How Many Amino Acids Does the Human Body Produce?

AminoAcidProducts | March 25, 2020 | Health

The building blocks of proteins in the body happen to be these guys, amino acids. Well, when the body wants to make proteins there’s a combination of several amino acids to make the protein. The unique thing is that different proteins have different amino acid make up. That’s why all proteins are unique. Well, there are two common types of amino acids. The ones produced in the body and the ones the body can’t produce. Today, our focus is on the ones the body can’t produce. So, how many acids does the body produce? You’ll find out in a while the answer to that.

So there are more than 100 amino acids on planet earth. But our body isn’t so greedy that’s why it only opts for 20 out of the 100. And out of the 20, about 11 are produced by the body. well, amino acids are not just useful for the production of protein they are also important for other functions in the body. And that’s why the role of amino acids can’t be overlooked in the body. Well, many people just know that there are 11 amino acids that the body can produce but they don’t know what they are. That’s why today we’ll be having an in-depth look at the different amino acids the body can produce.


Types of Amino Acids


Before we go further let’s first take a look at the two types of amino acids. So that you would also have a hint about the amino acids that the body can’t produce. The two types of amino acids are essential and non-essential amino acids. Try taking a guess which of the two can the body produce.

If you answer to that is non-essential amino acids then you are correct. This automatically means that the essential ones can’t be produced by the body. They are usually gotten from diet and supplements. And the essential amino acids have a lot of functions in the body. So they can’t be disregarded.

There are actually 9 essential amino acids in the body. And they are leucine, lysine, isoleucine, methionine, threonine, phenylalanine, valine, tryptophan and histidine. For adults actually, 8 are essential, histidine is just essential for children.

The non-essential amino acids are 11. They are alanine, arginine, aspartate, asparagine, cysteine, glutamine, glutamate, glycine, serine, proline and tyrosine. The reason they called non-essential is simply that they can be produced by the body.


The Non-Essential Amino Acids

  • Alanine: This is one amino acid that is produced by other amino acids like leucine, isoleucine, valine, and pyruvate. Most people know this amino acid as L-alanine. There is actually another form of alanine. This one is known as beta-alanine. And this happens to be a dense form of alanine. This amino acid is actually used in the sport’s world because it helps improve a person’s performance.
  • Arginine: This is also commonly known as L-Arginine. This amino acid can’t be synthesized using other amino acids. When in the human body this amino acid is converted to nitric oxide. And nitric oxide happens to be a strong vasodilator.
  • Aspartate: It’s commonly called aspartic acid. Also, it’s one of the negatively charged polar amino acids. It’s synthesized in the liver. And also this amino acid exists in combination with some other chemical substances.
  • Asparagine: This is actually referred to as the first amino acid that they were able to isolate from its main source. Its source is asparagus. This amino acid is known to play a big role in the synthesis of glycoproteins. And in the body, this amino acid is synthesized in the liver.
  • Cysteine: It is one of the very important amino acids in the body. It has many functions in the body. Cysteine is usually in the form of N-acetyl-L-cysteine. When it gets into the body it is converted into cysteine and thereafter into glutathione. And this happens to be a great antioxidant in the body.
  • Glutamine: It is often used as a recovery agent. This is one of the well-known amino acids. The common form known by people is L-glutamine. This amino acid actually presents in the body in good amounts. The skeleton is actually made up of 61% of glutamine. It also happens to be a nitrogen carrier because it contains nitrogen.
  • Glutamate: This is one very important amino acid. It’s used in making MSG (monosodium glutamate). MSG is actually present in a lot of foods. And high levels of MSG is not allowed because of its effect on lowering blood pressure. Also, this amino acid is a great neurotransmitter. This is the main reason why the body produces this amino acid. When released in the body it goes to the site of action. And having too much glutamate in the body can be very dangerous.
  • Glycine: According to structure this is actually one of the smallest amino acids. This amino acid is freely produced in the body. And in your diet, you might get about 2g of glycine.
  • Serine: It’s also commonly known as L-serine. This amino acid is gotten from threonine and glycine. And these are also amino acids. This amino acid is known for its mental and physical benefits as regards health.
  • Proline: The breaking down of l-glutamate in the body leads to the production of proline. It’s also commonly known as l-proline. So if you consume foods that are rich in l-glutamate you can expect that there would be increased production of proline.
  • Tyrosine: Just like all the other amino acids this is very important for the making of proteins. But when it comes to the whole process this is one of the most important amino acids. Also, this amino acid is very important for many processes in the body. When you consume foods that are rich in iron it helps out with the production of tyrosine. But you must also take now that excess tyrosine can be bad. It would interfere with the production of thyroid hormones. And that would take a huge toll on the body. 

So, there you have it. The 11 amino acids that answer your question of how many amino acids does the body produces. 

Chicken breast, salmon, beef, avocado, seeds and legumes on a table

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