List of Foods High in Amino Acids

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There is undeniably a long list of foods high in amino acids. Due to the fact that there are plenty of them, only a few will be discussed further below. Remember that the body cannot produce protein block- builders, it can only be obtained through diet so there should be need to know those because it plays such a vital role in the immune system as it strengthen the muscles, transmit brain signals and many more.

Enjoy our quick breakdown list below: 



Typically the members of Galliformes such as chickens and turkeys, poultry is among the list of foods high in amino acids. It also includes Anseriforms like waterfowl mammals such as duck and geese.

The meatiest portion of a bird is actually its flight muscles located on its chest called breast meat. There is also the walking muscles on the first and second segments of its legs commonly known as the thigh and drumstick.

In both turkeys and chickens, its flight muscles are not adapted for constant utilization because it has less oxygen- carryinf myoglobin that is why it is light in texture. This is now where the distinction between “white meat” and “red meat” has been derived from.


A facility for the extraction and processing of animal products for human consumption, dairy farm has a variety of produce that are part of the list of foods high in amino acids. It includes cream, butter, milk, casein, cheese, whey, yogurt and powders.

The processing is initially done by bringing a large number of cows to a barn for milking. However, letting the cow stand for a long time is not good for her because she needs periods for paddock and grazing as much as possible. It should be restricted to only twice- daily to a maximum of an hour and a half.

In the present day, there is already what is called industrial manufacture where companies make use of bulky machines to generate a large class of dairy products. This is also to achieve big number that can be supplied to certain groceries and markets for selling.


A culinary term that has no scientific values, vegetable are among the large group is part of the list of foods high in amino acids. It includes a lot of variety such as the ones with leaf, stem, roots, flowers and bulbs. Botanical fruits such as cucumbers, squashes, pumpkins, avocados and capsicurns are also part.

Vegetables are consumed in the number of ways that can be part of any meal be it appetizer, main course or dessert. Its nutrition value and content also differs from one another. Except for pulses, it provides only a small amount of protein and fat. It contains water soluble vitamins such as A, B, C and D together with carbohydrates and minerals.

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Non-Essential Amino Acids

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The body builds proteins from a set of “blocks” of amino acids consisting of twenty amino acids. Once these amino acids are joined together into protein, the body uses that protein to build muscles. There are eight essential amino acids which are the ones that cannot be produced by the body from other available resources and therefore needs to be supplied as part of one’s diet, it includes: tryptophan, lysine, methionine, phenylalaine, threonine, valine, leucine, and isoleucine.

The amino acids that the body normally produces and can be found in the body proteins are called non-essential amino acids. They are called non-essential because they are not needed in the diet, however it is possible that some people have metabolic deficiencies and may have low production of certain amino acids. The particular functions usually performed by these amino acids are not fulfilled so the need for supplements may arise. One common non-essential amino acid that often gets supplemented is Glutamic acid in the form of glutamine.


Here are the non-essential amino acids:

Alanine is one of the non-essential amino acids that is an important source of energy for muscle tissue, central nervous system and the brain. It strengthens the immune system by producing antibodies; it also helps in the metabolism of organic acids and sugars.

Aspartic Acid aids in the removal of harmful ammonia from the body. Ammonia can be harmful to the central nervous system once it enters the circulatory system because it acts as a highly toxic substance. Aspartic acid from recent studies has shown to increase resistance to fatigue and increase endurance.

Glycine is one of the non-essential amino acids that is important in manufacturing of the hormones that are responsible for strong immune system. They help trigger the release of oxygen to the energy required in cell-making process.

Glutamic Acid is believed to be nature’s “brain food” which improves mental capacities. It helps in the control of alcoholism, craving for sugar, and schizophrenia. It also assists in speeding up the healing of ulcers, and lifting fatigue.

Arginine is one of the non-essential amino acids that promotes wound healing and regenerations of the liver. It is considered to be essential for the optimal growth of muscles and tissue repair. It also causes the release of growth hormones. Studies have shown that Arginine improves immune responses to viruses, bacteria and tumor cells.

