Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Biological Functions of Amino Acids – Part 2

Conditionally Essential Amino Acids Functions


  • Plays a role in cell division, healing of wounds and removal of ammonia from the body
  • Important for immune function and the production of T lymphocytes
  • Integral in protein synthesis
  • Precursor to nitric oxide which has many physiological functions, including vasodilation


  • Provides an antioxidant function by being a pre-cursor to glutathione
  • Source of sulfur
  • Aids in hair growth


  • Potential to be converted to glucose
  • Maintains physiological pH levels of blood
  • Increases the production of human growth hormone


  • Essential for synthesis of nucleic acids, bile acids, ATP and creatine
  • Acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter, and increases activity of certain neurotransmitters
  • Stimulates glucagon


  • Strengthens myocardium
  • Precursor for hydroxyproline, which the body uses for tendons and ligaments
  • Important component of collagen, which aids in the maintenance and healing of cartilage and joints


  • Precursor for the neurotransmitters: epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine
  • Can be converted to melanin, which protects against ultraviolet light

Nonessential Amino Acids Functions


  • Vital for the function of the central nervous system
  • Maintains blood glucose levels
  • Can be converted to glucose during intense bouts of exercise
  • Aids in the production of lymphocytes, which is used in immune function


  • Used as a transport of nitrogen in the body
  • Essential function in proteins used in neuronal signaling, neuron development and transmission across synapses


  • Used in gluconeogenesis, the creation of glucose
  • Serves as an excitatory neurotransmitter


  • Most readily available excitatory neurotransmitter
  • Is a precursor for GABA (gamma-aminobutyric-acid)
  • Key role in transamination


  • Used in the metabolism of fats and fatty acids
  • Aids in the production of immunoglobulins and antibodies

Kurt Kuhn -

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