Knowing Amino Acids and their Functions for the Body

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Knowing Amino Acids and their Functions for the Body
Knowing Amino Acids and their Functions for the Body

Amino acids or amino acids are proteins that have been broken down through the metabolic process into small molecules. Thus, it will be easier for the body's cells to use this substance for various needs, from supporting the wound healing process to the formation of new cells

Amino acid or amino acid is the simplest form of protein. In the body, the protein you get from various foods, such as eggs, fish, meat, and chicken, will be processed through digestion and metabolism.

Get to know Amino Acids and their Functions for the Body - Alodokter
Get to know Amino Acids and their Functions for the Body - Alodokter

The breakdown of protein into amino acids is assisted by various digestive enzymes in the body, such as the pepsin enzyme in the stomach and the trypsin, carboxypeptidase, and chymotrypsin enzymes produced by the pancreas.

After the protein is broken down into amino acids, this substance will then be absorbed by the intestinal tissue and taken to the liver, where it is distributed to all body cells that need these amino acids.

Types of Amino Acids

Amino acids consist of various types, to be exact there are 20 types of amino acids that play an important role for the he alth of the body. However, in general, amino acids are classified into 2 main types, namely:

Essential amino acids

Essential amino acids are types of amino acids that cannot be produced by the body, so they must be obtained from food or drinks. There are 9 types of essential amino acids that play an important role for the he alth of the body, namely:

  • Phenylalanine
  • Valine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Methionine
  • Leucine
  • Isoleucine
  • Lysine
  • Histidine

The nine amino acids have various functions in the body, namely:

  • Forming and repairing body tissues, such as muscle tissue, skin, nails, connective tissue, nerves, and hair
  • Producing energy
  • Produce antibodies to build immunity
  • Supporting the process of growth and development of babies and children
  • Supports absorption of various minerals, such as zinc and selenium
  • Accelerating the wound healing process
  • Supports the production of hemoglobin and red blood cells
  • Producing collagen
  • Regulate appetite, sleep cycle, and mood

You can get essential amino acids from several types of food, such as red meat, chicken, duck, fish, eggs, milk, and cheese and yogurt. In addition, some types of plant foods, such as soybeans and quinoa, also contain essential amino acids.

Nonessential amino acids

Unlike essential amino acids, non-essential amino acids can be produced by the body. There are 11 kinds of amino acids that are classified as nonessential amino acids, namely:

  • Alanine
  • Arginine
  • Asparagine
  • Aspartic acid or aspartic acid
  • Cysteine
  • Glutamic acid or glutamic acid
  • Glutamine
  • Glycine
  • Proline
  • Serine
  • Tyrosine

The eleven non-essential amino acids have their respective functions and benefits, namely:

  • Accelerate wound healing
  • Smooth blood circulation
  • Maintain and increase sexual arousal (libido)
  • Helps absorption of minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Helps the body in producing collagen and enamel on teeth
  • Prevent premature aging
  • Control mood

Although they can be produced by the body, non-essential amino acids are also found in foods, such as fish, meat, nuts, and seafood.

Branched-chain amino acids

In addition to the 2 main groups above, there are also other types of amino acids called branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Amino acids that are included in the BCAA type are leucine, isoleucine, and valine.

This type of amino acid is widely used by athletes to build muscle mass and support the recovery process of muscle tissue after injury. BCAA types of amino acids can also be used to strengthen the immune system and increase stamina.

BCA amino acids can be obtained from supplements or naturally from certain foods, such as corn, chickpeas, lentils, wheat, almonds, fish, milk, and eggs.

If you look at the benefits, actually all types of amino acids have a fairly similar function.

Although it is important, to get a he althy and fit body, you can't just depend on foods that are high in protein or amino acids. You also need to have a he althy diet by eating balanced nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and getting enough rest time.

Apart from food, amino acids are also now widely available in supplement form. However, if you really want to follow a high-protein diet or take additional amino acid supplements, you should consult your doctor first.