Archive for the ‘Amino Acids’ Category

Treating Depression Naturally with SAMe

Friday, September 4th, 2009

Many people have never heard of SAMe, though this compound is very beneficial to our health. SAMe, or S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine, is an amino acid derivative that is present in all of our living cells and is involved with the body’s methyl group transfers. It is important for over 40 metabolic reactions that occur in our body, but it is a compound that many of us are lacking.

One of the primary uses of SAMe is for treatment of mood disorders, primarily depression. The rise in the number of people suffering from depression is alarming, and many cases of depression stem from the increasing amounts of stress that people face daily. In the United States, depression affects between 5 to 12 percent of men and 10-25 percent of women at some point during their life. There are between 10 and 15 million per year that are suffering from clinical depression.

As the annual cost for treating depression is rather large, finding alternative methods to help treat and prevent the problem is becoming more popular. In clinical stuides, using a SAMe supplement daily has proven to be very effective in treating depression by restoring essential nutrients to the body.

A daily dosage of SAMe can help to treat this depression by stabilizing chemical reactions in the body. This amino acid derivative is essential for normal cellular growth and cellular repair, and is necessary for the naturally occurring synthesis of many of the neurotransmitters and hormones that can affect your mood. If there is not an adequate amount of SAMe in the body, these neurotransmitters and hormones are not produces properly and mood conditions such as depression can result.

Unlike some medications that are used to treat mood conditions, SAMe is not a treatment that will produce immediate results. It can take several weeks before the compound is able to reach it’s full effectiveness allowing results to be thoroughly seen. When taking SAMe to treat depression, it is essential to keep this in mind so that you do not give up on the benefits of this supplement too soon.

SAMe should not be taken by just anyone. Women that are pregnant or nursing should consult with their medical caregiver before beginning to take SAMe or any other herbal treatment or medication. The use of SAMe for treating depression in those with bipolar disorder is highly advised against, as there is a very high risk of them developing some manic symptoms. In fact, anyone that is already taking any type of anti-depressant drug like an SSRI or MAOI inhibitor should not take this supplement without first consulting their physician.

SAMe has also proven to be effective at treating other conditions such as osteoarthritis and liver disease. The same considerations listed above should be taken before using this drug to treat these conditions, though it is worth discussing with your doctor as clinical studies have shown empirical evidence of it’s effective treatment. If you decide to take SAMe to treat one of these conditions, purchasing a high quality form of the compound such as the SAMe capsules available by Solgar is highly recommended so that you get the full benefits from a quality product.

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Quick Guide to Amino Acids

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Amino acids are the building blocks from which your life is formed, if it helps you may think of your body as a house and the amino acids are the foundation or building blocks it is set upon. Amino acids are proteins that are essential to life in general, but, more specifically these proteins make up your skin, hair, nails, muscles, tendons, organs, as well as cell growth and repair. As a matter of fact, next to water these proteins make up the greatest portion of body weight. There are two different types of amino acids, essential and non-essential, the essential amino acids must be obtained from diet, while the non-essential are obtained from other sources. To completely understand how critical amino acids are to the human body let me explain in detail what exactly it is that these amino acids do.

Essential Amino Acids

Leucine- This amino acids works in conjunction with two other essential amino acids, Isoleucine and Valine, to heal damaged muscle tissue, skin, and bone. It also lowers blood sugar levels and aids in the production of growth hormone.

Lysine- Aids in calcium absorption and the production of collagen, as well as balances nitrogen in adults. Lysine is also helpful in lowering serum triglyceride levels, and producing antibodies that help heal sores and ulcers related to herpes.

Phenylalanine- Is essential to the production of nor-epinephrine, this in turn increases alertness, memory function, and aids in learning capabilities. Phenylalanine is also helpful in decreasing pain, and treating arthritis, depression, migraines, obesity, Parkinson’s, menstrual cramps, and schizophrenia.

Methionine- Is a powerful antioxidant that aids in the destruction of harmful free radicals, as well as helping the body eliminate heavy metals and excess estrogen. Methionine is also helpful in preventing diseases and disorders that affect the hair and nails, it is also helpful in breaking down fats preventing them from building up in the arteries and liver. Methionine has a multi-functioning role in the body, performing many duties.

Histidine- This particular amino acid is found primarily in the hemoglobin and is used as a treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, ulcers and anemia. Another critical role is in the growth and repair of tissues, it is also important for the maintenance of the myelin sheaths. These myelin are the insulation on the nerves, they ensure the messages don’t get lost in translation. It is also needed for the production of both red and white blood cells.

