Monday, August 08, 2005

Therapeutic Amino Acids

On the Fourth of July, Ray Panigutti put me onto a book called The Diet Cure, which is not about losing weight. The book opens with a Quick Symptom Questionnaire, which has 8 sections. There are at least two chapters in the book on each section of the questionnaire. The scoring procedure for the questionnaire indicates the areas that one might want to look into. I scored high in seven of those eight areas!

The Diet Cure is primarily the use of specific amino acids taken between meals for specific symptoms. Julia Ross specifies that the aminos are to be taken for a short period (no longer than 3 to 12 months) so each chapter indicates how to know when to stop the amino therapy. She also indicates when certain amino acids should not be taken together. Since my mom is concerned about my taking amino acids, I have been looking up information on them and will be adding it here as I go.

Amino Acids: Research before Marketing by Rebecca Madley.
About the source: This article is published in a magazine called Nutraceuticals World which has 10 regular issues. The company also publishes a company capabilities directory and a tabloid equipment packaging supplement annually. They focus on manufacturers of dietary supplements, functional foods and nutritional beverages. I never heard of this magazine before today!

Summary points
  • Aminos have been used in sports nutrition (energy and muscle building) as early as 1979. In 1999 the aminos market posted $178 million (an 8.1% increase from 1989) with the 2004 market expected to be $244 million and in 2009, $331 million).
  • Some 20 amino acids form 50,000 to 100,000 proteins! Out of the 20, nine are considered to be essential.
  • Japanese companies hold the lion's share of the market and they have studied aminos at great length. China entered the research and production in the last 10 years (the article was apparently written before 2004).
  • The market has changed from depending on blends of aminos (which were very expensive and offered no scientifically validated advantage over proteins) to targeting specific symptoms with specific amino acids.
  • The caution: "When consumers maintain a poor diet, the chance for a single amino acid supplement causing harm is greater than when you maintain a healthy diet. People should not take amino acids for a long period of time and should know that amino acids are best absorbed if taken on an empty stomach. If you take excess amounts of one, you will deplete the others. Consumers should use more caution than they do with a vitamin." from Michael Schaefer, CEO, Pacific Nutritional, Vancouver, WA
    (By the way: Michael Schaefer's company gave vitamins to Tsunami victims.)
  • There is some discussion of individual amino acids and how they benefit human body functioning. L-theanine is discussed in more detail (as a "new" amino acid).

Amino Acids (Nutrient and Health/Disease Associations), ©Copyright 1999-2001 Personal Health Lifestyles, Inc., Provo, Utah. Another copy on The Brain Injury Network.
About the source: Personal Health Lifestyles, Inc. sells nutritional products and has an educational program associated with their business.
Summary
  • "Research from Dr. Steven Whiting of the Institute of Nutritional Science (main offices in Den Hague, Netherlands, with additional offices in the United States and United Kingdom) [Note: this organization is affiliated with Personal Health Lifestyles] points out that an "All or None Law of Protein Utilization" is the rule of thumb. If ALL the amino acids are not present within a close 2 to 3 hour period, protein assimilation will not work! Since most vegetarian sources of proteins are incomplete, they must carefully combine the timing and mix of their food intake to provide for complete coverage of ALL amino Acids."
    "Even when all are present, the assimilation of ALL amino acids will be limited to the level of the lowest quantity amino acid. For example, if one amino acid is only present at the 60% level, the assimilation of all amino acids will be limited to that 60% level.
  • The article then goes on to list 28 amino acids or amino acid combinations with what they are and what research has shown that they help. Eight of those listed have a specific caution note.


Amino Acids on the City of Gainsville, Florida web site. The article is in the Nutrition section of their Lifequest program. Amino acids are listed under "Vitamins, minerals, and supplements."

This article represents thinking that is currently held by many who workout where they want to increase growth harmones and build muscles through the use of amino acids. This is not what The Diet Cure is about. Such thinking is probably what Momma heard and was cautioning me against!

amino acid power.com is a web site by Dr. Dennis Gersten, MD, a psychiatrist who came to using amino acids as a result of his own health crises and after trying many alternatives. The page referenced here is about Gersten and tells his story.

Amino Acid Supplements for Body-building and Exercise is an article by Philip A. Williams, who is not listed in the psychology department. The article appears on the Vanderbilt University web site. The focus of the article is on sports usage of amino acids. The article claims to have done Internet research.

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