Tyrosine promotes the healthy functioning of the adrenal, pituitary glands, and the thyroid. It improves memory as it transmits nerve impulses to the brain. It increase mental alertness and helps overcome depression.

Taurine aids in the clearing of free radical wastes and helps in the stabilization of the excitability membranes which is very vital in the control of epileptic seizures. Taurine is one of the factors that are needed for the control of many biochemical changes during the aging process.

Cystine is a necessary non-essential amino acid for the formation of the skin which aids in the recovery from burns and surgical operations. It functions as an antioxidant and is a controlling aid to the body in protecting against pollution and radiation.

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Amino Acid Therapy

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Amino Acid Therapy for Cerebral Palsy

The contribution in the development of cerebral palsy focuses on potentially modifiable factors during the neonatal period. Studies revealed that it has something to do with the excitable protein block- builders and their role in neurological injury.

In preventing the permanent deficit of having cerebral palsy, amino acid therapy is a method of treating brain damage and early abnormality. This was created by Professor Alexander Khokhlov from Russia who is teaching biochemistry and nuerology. He also has other clinics in Cyrpus, Czech Republic, London and New Zealand.

Amino Acid Therapy

This consists of the intravenous administration of one or more essential protein block- builders. It was performed on 84 patients that went through treatment from February 1994 to February 1996. About 39 received two courses, 20 had three sessions, 9 took four, 9 received five courses, 6 had six sessions and 1 took seven. Accordingly, a percentage of more than 50 patients were given 3 or more courses.

Amino Acid Therapy for Psychological Condition

Neurotransmitters are important chemical messengers which regulate functions in the brain, muscles, organs and nerves. Serotonin, dopamine, neropinephrine and epinephrine are the most common of its type.

People that have the neurotransmitter deficiency can have the following conditions depression, chronic fatigue, insomnia, attention deficit, anxiety, panic attacks and many more. With the application of the amino acid therapy it has helped those who are agonizing such situations. Treatments include taking SSRI or selective serotonin re- uptake inhibitors and other prescribed drugs such as Prozac, Zoloft, Effexor, Celexa or Wellbutrin.

It functions by artificially accelerating the amount of serotonin in the synapse of the nerve. This allows a temporary recovery in the chemical messaging system. The downside however, is that it does not increase serotonin levels and diminishes the stocks of NT. It happens because the SSRI class drugs bring about an augment in an enzyme called MAO.

Amino Acid Therapy for Cancer

Developed by Angelo John, a cancer scientist, he researched the role of the protein block- builders in the cancer cells. Afterwhich, he determined how it can be altered to eliminate to cause its death. Thus, his objective is to strategically and scientifically utilize the chemical reactions and supplemental responses by interfering with the five basic prerequisites namely structure, blood vessels, energy, growth hormones and functions.

Amino acid therapy works synergistically with both chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It hinders the rise of tumors and causes them to retreat. It is a six to eight month course administered to under the care of your doctor and just inside the comforts of your home.

There was a study done by Dr. Marco Rabinovitz of the National Cancer Institute where it showed that deprivation of the protein block- builders is beneficial in healing cancer. Such is an example that consists of scintifically formulated amino acids. In the otherhand, Dr. Chi Van Dang of John Hopkins School of Medicine stated that cancer cells are sugar junkies that if robbed of glucose, they will eventually pass away.

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Benefits of Amino Acid Supplements

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Amino acid supplements can provide a variety of health benefits to those who seek a healthy mind and body. Amino acids that are found in amino acid supplements are used by every cell in the human body and play many vital functions. Important amino acids are usually acquired through amino acid food intake and can also be obtained through amino acid supplements.

Sources of amino acids in food may come from animal or plant sources and includes all types of meat as well as eggs, milk, and cheese. Amino acid supplements in the form of tablets are now also readily available and can help complete the daily body’s amino acid requirements. The amino acids both in food and supplements have a profound effect on nails, hair, muscles, skin, and body organs.

