Amino acids, also known as protein building blocks, are substances that play vital roles in your body, including addressing brain-related issues.
Some amino acids are synthesized in the body. At the same time, some cannot, and the remainder are only required under certain situations.
This article will discuss how amino acids are beneficial to our brain health and where to get them.
Amino Acids and Brain Health
Everything You Should Know About Amino Acids
What Are Amino Acids?
Amino acids are chemicals combined to build up proteins. Your body contains thousands of distinct proteins, each of which serves an essential purpose. Each protein has its amino acid sequence that causes the protein to take various shapes and perform different functions in your body.
More particularly, amino acids are energy sources that play an essential role in protein synthesis, metabolism, and the homeostatic function of cells in various organs, including the brain. In the brain, amino acids serve as neurotransmitter precursors. The central nervous system requires amino acids to synthesize multiple neurotransmitters and neuromodulators.
Types of Amino Acids
There are three types of amino acids:
- Essential amino acids. The body cannot generate essential amino acids on its own, so they must be obtained through food sources, including animal proteins such as meat, eggs, and poultry. Soy products like tofu also contain all nine essential amino acids.
- Nonessential amino acids. Our bodies can naturally synthesize these amino acids, even if we don’t acquire them from food. Eleven of our body’s 20 amino acids are nonessential. Their roles include toxin removal, red blood corpuscles, white blood corpuscles synthesis, brain function promotion, and many others.
- Conditional amino acids. Except for illness or stress, conditional amino acids are usually not required. Certain amino acids, such as glycine and arginine, are regarded conditionally essential during pregnancy. A pregnant woman needs more of these amino acids to support the body and the fetus’s health.
How Can Amino Acids Support Our Brain Health?
Improve Cognitive Function
A study looked into using seven essential amino acids to promote attention and cognitive flexibility. One hundred five participants aged 55 or older were assigned to one of three groups: 3 g per day, 6 g per day of the specified amino acids, or a placebo. This experiment lasted 12 weeks.
After ingestion, the second group reported considerably enhanced cognitive performance, social interaction, and psychological health scores compared to the placebo group. According to the findings, consuming necessary amino acids increases attention, cognitive flexibility, and psychosocial functioning, which is believed to help prevent cognitive decline.
The brain is the primary organ involved in the stress response. The amygdala, the brain structure, recognizes the stress and signals the HPA axis to react. The HPA axis is capable of detecting both emotional and bodily stimuli. An emotional stressor is something in the surroundings that can make you feel terrified, unhappy, or frustrated.
Luckily, it has been studied that a sufficient supply of specific amino acids can positively influence the stress-induced imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters, as well as the neurological, emotional, and behavioral implications.
One of the amino acids, tyrosine, is thought to be an efficient cognition enhancer. On the other hand, Taurine is involved in the central nervous system, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, and various metabolic processes. In addition, Taurine functions as an inhibitory neuromodulator, preventing stress-related neuronal damage.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Pharmaceutical treatments for brain damage remain limited. Nutritional intervention, however, has emerged as a viable therapy option for traumatic brain injury.
Three of the 11 investigations addressed the impact of brain injury on endogenous branched-chain amino acids, including valine, leucine, and isoleucine. They consistently reported that concentrations of these amino acids were reduced post-injury.
Other studies looked at the effects of amino acid supplementation on traumatic brain injury in animals and humans. Animal research revealed that branched-chain amino acids increased post-injury recovery. Human trials yielded similar results, with four studies reporting superior outcomes with amino acid supplementation.
Although the analysis found an overall positive relationship between branched-chain amino acids and traumatic brain injury, evidence of supplemental efficacy has been confined to severe damage. Still, there is inadequate information to evaluate if amino acids are beneficial in moderate brain injury. As a result, future studies should look at amino acids’ impact on mild to severe brain injury.
