Did You Know?

* Amino acids compete not only for access into the bloodstream, but also for access into the brain.

* Aspartame is composed of two amino acids - 50% phenylalanine and 40% aspartic acid.

* Humans must include adequate amounts of a minimum of 8 amino acids in their diet. These "essential" amino acids cannot be synthesized from other precursors that come before their development.

* The amino acids cysteine and methionine both contain sulfur.

* Take supplements containing amino acids separate from food. This improves intestinal absorption of the specific amino acids since the aminos do not have to compete with protein-based foods.

* Once in the bloodstream, amino acids compete with each other for transport across the blood brain barrier (BBB) and into the brain.

* Amino acids should be taken in combination of at least 8 (eight). When in isolated form, aminos become imbalanced in the bloodstream, and hence, compete for dominance into the brain in an unhealthy way.

* Two of the essential amino acids, lysine and tryptophan, are poorly represented in most plant proteins. Thus strict vegetarians should ensure that their diet contains sufficient amounts of these two aminos.

* There are special transporters in the BBB that specifically bind the amino acids tryptophan, phenylalanine and tyrosine so to "shuttle" them safely, one at a time, into the brain.

* 5-HTP and L-dopa are unique and do not compete for transport across the BBB, so these two amino supplements can be taken with food, unlike other amino acid supplements.

* Avoid taking amino acid supplements or using isolated amino acids, such as those found in aspartame, with large amounts of protein.

* The amino acids phenylalanine, tyrosine, tryptophan, threonine, leucine, methionine and histidine are highly competitive with one another for access into the brain.

* Tyrosine can partially substitute for phenylalanine.

* The essential amino acids are: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine (and/or cysteine), phenylalanine (and/or tyrosine), threonine, tryptophan, and valine.

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Posted February 2005 | Permanent Link

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