Amino acid supplements

The lack of amino acid in the diet, while not common, may lead to compromised health and deficiency problems. General fatigue and poor muscle strength can be symptoms of lack of amino acid food and amino acid supplements. Other signs for the body’s lack of amino acid are outbreaks of acne and excessively dry skin. These can only be counteracted through the proper and sufficient intake of amino acids through food and supplements.

Because of the benefits of amino acid supplements, a lot of people have included them in the diet. One of the benefits of amino acid supplements are being able to fill in the deficiency of some amino acids that helps in building and repairing different body parts. They also contain ingredients which are essential to certain body functions.

Another benefit of amino acid supplements is its ability to restock the wading acid supply of the body. Studies have shown that one of the benefits of amino acid supplements can aid the growth of lean mass with no ill effects on present muscle mass. Increased endurance and reduction in body fat experienced by many athletes is another benefit of amino acid supplements. Benefit of amino acid supplements in athletes have also shown that little time is sent recovering after extreme training as well as long lasting energy.

Those people who are into body building though may need higher levels of protein or amino acid supplements as these physical activities have a definite effect on protein metabolism. Another of the benefits of amino acid supplements is that it can increase muscular development specifically when involved with heavy resistance training.

Another part where amino acid supplements have proven beneficial is in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and chronic fatigue syndrome. It also aids in those people who suffer from bronchitis, depression, and even diabetes. Favorable results also show for amino acid supplement users for high blood pressure as well as enhanced fitness because amino acid supplements meet the protein needs of the body.

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Amino Acid in Blood

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Amino acids are known to be the building blocks of the body and play a vital role in the construction of proteins which is very essential for bodily functions. However, recent studies have shown that high amount of an amino acid called homocysteine in blood is a biomarker for cardiovascular diseases and age-macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in senior citizens.

Homocysteine is an amino acid in the blood which epidemiological studies have shown that too much homocystein amino acid in blood (plasma) is connected to a higher risk of strokes, peripheral vascular disease, and heart disease. Furthermore, evidence suggests that homocysteine may have an outcome on atherosclerosis through harming the inner lining of the arteries and promote blood clots.


High levels of homocysteine amino acid in blood are strongly manipulated by diet as well as genetic factors. Dietary components which have a big effect on lowering down homocysteine are vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid. Other B vitamins and folic acid helps in breaking down homocysteine in the body. Studies have shown that higher blood levels of B vitamins results partly to low concentrations of homocysteine. And low levels of folic acid are connected to higher risk of stroke and fatal coronary heart disease. Dietary foods that are high in folic acid include grain products fortified with folic acid and green leafy vegetables.

In the large study of the relationship of amino acids in blood and AMD researchers have measured the fasting plasma homocysteine levels of nine hundred thirty four individuals who participated in an ancillary study of Age-Related Eye Disease Study resulted to five hundred forty seven people with AMD.

This research which was conducted at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Devers Eye Institute in Portland, Ore, found that elevated homocysteine amino acid in blood may be another biomarker for the increased risk of AMD. Homocysteine amino acid in blood may be reduced by dietary intake of vitamins B12, B6, and folate; however further studies is needed between the relationship of this amino acid and AMD.

It was found out by researchers that middle values were higher among those people with advanced stages of AMD than those people without AMD, controlling for age, and other factors. More findings add that there may be overlapping disease mechanisms between AMD and cardiovascular diseases.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the principal cause of blindness and irreversible visual impairment among persons aged sixty years old and older. With the population of elderly people steadily growing, the number related to this loss of visual function will increase. The treatment for this still remains to be limited and prevention still remains to be the best approach for tackling this public health concern.

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Types of Amino Acids

A reputable addendum in connection with nutrition satisfies a diet that benefits in sustaining human beings. It forms the muscles that enable one to build in a single day sans the dilemmas of excess fats and cholesterol without straining the digestion system.

