What are Amino Acids?

Amino acid facts

  • Amino acids are the building blocks of our body. Sufficient amino acids, especially EAAs intake can help to reduce muscle protein degradation.
  • Amino acids also able to form into other complexes and substances that are required for normal function of the body.

amino acids

  • There are two main types of amino acids: essential amino acids (EAAs) and non-essential amino acids.
  • Non-essential amino acids can be obtained from normal diets, and our body able to reuse and synthesize them.
  • EAAs cannot be reused and synthesized in our body, therefore must supplied from the diets.

The 9 essential amino acids

In fact, dietary protein from meats, eggs, soy and dairies are rich in EAAs. However, these foods are excessive in protein which is burden for people with kidney complications. Therefore, they may eventually lack of EAAs as a result of avoiding these foods.

Consequences of EAA deficiency

  • According to study, not getting enough EAAs may cause lower muscle mass in older adults.
  • CKD is associated with muscular wasting and there are some concerns about potential catabolic and cachectic effects of LPD/VLPD.
  • Muscle wasting is the first symptom of a deficiency of EAAs.

Consequences of EAAs deficiency

  • Therefore, supplementation of EAAs have been shown to reduce muscle protein degradation.

Nitrogen balance and amino acids

Nitrogen accounts for 16% of protein weight. Nitrogen balance is the difference between nitrogen intake in form of dietary protein, and the amount excreted, for eg through urine, feces, sweat and etc.

Nitrogen Balance Status Condition Reasons
Zero Intake = Loss Normal body function
Positive Intake > Loss – Pregnancy
– Growth
Negative Intake < Loss – Insufficient Dietary AA intake especially EAAs
– Stress
– Sickness and trauma
– Organ dysfunction (eg, liver and kidney)