The amino acids that our body gets through the food we eat are essential and usually safe. We get amino acid from food that has a high protein content. Upon consumption, our digestive system works on the protein we have taken in and breaks it down into the different amino acids. These amino acids carry out several functions that are necessary to maintain our health. However, when our bodies process too much amino acid for an extended period, it tends to react negatively and this can result in a lot of problems.
There are amino acid supplements that people take to replenish their body’s supply of amino acid. These supplements do not have a lot of side effects unlike when our body naturally processes amino acids itself. You should know that there are a total of twenty- one amino acids and each one of them has a unique function. They also put the body at risk if they are present in large quantities, some amino acids have a lower risk than others.
The human body is capable of breaking amino acids to form different components. This is a natural process that takes place when the body needs one of the components known as an amino group to produce other amino acids. The body uses some of the other components of an amino acid to process glucose and to provide energy.
Nitrogen makes up part of an amino group, it always exists as ammonia after been created from the first amino acid. Our bodies do not need this ammonia as it is very toxic and harmful so it needs to be removed. The process of eliminating ammonia from the body involves binding it to a different amino acid. It then moves to your liver, then into your area and from there it goes on to your kidneys. The kidney is the final point of elimination and these toxic ammonia comes out in your urine.
The Impact of Too Much Amino Acids on The Kidneys
Our body is made up of a different system that aids in its proper functioning. And in these systems, certain organs are assigned specific roles to maintain order and health. The kidney is one of such organs. Apart from the kidneys main function as an organ that helps to remove waste products from the body, it also plays a major role in balancing the acid-base content of the body.
There are amino acids with a high acid content while there are some others that are quite basic, that is, they have a high base content. However, the proteins that are gotten from the food we eat have more acidic content. When our body gets too many amino acids through a protein diet, the kidneys would have to work harder to main acid and base balance.
The body does not store amino acids. If the amino acid present is more than what is needed, our body breaks them down and removes them. This, in turn, will cause the level of urea and ammonia to increase. And the kidneys are forced to work double time. This is why people who suffer from any kidney disease are usually advised to maintain a diet that is low on protein. This would relieve the kidney’s stress.
Those who have had uric acid kidney stones are also recommended to stay away from foods rich in protein, as this may lead to the occurrence of more stones.
Side Effects of Amino Acids
Arginine is one of the amino acid compounds. An increased level of this compound may result in gastrointestinal distress like abdominal pain, diarrhea, and bloating. The person could also be at risk of experiencing gout and there might be a decline in the blood pressure. The supplements that provide arginine have the potential to bring down potassium levels particularly in people living with kidney disease.
Methionine is another amino acid that can be harmful when present in large quantities. The reason is that too much methionine can cause an increase in the level of an amino acid called homocysteine. A high level of homocysteine can destroy the blood vessels, it might also cause an increase in blood clots.
Leucine, valine, and isoleucine are amino acids that go to the brain following the same direction as tryptophan, a different amino acid. Due to this the four of them end up competing to get hold of transporters. The transporters are limited in number. So when these amino acids are in excess, fewer tryptophan will be able to reach the brain.
Tryptophan is very essential as they produce serotonin. Serotonin is responsible for regulating our sleep and controlling our moods.
During the process of protein digestion, the acidity of the human body naturally increases. In response, your body might remove some of the calcium in the bones to deal with this rising acidity. If your high protein intake lasts for a few days then the bones might not be too affected. But if it goes on for a longer time then your bones might gradually begin to feel the impact of its reducing calcium content.
A highly proteinous diet contributes a lot to the risks that come with excess amino acids. What then do we do? If we are to replace all our proteins with carbohydrates this might result in unbalanced nutrition. Complex carbohydrates like whole grains and beans are filled with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
What To Do
It will be of great benefit to you if you recheck and adjust your diet if need be. Make sure that the amount of protein you consume daily is within the recommended range. You can visit a doctor to figure out a suitable meal plan for you as every one of us is built differently and what works for your best friend might not work for you. Be safe. There is a lot at risk when you have too many amino acids.