About Amino Acids

Polly: Amino acids are the basic building blocks of protein. The amino acids in your body must be kept in balance for best health. Unfortunately, long-term dysbiosis and toxins like mercury can throw off your amino acid balance. If you have gotten rid of most of the dysbiosis, and if you still aren’ t up to par, consider asking your doctor to order an amino acid profile. Then supplement with the suggested amino acids. By restoring cellular energy through improved balance, amino acid supplementation may help get rid of some remaining health problems.

Treatments with amino acids can be quite beneficial. Yet, approach these treatments with caution. The art of using these amino acids is still in its infancy. Some interpreters will be more skilled than others, and may even be able to tell you which pathogens are present in the gut, just from the amino acid profile. Even if a particular group of amino acids has helped you a lot, don’t use this treatment for an extended time without retesting/reevaluating the situation. Long term use of the same pattern of amino acid supplements could lead to overcompensation and a new imbalance. Also, just because the amino acid test indicates that you need certain amino acids, it doesn’ t mean that you will be able to tolerate these at this time. Something else might need to be corrected first, or a particular sequence of amino acid supplementation may be needed.

Sometimes the doctor will order a special blend of amino acids for you. At other times, just a few separate amino acids are suggested. The separate amino acids that you will need are usually available in most vitamin shops. You may already be familiar with a few of the more popular amino acids, like tryptophan, tyrosine, cysteine, taurine, and glutamine. These have been mentioned several times in the previous chapters. They are available in most vitamin shops. If you need some of the more unusual amino acids, there are several companies like Tyson and Jomar Labs that provide these.

As part of your amino acid supplementation plan, consider adding some coenzyme B6 to your regime. Coenzyme B6 is particularly important for the handling of your amino acids. In addition, I feel that all the cofactors for proper enzyme function should be corrected as best as possible before trying the amino acids. Magnesium, and all of your B vitamins, including biotin, are very important.

Since each person has been exposed to different chemical, yeast, and bacteria toxins, it is difficult to generalize about what are the most important amino acids to supplement. However, there are a couple of amino acids that are more likely to have been thrown off than others. For example, those with fibromyalgia might need extra malic acid, branch chain amino acids, taurine, glycine, tyrosine, citrulline, arginine or proline. Those with yeast overgrowth may be depleted of the amino acids glutamine, taurine, asparagine (similar to aspartic acid and aspartates), and alpha-ketoglutaric acid. Those who have mercury poisoning or who have multiple sclerosis are more likely to have low levels of the amino acid histidine. People with mercury poisoning may be low on citrulline and arginine. Those with aluminum poisoning may be low on alpha-ketoglutaric acid. Some doctors are familiar with which amino acids are most likely to be off, and will often suggest supplements of these amino acids without testing you. However, testing is safer, and usually a blend of amino acids, or a particular sequence of support is needed. Timing is important too. If you give amino acids before the intestinal flora is somewhat corrected, the bad flora might alter the amino acids or be stimulated to further growth by them. (Eg. E. coli growth is stimulated by ornithine.)

Dr. Braverman’ s book, the Healing Nutrients Within, is affordable, easy to read, and is full of excellent information. Leon Chaitow’ s book, Amino Acids in Therapy, is not as comprehensive but it has some interesting material. At this website you will find several excellent articles on amino acids: http://www.springboard4health.com/notebook/cat_prot eins.html

Many of the common amino acids that are used to treat dysbiosis will be touched upon in this chapter. If the subject of amino acids is new to you, please try not to get totally frustrated. Parts of this chapter can get intense. Just skip those parts and perhaps only refer to them if your doctor suggests that particular amino acid. You will find some additional information about amino acids in various chapters. Use the index to look up more information on any particular amino acid that you are interested in.

Amino Acids In General

Lynni: I have had amino acid panels done on my blood and have attempted to supplement accordingly. I was pretty pleased with the results and started to feel a ton better targeting in on some of the deficiencies. General amino acid combos never did this for me. I just did one test, five years ago, and was helped almost immediately. I maintained supplementation for about 6 months, and I felt like the changes were permanent improvements. When you start delving into amino acid therapy, I don’ t think it is an ever-changing “Wu-chi matrix.” If you don’ t megadose, you won’ t drastically imbalance things. You’ ll just support your body.

