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what are amino acids and why are they important

What are Amino Acids & Why are They Important

Many people underestimate the importance of amino acids. Most don’t realize they are an integral part of almost every process of the body. Let’s take a look at amino acids and why they are so vitally important in your diet. 

What are Amino Acids?

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. There are 20 recognized amino acids that are classified into essential and non-essential categories. The nine of the twenty considered essential are:

  • Lysine
  • Tryptophan
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Histidine
  • Valine
  • Leucine
  • Isoleucine

Why Do We Need Amino Acids?

As we all learned back in our school days, protein is crucial for our body’s growth and development. Protein, and in turn, the amino acids that are part of them, are vital for the structure of everything from muscles, ligaments, skin, hair, and nails. In other words, if we didn’t have amino acids, we wouldn’t be alive! There are also various other reasons that amino acids are important. Here are a few of the more important roles amino acids play.

Blood Sugar Control

How your body responds to glucose in foods is very critical. It determines how we utilize the calories we consume. In short, insulin is released by the pancreas when we eat, signaling to our cells to absorb the glucose from the bloodstream. When this system of signals is not working properly, it can lead to issues like diabetes. Amino acids contained in proteins play a key role in how this system functions. Eating proteins causes insulin levels to rise and prompts the body to respond correctly to the glucose in our food and aids in helping it absorb into the cells for energy. 

Immune System Function

Our white blood cells contained in our blood are a key tool in our bodies’ ability to fight off infection. Amino acids help provide our bodies with the energy needed to mount attacks against disease. Just as critically important, amino acids help white blood cells to multiply. If you are not consuming enough amino acid rich proteins regularly, your body will be ill-prepared to fight off illness. 

Hormone Production

Hormones play a variety of roles in our bodies. For example, they can raise our blood pressure during exercise, which encourages the body to regulate its temperature by sweating. Amino acids are important in that they serve as the basis for creating specific hormones such as lysine and arginine, both of which trigger the release of growth hormones. This process is particularly vital for growing children and those interested in promoting muscle growth. 

From muscle growth to the transmission of various signals throughout the body, it’s clear that amino acids are an important part of how our bodies function. It’s no exaggeration to say that getting enough amino acids is crucial to our survival. 

Visit our website at to find out how the supplement experts at MI Nutrition can help you get the amino acid rich protein supplements you need!