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4 Possible Amino Acid Side Effects

Oct 15, 2009

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and if you eat an assortment of animal-based foods, such as meat and dairy, you are likely getting all the amino acids your body needs to be healthy. Some people choose to increase their amino acid consumption with supplements, and if you choose to go this route, you should be aware of the following amino acid side effects.

 

1. Pulmonary Disease

N-acetylcysteine, also called cysteine, is one amino acid that has been linked to heart disease. Taking too much cysteine causes the formation of chemicals that tell the body it is not getting enough oxygen. The body responds to this by narrowing its arteries and increasing blood pressure in the lungs, which eventually leads to swelling of the heart.

2. Increased Herpes and Viral Outbreaks

Self-administering this amino acid has been shown to lead in an increase in the intensity and frequency of herpes outbreaks.  Just as these amino acids promote muscles growths, they also seem to promote viral growth. Anyone with a viral infection, particular one related to herpes, should avoid this supplement.

3. Increased Blood Pressure

Tyrosine and phenylalanine are two amino acids that can cause a dangerous increase in blood pressure. They are also associate with rapid heart beat, fatigue and dizziness. These symptoms can be worse in people taking antidepressants or MAO inhibitors. While they do not have this effect on all who take them, make sure you consult with a doctor before taking a potentially dangerous supplement.

4. Insulin Interference

Cysteine has also been observed to negate the effects of insulin in those who take it. Cysteine has the ability to alter the shape on insulin molecules, making them unable to help metabolize sugar. This can be a dangerous interference for people who suffer from diabetes or pre-diabetes.

 It is unwise to take amino acid supplements for more than three months at a time, even if you feel you are not experiencing health problems.  The long term effects of taking amino acids are unknown, and safe doses have not been entirely identified. It is known that when combined with high amounts of protein, as those seeking to increase muscle often consume, amino acid supplements can stress kidney function.

The safest way to increase muscle mass is a high-protein, natural diet, combined with weight-resistance exercises. Consult your doctor if you feel you need to increase your amino acid intake.

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