Marilyn in Seattle: I had a plasma amino acid test done and I am taking a tailored made mixture of amino acids minus methionine. (Methionine is one of the sulfur amino acids that I don’ t tolerate due to sulfur metabolism defects.) I have now been on the amino acids for over 2 months and ALL my sugar cravings (which could be insanely intensive) are GONE. I ate a wheat free brownie last night, very high in chocolate etc, and I didn’ t even finish it because it didn’ t taste good, or provide any satisfaction. This amazes me. I have craved sugar for years. My late afternoon energy crashes are also greatly reduced with the amino acids supplementation. I am not saying the amino acids get rid of candida. I don’ t think they do, but I think they can greatly reduce the symptoms by supplying what your gut is not making/absorbing due to the candida.

Kippy: I haven’ t been tested as being low in aminos such as l-glutamine or l-tyrosine and yet they have been recommended by my doctor. If I take them without knowing that I have an imbalance, how will I know whether I’m endangering the whole balance of amino acids?

Polly: You don’ t. Your doctor is just making an educated guess. Tyrosine is needed to make thyroid and noradrenaline. It is also sometimes used to treat depression. For some people, tyramine does a much better job of increasing noradrenaline, thyroid and relieving depression. You can purchase tyramine from DEWS, website http://www.DEWSnatural.com and phone(940) 243- 2178.

Glutamine is needed to heal the intestines and it is important to the immune system. It is a good guess that anyone who has had yeast overgrowth will be low on glutamine. However, glutamine will increase the ammonia burden on the body. Not everyone will be able to tolerate it. Before you take glutamine, you should make sure your taurine levels are adequate, because the glutamine may lower taurine. Especially if you are mercury poisoned or if you have fibromyalgia, you should make sure your citrulline and arginine levels are adequate before trying glutamine.

Ros in Australia: Our biochemist says to be very careful about supplementing individual (ie single) amino acids as he (and I quote)

“ knows of no circumstance where this would be appropriate treatment protocol.”

The various biochemical goings-on affected by amino acids and the symbiotic relationship among many of the amino acids themselves almost certainly requires supplementing in combinations. Otherwise you will assuredly be affecting other balances than the single one you are administering. For example, to treat four amino acid imbalances in my son, we are actually giving him a combination of 19 amino acids in proportions specially mixed on the basis of his test results.

Our biochemist mentioned that their research had shown that some amino acids are manufactured by the gut flora. Previously it was thought that food was the major source of these amino acids. Their research indicates that this is partially true except that the food version of these aminos is somehow recognized as such; they do not pass over the blood brain barrier (they are used in other processes in the body). The same amino acids manufactured by the gut flora do pass over the blood-brain-barrier. The biochemist cannot find anything “ chemically” different about the two forms. Ie, they look the same to him, but the body obviously does differentiate between them. (They had to test passage over the blood-brain-barrier by withholding food sources and measuring brain levels and observing neurochemical effects etc.)

Anyway he says that this observation is coupled with recent research suggesting the same is true for synthetic forms of some vitamins. He suggests we should attempt to stay as close to nature as possible. The biochemist always, always prefers a natural way of supplementing over a synthetic way. The lab’ s protocol does include brewer’s yeast (among other things).

Polly: From what you are saying about the blood-brain barrier, wouldn’ t it mean that certain brands of amino acids may have much different effects than others? Also, wouldn’ t there be intrinsic value in eating protein that had been predigested by good bacteria? (Eg, yogurt, Seacure, undenatured whey, and Kefir.)

Then there is the question of the type of peptides that are in our food. (Peptides are chains of a few amino acids.) I used to think that the body absorbed its protein in the form of separate (free form) amino acids, but 70% of our protein is absorbed in the form of peptides. [1]

There are different ways to create peptides. Acid breaks down the protein randomly, forming arbitrary peptides. Enzymes cleave the protein at well-defined sites, forming specific peptides. Heating destroys peptides. As we are slowly discovering, foods that have not been heated and that have been acted upon by enzymes (like Seacure and undenatured whey) draw some of their healing properties from these peptides. These enzymatically-produced peptides may have many undiscovered purposes in the body, possibly being much more valuable than just the free form amino acids.

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