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Can Amino Acids Aid Weight Loss?

Oct 13, 2009

Scientific studies have shown the correlation between amino acids and weight loss. Amino acids are the core of all cells in the human body. Intake of amino acids during weight loss insures maintenance of muscle mass while losing fat. When consumed through dietary sources, amino acids perform two essential tasks in the human body: synthesis of proteins and various biomolecules or oxidization to urea and carbon dioxide as an energy source.

There are eight essential amino acids which the body can’t create enough of on its own, so they must come entirely from food sources. Without these amino acids, any weight loss efforts will be hindered.

Amino Acids: How Do They Aid Weight Loss?

Each of the essential amino acids aids weight loss in different ways.

  • L-Tyrosine and L-Phenylalanine work together to create active amines including epinephrine, dopamine and norepinephrine. These active amines cause reactions in the brain aid to weight loss.
  • Epinephrine reduces the desire to eat. 
  • L-Phenylalanine regulates the brain’s ability to recognize hunger or fullness. L-Phenylalanine also gives the body a desire to remain at the appropriate weight once it has been attained.
  • L-Carnitine also naturally suppresses weight. It works differently then the others by transferring fat to be metabolized into energy rather then storing it. 
  • L-Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin.
  • Serotonin alerts the body to fullness. 

Maintaining the proper amount of these amino acids, through diet and nutrition, combats over-eating.

Amino Acids and Weight Loss: Supplements

Before taking amino acid supplements, it is important to test the current levels of amino acids present in the body. A physician could then draw up a specialized program. Diet and nutrition are very important to this program, as well as taking specific amino acids at a certain time of day.

Certain amino acid supplements combined with a nutritious diet can jump start weight loss. Hoodia, a supplement derived from Southern African succulents, contains L-Phenylalanine (see above description) and aids in suppressing hunger. Hoodia appears in many supplements over the counter, so it is important to research other ingredients present in whichever supplement chosen.

It is important to consult a professional when beginning any supplement. Amino acids supplements, while extremely beneficial, can also be temperamental. They must be taken with specific foods, or in the absence of certain foods, for optimum results. Without these perfect conditions, the amino acids won’t be processed properly, and their effectiveness will be wasted.

Amino Acids and Weight Loss: Pick Up the Protein

Maintaining proper diet and nutrition are at the core of using amino acids for weight loss. A protein rich diet, where 30% of calories are obtained from protein, has the right amount of amino acids to provide appetite suppression, as well as increased weight loss.

Animal proteins are the richest sources of these essential amino acids, but it is important to keep fat intake in check. Look for lower fat animal proteins and incorporate them into every meal.

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