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Amino Acids explained in simple terms, including essential amino acids as well as non-essential amino acids.

Amino Acids

There is very little information to be found about amino acids. Often what is written sounds like it's in a different language. Not being a biochemist myself, I will attempt to explain amino acids in relatively simple terms and try to convey the little knowledge that I have.

Amino (uh MEE noh) acids are the acids that make up all proteins.

Next to water, protein makes up the greatest portion of our body weight.  Muscles, ligaments, organs, glands, nails, hair, blood, lymphatic fluid, the central nervous system and the brain is mostly made of various proteins.  It is, therefore, understandable why amino acids play such an important role in our health.

Individual proteins contain different quantity and combination of the 29 known amino acids.  Some simple proteins such as plant proteins may only contain 4 or more different amino acids while complex proteins such as meat and beans contain up to 20 different amino acids.

There are three kinds of subset amino acids.  (1) the L series which are organic (2) The D series are basically synthetic.  They are a mirror image of the L series. (3) The DL series are a mixture of the L and D series.

I, personally, only advocate the pure L series.  Of the L series there are 2 categories.  There are the semi and Nonessential amino acids which comprise 80% of all the body protein make up.  They are called non essential amino acids not because they are unimportant as the name may imply.  On the contrary, they are very important to the body.  They are called nonessential because they can be produced and converted by the liver if proper nutrition is taking place.

Essential amino acids comprise the other 20% and you need to eat the foods that contain them because the liver can not convert or manufacture them.

The essential amino acids include:


Benefits: Retards tumor and cancer growth.  Assists in growth by encouraging growth hormones. Help in detoxifying the liver and kidney.  At least 80% of semen is comprised of L-Arginine, a deficiency could cause male sterility.

Food Source: Not enough information

Caution: Avoid supplement if pregnant or breast feeding


Benefits: Healthy red and white blood cells, natural histamine production.

Food Source: Most proteins

Cautions: L-Histidine needs to be ingested with L-Arginine.


Benefits: Proper hemoglobin formation, stabilizes blood sugar and energy levels.

Food source: Chicken, fish, beef, soybeans, eggs, baked beans and legumes.

Caution: An overdose can cause hypoglycemia.


Benefits: Reduces the feeling of helplessness, counteracts fatigue, helps in the absorption of calcium, need to proper growth.  Fights cold sores and herpes simplex I and other viruses and helps lower tyiglycerides.

Food sources: Fish, eggs, garbanzo beans and comfrey

Caution: Too much L-Lysine can cause a L-Methionine deficiency.


Benefits: Prevents fatty buildup on the liver, increase the liver production of lecithin, has been used in toxemia from pregnancy preventative, helps in preventing brittle hair and chemical sensitivities.

Food sources: Garlic, onion, egg yolks and sarsaparilla

Caution: Supplement the diet with L-Choline or lecithin when taken.


Benefits: Helps in memory, learning and mood swings.  Quite effective in the depressive phase of a manic-depression.

Food sources: Not known

Caution: supplements should not be used if pregnant, have high blood pressure or suffering from pigmented melanoma (type of skin cancer)


Benefits: Deficiency can cause ovarian cysts and intermittent menstrual spotting. Help control epileptic seizures.

Food source: none known

Caution: none known


Benefits: Helps induce sleep, counteracts nicotine effect and helps in controlling emotions.

Food sources: Fish, eggs, beef, chicken and soybeans. Tahitian Noni.

Caution: Taken off the market by the FDA because of an impure product.


Benefits: Stimulant, hydrogen balance in the body.

Food source: Not known

Caution: Use with L-Leucine and L-Isolencine.

Most of all amino acid deficiencies occur because of lack on ingestion of proper proteins, the ability to digest these proteins and the liver function to convert the nonessentials.

I know this is all very confusing.  The reason that I didn't list the 20 non-essential amino acids is that a healthy liver can produce them.

If you think that amino acids may be something that you might want to supplement your diet with let me suggestion caution.  Mega-levels can cause overdose.

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***When working with natural health it is beneficial that you have an understanding of the signs of a healing body. ***