The essential building blocks of protein can only be obtained through foods such as fish, poultry, vegetables and other sources. It can also be taken from supplements that come in several types of amino acids. There are those that range from single or combination of free form, peptide bonded or branched chain.


Branched- Chain

Comprising L-leucine, L-isoleucine and L-valine, branched- chain are contained in proteins of all life forms. This is one of the types of amino acids wherein its dietary sources are mainly obtained from meats and vegetables.

Better known as BCAA’s or branched- chain amino acids, it was created by some neurological research community. There was then a pilot study that designated that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients demonstrated improvement when given big doses of BCAA’s. It was then concluded that branched- chain amino acids may safeguard against nueronal damage from nueroexcitatory neurotransmitter glutamate. However, most of the follow- ups came out negative and even indicated that it can increase mortality with those who have ALS.

It sometimes used in parental and enteral feedings in the management of hepatic encephalopathy. It is most of the time utilized in the nursing of major burns and severe trauma because of its possible anticatabolic action.

Peptide- Bonded

Referring to certain dipetides that are utilized in total parental nutrition (TPN), peptide bonded amino acids are delivery forms of L- glutamine. This is one of the types of amino acids where it also indicates to those that are found in some supplements specifically those marketed as fitness products.

L- glutamine in PBAA’s is an ordinary kind featured in metabolic stress conditions such as infection, cancer, trauma, sepsis and burns. The response to those states is characterized by catabolism balance and negative nitrogen. With those, L- glutamine is normally produced mainly in the skeletal muscles in ample quantities to complete physiological requirements. L- glutamine then becomes an essential protein block- builder and must be provided to the body to avoid breakdown of muscle tissues, immune dysfunction and compromise of gut mucosal barrier function.

Free- Form

One of the types of amino acids that are not bound to any other, free- form refers to the facts that they are independent from one another. Studies showed that there have been plenty of companies that have advertised FFAA’s are the purest active source of protein block- builders that can be purchased in the market. This is however, not true at all instances.

Free- form amino acids are also not immediately absorbed in the small intestines as compared to branded- chain and peptide- bonded. It should only be reserved for use in activities such as workout.

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Foods with Amino Acids

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The eight essential protein building blocks are not produced by the body instead, they can only be obtained through sources/foods that you intake. There are some that are often deficient in supplying what is necessary for the immune system but it can be overcome by a large consumption of foods with amino acids.



It is a simple dry fruit that enhances from a plain carpel and most of the time dehisces on both corners. Pod is the common term for it although, it is also applied to other types of fruits. Alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lupins and peanuts are some of the famous plants which bear fruits of legumes.

This is one of the foods with amino acids that is noteworthy for its capability to repair atmospheric nitrogen. It is an achievement credited to a symbolic relationship with particular bacteria identified as rhizobia that can be found in root nodules of legumes. With its skill to form symbiosis, it reduces the cost of fertilizers that farmers place. It is also means that it can be utilized in a crop rotation to restock soil that has been washed off.


In its true context, meats refer to muscle tissues that also includes the fats, lungs, livers, tongues, skins, brains, marrows and kidneys of any animal. This is one of the foods with amino acids that has such a broad meaning. In human terms, it is typically the flesh of livestock in chicken, pigs, cows, turkeys, lambs and others.

Red meat including pork, beef and lamb comprises plenty of essential nutrients that is important for growth and development. It contains iron, zinc and protein. It even has an excellent profile or a full complement that is required for a human being’s diet. The downside however, meats can transmit certain diseases like an undercooked pork has parasites that bring about trichinosis or cysticerosis. Salmonella enterica causes bacteria that can sometimes be present in chicken. The cattle tissue also has prions that can lead to Creutzfeldt- Jakob Sickness or simply, the mad cow disease.


Mostly grasses that are cultivated for its edible seeds, grains are one of the foods with amino acids that grow in larger quantities than any other type of crop. It provides more energy to human beings where it constitute practically the entire diet of the developing nations.

