The 3 Types of Amino Acids: And How They Make the Difference in Your Health

by Dr. David Minkoff December 05, 2018 3 min read

The 3 Types of Amino Acids: And How They Make the Difference in Your Health

Amino acids are the foundation of biology.

Muscle protein is made of amino acids. Most of your neurotransmitters are made from amino acids. Glutathione, the most important detox molecule in biology is made from amino acids. Enzymes that break down food and catalyze biochemical reactions are made from amino acids. Collagen is a combination of amino acids.

In short, your health depends on amino acids.

Therefore, the more you know about these critical building blocks of life, the greater health you can cultivate.

There are thousands of amino acids found in nature, but when it comes to biology living cells of everything from plants to elephants to humans only use a set of 20. And these 20 break down to 3 basic categories: Essential, Non-Essential, and Conditionally Essential.

 

Essential Amino Acids

This term refers to amino acids that cannot be made by the cells, so they must be obtained through diet. They are different for every organism, so let’s focus on humans.

This is particularly interesting because it actually changes as we age.

As infants, we have 9 essential amino acids. However, as we grow, new enzymatic pathways come online. After the age of 3 months, our bodies can begin to synthesize histidine* (see note below on the scientific debate) from other amino acids.

So that leaves us with 8 core essential amino acids for the average adult:
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine


From these 8 basic amino acids, the enzymes of your cells can synthesize all of the other 12 amino acids.

That means anything your body needs, every digestive enzyme, detox molecule, neurotransmitter, protein, or anything else can be reduced to these 8 basic ingredients.

Almost everything you need for optimal health comes down to amino acids.

This is the basis of Dr. Minkoff’s scientifically tested PerfectAmino formula, optimized for 99% utilization by your body.

 

Conditionally Essential Amino Acids

Sometimes, however, our bodies face challenging situations, placing extra biochemical demands on our system. In times of stress or illness, your body increases the use of certain amino acids, and this can drain your reserves, eventually leading to dysfunction or disease.

These are called Conditionally Essential amino acids because in certain conditions they become essential. These include:
  • Arginine
  • Cysteine
  • Glutamine
  • Tyrosine
  • Glycine
  • Ornithine
  • Proline
  • Serine
  • Histidine*


However, because these can still be converted from the 8 basic essential amino acids, making sure to cover your 8 essentials first though attention to diet or with PerfectAmino is your best insurance policy for total health.

 

Non-essential Amino Acids

The final and smallest group of amino acids to look at are the non-essential. Most other classification systems will lump the conditionally essential and non-essential amino acids together and call them both non-essential.

That said, these last 2 amino acids are still important and necessary for life. But because the intelligence of your body can produce them through biochemical synthesis, you can easily compensate for any dietary deficiencies.

This group includes:
  • Alanine
  • Asparagine

 

The Foundation of Biology

Amino acids are the foundation of your all biology, which also makes them the foundation of your health.

No matter where you are at, or what your goals are…

Whether you are an athlete looking for greater gains in your training, healing from disease, detoxing, preserving your health as you age, or just looking to optimize your health so you can be your best…

The 8 essential amino acids are critical to your optimal health––eat and supplement accordingly.

If you would like to cover your amino acid needs in one easy dose, try Dr. Minkoff’s proprietary PerfectAmino Formula, a special blend scientifically tested for 99% utilization.

No waste. No filler. Just the essentials.

 


* NOTE: Because the histidine conversion process is biologically “expensive” and takes a lot of energy there is a scientific debate on whether histidine is truly essential or conditionally -essential. For the most part, this is an academic issue. For the practical purposes of daily life, histidine is only critical in certain conditions or diseases. There may also be a genetic factor to histidine synthesis, but there is insufficient evidence to make any definitive claims.
Dr. David Minkoff
Dr. David Minkoff

Dr. Minkoff graduated from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1974 and was elected to the “Phi Beta Kappa” of medical schools, the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Medical Fraternity for very high academic achievement. He then worked as an attending physician in infectious disease, co-directed a neo-natal intensive care unit and worked in emergency medicine until 1995. In 1997, his interest in alternative and complementary medicine led him to open LifeWorks Wellness Center, which has become one of the foremost alternative medicine clinics in the U.S. His search to find a source of the highest quality nutritional supplements led him to establish BodyHealth in 2000, a resource that could provide doctors with the best possible supplementation and education for their patients. Today, the BodyHealth products are used by hundreds of practitioners and individual consumers who seek all-natural wellness and detoxification supplements with a demonstrated high level of quality and effectiveness. In addition to their use by patients looking to heal disease, the BodyHealth products are also used by sports enthusiasts interested in achieving and maintaining optimal performance. As a 42-time Ironman triathlon finisher, (including 8 appearances at the Ironman World Championships) Dr. Minkoff has first-hand experience to help athletes achieve optimum conditioning. His expertise in protein synthesis, detoxification, and nutrition allow them to run, swim, and bike faster and longer. Today, Dr. Minkoff is an alternative healthcare expert, guest lecturer, writer, tv and radio show guest. He also authors two weekly newsletters, the BodyHealth Fitness Newsletter and the Optimum Health Report.


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