Conditionally-essential amino acids are usually synthesized by the human body, but may be in limited supply in certain conditions, such as prematurity in infants, severe catabolic distress, or advanced age.
Ornithine plays a key role in the urea cycle, which means it helps to detoxify the blood and flush out ammonia. This makes the compound very important to liver health and also useful as a sleep aid.
Arginine is involved in many metabolic processes that are important for the heart and the prevention of high blood pressure. It improves the circulation, strengthens the immune system, and has been associated with increased sexual performance in men.
Acetyl cysteine is used to create a powerful antioxidant called glutathione that helps fortify the body against free radicals and heart disease. The compound can help prevent side effects caused by drug reactions and toxic chemicals, and seems to have benefits in treating some respiratory conditions, such as bronchitis. A pilot study in 2012 supports the potential usefulness of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) for treating irritability in children with autistic disorder.
A sufficient supply of glutamine is important for healthy, supple skin and hair growth. It is also an important component of a healthy immune system. In addition, studies of both animals and humans suggest that l-glutamine can reduce alcohol cravings and the anxiety accompanying withdrawal from alcohol.
This amino acid is a precursor in the production of norepinephrine and dopamine, both of which increase energy, alertness, and improve mood when both are present. Tyrosine is also important to metabolism and can aid in the reduction of body fat.
Glycine is necessary for a healthy digestive system because it helps regulate the synthesis of the bile acids that help you digest fats. Additionally, it is essential for the development and structural integrity of human skeletal muscles and tissues.
Proline is one of the compounds responsible for tissue repair and collagen formation, making it very important for skin health. Its role in synthesizing connective tissues means that proline can also help prevent the hardening of arteries, a condition that threatens cardiovascular health.
One of serine’s functions is to help form the phospholipids that are necessary for creating every cell in the human body. In addition, this amino acid is involved in the functioning of RNA and DNA, in muscle formation, and in the maintenance of a proper immune system.
Technically not a true amino acid, Carnitine is a compound biosynthesized from the amino acids lysine and methionine. It helps the body turn fat into energy. Since it is also a powerful antioxidant, it can help reduce the damage caused by free radicals and other harmful particles within the body.
- Part 1 – Essential Amino Acids
- Part 3 – Non-Essential Amino Acids and How to Supplement
- Introduction to Amino Acids