Amino acids, their structure, properties and role in the body

Amino acids, their structure, properties and role in the body

Amino acids are structural chemical units or building blocks, in other words, that form proteins. The chemical structure of amino acids by 16% consists of nitrogen, this is the main chemical difference from two other important nutrients – carbohydrates and fats. The importance of amino acids for the body is determined by the huge role that proteins play in all life processes. Any living organism from the largest animals to a tiny microbe is made up of proteins. A variety of forms of proteins are involved in all processes occurring in living organisms. In the human body, muscles, ligaments, tendons, all organs and glands, hair, nails are formed from proteins; proteins are a part of liquids and bones. Enzymes and hormones that catalyze and regulate all processes in the body are also proteins.
Deficiency of proteins in the body can lead to a violation of the water balance, which causes swelling. Each protein in the body is unique and exists for special purposes. Proteins are not interchangeable. They are synthesized in the body from amino acids, which are formed as a result of the spit of proteins from food. Thus, it is the amino acids, and not the proteins themselves, that are the most valuable elements of nutrition.
In addition to the fact that amino acids form proteins that make up the tissues and organs of the human body, some of them act as neurotransmitters or are their predecessors. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that transmit a nerve impulse from one nerve cell to another. Thus, some amino acids are necessary for the normal operation of the brain.
There are about 20 amino acids. In the human body, many of them are synthesized in the liver. However, some of them can not be synthesized in the body, so a person must necessarily receive them with food. Such essential amino acids include – histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. Amino acids that are synthesized in the liver include alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, gamma-aminobutyric acid, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, ornithine, proline, taurine, tyrosine.
The process of protein synthesis is constantly going on in the body. In the case when at least one essential amino acid is absent, the formation of proteins is suspended. This can lead to a variety of serious problems – from digestive disorders to depression and slowing growth.
How does this situation arise? It’s easier than you can imagine. Many factors lead to this, even if your diet is balanced and you consume enough protein. Disruption of absorption in the gastrointestinal tract, infection, trauma, stress, taking certain medications, the aging process and the imbalance of other nutrients in the body – all this can lead to a deficiency of essential amino acids.

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