Supplying starch, grains are good sources for dietary fiber, essential fatty acids and important nutrients. Rice, oats and corns are one of its many classes. Most of it are actually ground into flour that is milled. Its outer layers of bran and germ have already been removed. This actually depletes that nutritional value it naturally contains but the more it is appealing to a lot of palates.

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Essential Amino Acids

Known as building blocks of protein, there are about 20 of them but only 9 are considered as essential amino acids. They cannot be produced by the body alone so human beings can only obtain them from foods or supplements.

Here are 7 of the 9 essential amino acids with a brief description of each:

amino acids


Coded for in the DNA, isoleucine has a chemical composition that is similar to that of leucine. However, the arrangement of its atoms is different which then has other properties. It is a hydrophobolic amino acid that thas two chiral centers. Meaning there are four stereoisomers and two diastereomers. It can be found in eggs, pork, mutton, chicken, pulses and beans.


Nutritionally one of the essential amino acids, leucine is isometric with isoleucine. Most commonly found in proteins, it is also significant in optimal growth especially in infancy and childhood, also in nitrogen balance in adults. It plays a major part in the maintenance of the muscles by equalizing synthesis and breakdown. Whole grains and milk products are its best sources.


Commonly found in proteins, lysine has a 4-aminobutyl side- chain classified together with arginine and histidine. Its human nutritional requirement is 1- 1.5 grams a day. Deficiency of which can lead to lack of niacin or vitamin B that causes a disease called pellagra. It can actually function as a nutritional supplement to help fight against herpes. It is obtained in most legumes, cereal grains and fish.


Lipotropic in nature, methionine is considered as one of the essential amino acids. Together with cyesteine, they are the only sulfur- containing proteinogenic amino acids. It has a part in carnitine and taurine synthesis by the processes called transsulfuration pathway, lecithin production and phosphatidylcholine synthesis. Astheroclerosis can be achieved if there is improper conversion of such. Meats, vegetables, nuts and legumes are its best supply.


Existing in two forms, phenylalanine are enantiomers or mirror- image molecules of one another. With a benzyl side- chain, its name was derived from its chemical structure composed of a phenyl group alternated for one of the hydrogens of alanine. Due to its phenyl group, it is considered as an aromatic compound. Its great sources are milk, avocados, pulses, legumes, nuts and seafoods.


One of the essential amino acids that contains two chiral centers, threonine has four possible stereoisomers and two diastereomers. With its name that can be used in a single enantiomer, its side chain can also undergo O- linked glycosylation. It can become phosphorylated through the action of a threonine kinase. Lentils, fish, meats and cheese are its best supply.


It may not be easily synthesized, tryptophan functions as building blocks in protein biosynthesis. A precursor for serotonin, melatonin and niacin, its functional group is indole. It has been implicated to bring about schizophrenia in persons that cannot be able to metabolize it correctly. It can be obtained in turkey, chicken, sesame , peanuts and chocolates.

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Amino Acid Metabolism

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Described for its complexity brought about by the large number involved, amino acid metabolism can actually be split into 20 protein block- builders that are significant for biosynthesis.

Functioning as precursors for the manufacturing of a lot of molecules that send signals, they are also unique from the peculiar ones that are utilized for a variety of intermediary pathways and activated one- carbon unit for the aromatic production.



Prior to the metabolic fate of the carbon atoms, they can actually be detected to all the chief intermediates due to the close interaction of amino acid metabolism with the citric acid cycle and glycolysis. Those intermediates comprises of carbons from pyruvate, acetyl- CoA, acetoacetyl- CoA, a- ketoglutarate, succinyl- CoA, fumarate, malate and oxaloacetate.

It is actually separated into several pathways according to the diverse length of carbon structures engaged. They are referred to as C3, C4 and C5 families of protein block- builders that generate common end products during catabolism. C3 includes alanine, serine and cysteine which are all corrupted to pyruvate. C4 have aspartate and asparagoine that are tainted to oxaloacetate that are closely linked to glutamate. C5 comprises of glutamine, proline, arginine and hitidine that are all deaminated to alpha- ketoglutarate.

