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Essential Amino Acids in Diet

An essential amino acid is an amino acid that cannot be made by the human body and therefore must be supplied by the diet. There are ten essential amino acids that are necessary for humans. The term “essential” does not refer to these amino acids as being more necessary than other amino acids, but implies that they are essential to have them in the diet for the body to obtain them. Essential amino acids and other amino acids are required by the body to build cells, repair tissue, fight viruses and bacteria, carry oxygen, keep muscles healthy and are a vital part of the hormonal and enzyme systems. Without even one of these important amino acids, health problems can occur. The body can manufacture ten of these amino acids from within, but the remaining ten are considered essential. These include valine, phenylalanine, trypotophan, threonine, leucine, lysine, isoleucine and methionine, arginine and histidine. To receive the adequate amounts of the essential amino acids the diet should contain dairy and meat products. If an individual does not consume these foods, special attention should be applied to other food products to ensure adequate amounts. Other foods that contain essential amino acids are legumes and cereal grains. These food products should be combined for adequate amounts of essential amino acids.  If the body becomes deficient of any one of these essential amino acids the rest of the amino acids will also be affected. This can cause fatigue, dizziness, nausea, weak immune system, water retention, infertility and loss of antibody production.

 

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