Enhance Mood and Sleep Quality
Tyrosine is an amino acid produced by phenylalanine found in the body. Tyrosine is necessary for synthesizing adrenaline, norepinephrine, and dopamine, aiding in the formation of crucial brain chemicals that influence mood and sleep.
Tyrosine treatment brings a positive effect to better performance in stressful situations. According to the findings of several studies, the amino acid tyrosine may have favorable effects on humans and animals subjected to acute stresses.
Besides, the effects of tyrosine were also studied during a one-night sleep deprivation period of continuous overnight work. Following testing, tyrosine may effectively prevent performance declines during periods of intense activity combined with sleep loss.
Essential Amino Acids to Improve Health and Where to Get Them
Nine proteinogenic amino acids are essential, eleven are nonessential, and three are not found in the human body. As previously stated, the body does not generate essential amino acids independently. As a result, we must obtain them from dietary sources. Let’s take a look at these nine essential amino acids that your body might need to improve brain health:
- Phenylalanine. This amino acid is essential for the structure and function of proteins and enzymes and the creation of other amino acids. Phenylalanine is rich in milk, dairy, meat, eggs, seaweed, pumpkin, beans, rice, nuts, leafy greens, and berries.
- Leucine. It is beneficial for protein synthesis and muscle repair. Also, it aids in blood sugar regulation, wound healing, and the production of growth hormones. We can find these amino acids in cheese, soybeans, animal meats, pumpkin, seeds, nuts, peas, tuna, whey protein, etc.
- Isoleucine. It is essential for muscle metabolism. This amino acid is also vital for immune function, hemoglobin production, and energy regulation. Isoleucine is present in soy, meat, fish, eggs, certain nuts, lentils, beans, brown rice, legumes, and chia seeds.
- Valine. As one of three branched-chain amino acids, valine also helps stimulate muscle growth, regeneration, and energy production. Valine is found in cheese, red meat, chicken, pork, spinach, legumes, broccoli, seeds, whole grains, figs, and some fruits.
- Threonine. Threonine promotes the health of the immune system, the central nervous system, the liver, and the heart. It is also required to produce glycine and serine, the two amino acids necessary for elastin, collagen, and muscle tissue production. Threonine is rich in lean meat, cheese, seeds, lentils, pumpkin, leafy greens, soybeans, raisins, and quinoa.
- Histidine. The human body uses histidine to produce histamine, a neurotransmitter vital to the immune system, digestion, sexual performance, and sleep-wake cycles. Red meat and white meat, seafood, cheese, beans, and potatoes are some food sources rich in histidine.
- Lysine. Protein build-up, calcium absorption, and the synthesis of hormones and enzymes all need this amino acid. Add eggs, poultry, beans, cheese, chia seeds, parsley, avocados, and whey protein to your diet to improve lysine levels in the body.
- Methionine. This amino acid is required for metabolic and detoxifying processes. It is also necessary for the formation of new blood vessels and muscles. Methionine sources are meat, fish, dairy, beans, seeds, oats, wheat, whole grain rice, onions, and cacao.
- Tryptophan. Tryptophan is needed for newborn growth and the formation and maintenance of proteins, muscles, enzymes, and neurotransmitters in the body. You can find tryptophan in chocolate, milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, chickpeas, almonds, bananas, and peanuts.
Besides dietary methods, you can consider getting amino acids from supplementation. Neuro Spark | Regen Labs can help improve mental alertness and cognitive function to improve stress levels. Its key ingredients include L-Tyrosine, a form of amino acid Tyrosine, which helps improve memory and thinking skills, cope with sleep deprivation, and boost mental sharpness.
Furthermore, Neuro Spark is a supplement used to support brain health by suppressing amyloid-beta plaques to relieve oxidative stress, support healthy cell structure, and metabolize glucose.
Buy Regen Labs® Neuro Spark™ here.
It is a lot to think about! We get it. Regen Labs has options for you if you have questions about amino acids and brain repair. All Regen Labs products support the body’s natural systems for a healthy brain, skin, muscle, and sexual health.
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