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The Importance of Amino Acids

Aging is inevitable. As we age nutritional needs may actually increase as appetite may decrease. [23] Amino acids have been found to be lower in both blood and muscle of aged humans. [63,77] Amino acid supplements have shown exciting potential to restore and maintain the health of aging men and women, improving muscle mass, protecting from heart damage, increasing muscle strength, improving insulin sensitivity and more. [1,5,10,12,27,30,40,43,55,57,60,61,66,68,71-74,78]

We are all concerned about the seemingly inevitable increases in heart disease, adult onset diabetes, sarcopenia (muscle wasting associated with aging), age related depression, and loss of memory. Research over the past few years has shown daily supplementation of essential amino acids improves muscle mass with or without exercise [3,29,58], as well as improving insulin resistance, [2,60,61,72-74] a common complication of aging and precursor to the development of type II adult onset diabetes.

Amino acid supplements protect the brain and heart and increase muscle mitochondria while reducing muscle fibrosis (inactive fibrous tissue replacing healthy muscle).[10,28,55] Mitochondria are the powerhouses of all of our cells and aging is associated with decreased mitochondria in muscle and brain. Restoring essential mitochondria is an important part of any anti-aging program.

Amino acid supplements increase the production of essential enzymes which enhance and protect muscle (including the heart) and brain. We often think of enzymes in terms of digestion, and amino acids do support healthy digestion, but every metabolic change throughout the body and brain is controlled and modified by enzymes. [5,61,65,70,78]

Exercise is important for both body and brain. Significant daily exercise reduces blood pressure, heart disease, insulin resistance, obesity, osteoporosis and even depression. [4,22,23,26,45,46,49,50,53,54,58,67,80] When exercising is difficult, because of fatigue, weakness, or muscle insufficiency, amino acid supplements have been shown to improve exercise capacity. [1,6,21,23,69-71]

Inactivity, often accompanying aging and illness, alters the body’s ability to utilize protein. Amino acid supplements, which require no digestion, show potential to reverse this condition, as well as the muscle wasting caused by corticosteroid medications. [25,56] This in turn may allow one to begin a regular program of physical activity further increasing longevity.

Total Amino Solution is a complete amino acid supplement which addresses issues of aging by providing not just a complement of essential amino acids but further increases its effectiveness by providing several conditionally essential amino acids. These include l-carnitine to improve fat burning, cognitive function, and heart function [35,38,39,44,48,51], and taurine, a membrane stabilizer, anti-oxidant, and calcium stabilizer, as well as a key component of the functioning muscle, heart, brain and eye.[11,14,20,33,36,41,47,52,62,64,79] In addition taurine, along with other aminos, has shown benefit to learning and memory retention and is necessary for a functioning immune system. [19,65]

Total Amino Solution has been further enhanced by the addition of a complement of the B vitamins niacinamide, riboflavin, pyridoxal-5-phospate, folic acid, and B-12  which provide the essential elements for production of critical enzymes through out the body and brain. These B vitamins have been clinically shown to decrease homocysteine, a problematic by product of metabolism that when elevated is associated with dementias, heart disease, osteoporosis, depression, and even mobility. [7-9,15-17,24,31,34,37,42]

B vitamin status is often overlooked in the diet of seniors. Hyperhomocysteinemia (elevated homocysteine) is a common finding in this group and both additional B vitamins, especially B-6, folic acid and B-12, and protein, which might include a complete amino acid such as Total Amino Solution, lower homocysteine. [7,13,32,76]

Further B-12, folic acid, and elevated homocysteine have been shown to be related to thyroid insufficiency in aging.[75] These two important B vitamins have also been associated with hearing loss in older adults. [18,59] Thyroid problems increase incidence of immobility and depression and dramatically decrease quality of life, as does loss of hearing.

The amino acids found in Total Amino Solution combined with the complex of B vitamins synergistically support healthy aging. As we age understanding our decreased need for calories combined with an increased need for essential nutrition, including amino acids and B vitamins, gives us the knowledge we need to support our bodies so that we may enjoy a long and healthy life.

Dr. Daniel S. Smith, DC

Genesa, Inc

Reference List

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4 Responses to “The Importance of Amino Acids”

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