Aromatic Engineers

Phenylalanine, tyrosine trytophan are the three pungent amino acid metabolism. They all contain benzene ring which are hydroxylated. The relationships they have for each other actually cause the acceleration to an intricate nutritional liberty. The disorder in the otherhand like the impairment of fabricating tyrosine from phenylalanine makes the previous one of the essentials needed very much in the body. The lack of biosynthetic pathways in human beings is the reason why there are plenty of sicknesses associated with malnutrition.


First converted to tyrosine by the accumulation of a hydroxyl unit, phenylalanine is a reaction catalyzed by phenylalanine hydroxylase. This is actually a liver specific enzyme which belongs to the group of monooxygenases. Such requires molecular oxygen, NADPH and coenzyme tetra- hydrobiopterine. Rememeber that hydroxylation of the benzene ring is utilized to destabilize in the preparation of the ring formation for breakup.


An amino acid metabolism that is a liver resident process, Tyrosine starts out with alteration of its amino group to alpha- ketoglutarate by a certain method used. This is similar to both that accepts transminases and less substrate which acts on aspartate. It is an enzyme isoform that is obtained from aromatic amino acid transaminase by restrained proteolysis.


With the degradation in human that yields to precursors for glucose synthesis, tryptophan is the first step that is catalyzed and controlled by cortisol. It stimulates its own degradation by allosterically activating tryptophan oxygenase. The product of the said reaction is L- formylkynurenine that is further degraded by kynurenine formidase.

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Amino Acids that Promote Growth

Hormones for development are released by the pituitary gland in the brain. It is responsible for enhancing muscles, burning fats and immune system maintenance.

amino acids


This is one of the amino acids that promote growth which is derived from arginine. Large quantities of which have successfully raised growth hormone levels in some studies. Bucci, et al, studied the the effect of 40, 100 and 170 mg/kg of L-ornithine HCl on 12 bodybuilders. A percentage of twenty- five of the subjects experienced significant increases in serum growth hormone levels at the two lower doses. In the otherhand, half the subjects illustrated an increase in growth hormone at the highest dose.


Investigated in numerous studies with conflicting results, this is one of the amino acids that promote growth. Take for example, in one study, 6 subjects were given 6 grams of arginine. They all experienced a 100% increase in plasma levels without any growth hormone release. Other researchers administered it to 12 young and 5 elderly non-obese adults, all of whom had a body mass of less than 30. The subjects participated in three trials: resistive weight-lifting exercise with no placebo, 5 grams of arginine supplementation prior to exercise and 5 grams of oral L-arginine only.


One of the amino acids that promote growth, lysine may work to release growth hormone. In a study of 15 healthy male subjects, there was a separate consumption of lysine as single nutrients did not significantly increase growth hormone compared to the baseline. In another study of normal young males, oral administration of 1,200 milligrams of L-lysine did not raise serum growth hormone levels.


It may be the non- essentials but this is also one of the amino acids that promote growth. Glycine is contained in gelatin protein and is an important component of collagen. Although much of the early research revolved around its ability to increase strength in athletes, more recent studies have documented that it can indeed raise growth hormone levels in humans. As a matter of fact, researchers have concluded that the explanation why it has been found to increase muscle strength in many studies may be the result of its growth-hormone-boosting capabilities.


An abundant protein block- builder, this is one of the amino acids that promote growth. Glutamine is the most copious in human muscle and plasma. It directly regulates both the production and wearing-down of protein and immune cell activity. When about nine healthy subjects consumed two grams of oral glutamine 45 minutes after a light breakfast, there were eight out of the nine that subjects experienced elevated plasma growth hormone within 90 minutes. These findings demonstrate, the study authors wrote, that a surprisingly small oral glutamine load is capable of elevating hormones for development.

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