nutrition

Amino Acids that Aid Weight Loss

My Bariatric Life Health Guide January 17, 2013
  • What are Amino Acids?

    Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins as well as intermediates in metabolism. They make up 75% of the human body and are critical to almost all bodily functions. All chemical reactions that occur in the body are dependent on them. 

    There are twenty amino acids, but humans can only produce half of them. The other ten must be gotten from food sources. These essential amino acids are important enough that the inability to obtain enough of even just one results in protein degradation because the body does not store them for later use like fat and starch. Essential amino acids must be in the food we eat daily.


    The Correlation Between Amino Acids and Weight Loss

    Amino acids can aid weight loss by maintaining muscle mass while fat is being lost. Getting enough of essential amino acids will help to address over-eating. Supplements can be used, but it is important to determine current levels of amino acids in the body. Consultation with a physician is recommended so that a specialized program can be mappes to fit individual needs. 

    Amino acid supplements can be beneficial, but there are guidelines involved. They must be taken with certain foods or in the absence of certain foods to insure they are processed correctly. Failure to do this will negate the desired result.

    Diet and nutrition are also important. A protein rich diet is necessary where 30% of the calories are had from protein. This will provide the proper amount of amino acids needed to suppress appetite and increase weight loss.

    Amino Acids for Weight Loss

    Carnitine - Carnitine is involved in the metabolism of fat. It prevents fat storage and converts it into energy. It also reduces fat mass and increases muscle mass. This is beneficial because muscle requires more energy to burn than fat, and more calories are lost if a person has more muscle.

    Tyrosine - Tyrosine stimulates the production and release of specific hormones that accelerate metabolism and the burning of fat. In addition, tyrosine can improve the effects of appetite suppressants so that lesser doses are needed.

    Leucine - Leucine initiates the protein synthesis that burns off many calories. It helps to maintain muscle mass and increases feelings of being full. It is a powerful amino acid that can have great effects. A 2006 study showed that this supplement when combined with diet produced a 22.4 % reduction in body fat as opposed to diet alone.

    Tryptophan - Tryptophan is the amino acid that is found in turkey and is recognized as the culprit that puts us to sleep after Thanksgiving dinner. This sedation is useful for weight loss whereas sleep helps to regulate hormone and insulin levels. It stimulates the release of serotonin, the hormone that tells us we are full.

    Phenylalanine - Phenylalanine controls the brain’s ability to identify hunger or the sensation of feeling full. It also allows the body to maintain appropriate weight once the goal has been attained.

     

    Living life well-fed,

    MBL

     

  • References:
    FitDay - http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/weight-loss/can-amino-acids-aid-weight-loss.html
    Live Strong - http://www.livestrong.com/article/128086-amino-acids-weight-loss/
    The Biology Project - http://www.biology.arizona.edu/biochemistry/problem_sets/aa/aa.html
    Wise Geek - http://www.wisegeek.org/what-are-amino-acids.htm