Threonine- Is essential for the balance of protein in the body, it is also important for the formation of collagen and elastin, as well as tooth enamel. Also it prevents the build up of fats in the liver.

Isoleucine- Is needed for hemoglobin formation as well as the maintenance and repair of tissue, muscle and bone. Like leucine it also helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Valine- Is needed for muscle metabolism and coordination, as well as tissue repair, and maintenance of proper nitrogen balance in the body. It is also used as an energy source by muscles, AND it is helpful in treating liver and gallbladder diseases. Yet another benefit is it promotes mental vigor and calm emotions.

Let’s not forget that non-essential amino acids are equally as important, and taking a supplement that includes both essential and non-essential is very important as not to develop a deficiency or imbalance. There are roughly 12 non-essential amino acids they include: Tyrosine, ornithine, glutamic acid, glycine, gutamine, cystine, arginine, serine, alanine, proline, taurine, and aspartic acid. Don’t let the name non-essential fool you, remember that simply means that you don’t receive them from food. These non-essential amino acids are responsible for everything from antioxidant activity, to sex drive, and stamina, to detoxifying, as well as CNS stimulants and neurotransmitters.

Clearly ensuring that you have a well balanced abundant supply of all amino acids is extremely important. There is an all in one formula that delivers all the amino acids mentioned above, both essential and non-essential, to find out more about this extremely crucial supplement please visit

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Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

So, what is acetyl L-carnitine and why is it so important to anybody who is feeling fatigued? Here’s what we know. The amino acid L-carnitine is well known for its key role in the burning of fats. Specifically, L-carnitine transports fatty acids to the innermost section of the mitochondria (the cellular power plants for energy) where they are used to create adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy currency of the body. Studies have shown that carnitine deficiency lowers ATP levels in various tissues. Carnitine deficiency also increases the susceptibility to fatigue from, and decreases the rate of recovery following, strenuous physical activity.

Acetyl L-carnitine (ACL) is the acetyl ester of the amino acid L-carnitine, which transports fats into the mitochondria. In the mitochondria these fats are converted to an energy source. A nutrient and naturally occurring metabolite that is involved in lipid, carbohydrate and protein metabolism, ALC is naturally present in the human and animal body. The heart, brain, muscles, and testicles contain considerable concentrations of ALC, but its levels are dramatically reduced as we age.

An ALC/L-carnitine deficiency also increases the body’s susceptibility to fatigue and injury following strenuous physical activity. For these reasons, supplementing with L-carnitine has long been a favorite in weight-training circles, but as MRM has learned, ALC surpasses the metabolic potency and bioavailability of traditional L-carnitine to offer a range of holistic health advantages.

Acetyl L-Carnitine vs. L-Carnitine
Because it possesses its own acetyl acid group, ALC facilitates energetic pathways that L-carnitine supplementation alone cannot supply. The acetyls from ALC can combine with coenzyme A (the metabolized form of the vitamin pantothenic acid, which is responsible for metabolizing fatty acids) to create acetylcoenzyme A (A-CoA). This molecule plays a vital role in the citric acid cycle (the biological reactions within mitochondria that provide cellular energy). ALC can also give its acetyl group to choline to form the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. When cellular energy charges and A-CoA stores grow low, ALC supplementation replenishes both. And when cellular energy charges are high, L-carnitine can convert back to ALC to conserve the acetyl until it is needed for future energy generation.

How ALC Supports Metabolism
A 1993 Russian study observed that ALC administration for 10 days significantly increased maximum running speed and endurance. This tracks with a 2004 test that saw 59 percent of 30 patients suffering from fatigue report sizable improvements in their mental and bodily energy after ingesting ALC daily for 24 weeks. A 1997 study found that those runners taking 2 g of L-carnitine daily increased their top running speed by as much as 5.7 percent. While both L-carnitine and ALC are established providers of athletic performance boosts, as an esterified compound, ALC possesses impressive bioavailability to traverse cell walls and the bloodbrain barrier into the central nervous system. Indeed, a 2004 study appearing in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences compared ALC to L-carnitine’s effects, finding that while “ALC and L-carnitine were similar in increasing ambulatory activity in old rats and elevating carnitine levels in blood and brain…ALC was effective… in decreasing oxidative damage.” And, unlike the other ALC products on the market, MRM’s patented ALC formula maximizes this already potent bioavailability by virtue of being the first available via a liquid delivery system. The combination of enhanced bioavailability and ALC’s natural antioxidant capabilities demonstrates ALC’s versatility in supporting exercise and in supporting healthy stress levels and brain health.