amino acids in our diet, our brains can become depleted of these crucial chemicals, otherwise known as neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitter depletion can not only lead to depression, it is also connected with insomnia, Attention Deficit Disorder, anxiety, memory loss, weight gain and addictive disorders .
The History of Amino Acid Therapy
There is a long, well documented history of using amino acids for depression and other issues related to brain chemistry imbalances. Discovered in the early 1900s, amino acids were used up to the late 1980s as the physician’s mainstay for treating these types of conditions. While the advent of pharmaceutical medications all but eliminated this natural treatment option from the allopathic repertoire, amino acids have continued to be a popular option for complementary / alternative medicine modalities and an essential for those seeking natural methods for brain chemistry balancing.
Can’t You Get Amino Acids From Food?
The amino acid profile of various proteins varies greatly. Foods that contain protein, whether they are vegetarian or animal in origin, contain different combinations of amino acids. While we do need to keep up our overall daily intake of protein in order to maintain our health, proper neurotransmitter balance cannot always be achieved through diet alone. Protein intake increases the level of amino acids circulating around in the blood stream. Once proteins are broken down into amino acids by the digestive system, they are then released into the blood stream. In order for these amino acids to be taken up into the brain, they have to be carried across the blood-brain barrier using a specific transport system. This transport system will not help to correct amino acid imbalances within the brain. For example, if you have become depleted in serotonin because of high stress, dietary deficiencies or other lifestyle factors, the tryptophan uptake will not increase in any capacity across the blood-brain barrier.
Why We Need Amino Acid Supplements?
So, how can we increase the amount of serotonin in the brain utilizing tryptophan as a precursor? The answer lies in the timing of supplementation. Between meals, the levels of circulating amino acids in the bloodstream decreases. By supplementing with an individual amino acid when one is between meals, we are allowing that particular amino acid to become more available to be taken up by the transporter at the blood-brain barrier. Once the amino acid is taken up in the brain, it can then be used for neurotransmitter production.
Amino acid therapy is often used to help address many of the symptoms listed in Table 1. Each neurotransmitter has a specific amino acid, which is required for its synthesis and plays a particular role within the brain and body.
Table 1: Amino Acid Precursors
Neurotransmitter: Plays a role in Amino Acid Precursor
Serotonin: Sleep cycle, depression, anxiety, carbohydrate cravings, PMS l-tryptophan
Dopamine: Focus, attention, memory, motivation/ drive, mood, addictive disorders l-tyrosine
Norepinephrine: Energy, drive, anxiety, focus, metabolism, mood l-tyrosine
Epinephrine: Energy, drive, anxiety, focus, metabolism, mood l-tyrosine
Since each of us has a unique neurotransmitter profile, your recommended supplements in any program should be specific to your imbalances. While single amino acids can work to balance the brain, using this method often requires several different products and should also include mineral cofactors, vitamins and a high quality omega-3 fatty acid. Neurogistics protocols incorporate your individual requirements and provide a program of highly targeted amino acids specific to your imbalances. All of your brain nutrient needs are combined into a few products making it easy and convenient to buy and use. Individual protocols can make the difference when based on proven testing methods.
Restoring neurotransmitter levels and achieving your correct balance can have a profoundly positive effect on issues like drug and alcohol addiction, depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, headache, migraines, memory, focus, chronic pain and more. You just need an expert to determine what protocol is right for you.
Defy Medical provides Amino Acids in both injectable and powder form. Contact Defy Medical to learn more about Amino-Acids and Injectable Amino-Acid Therapy.