Qu'est-ce que les acides aminés

What is an amino acid in brief.

Amino acids are the molecules that make up proteins. When in their form called “proteins”, they take the form of a chain. As their name suggests, amino acids have both an acidic group and an amino group. There are 22 amino acids present in proteins. There are several other amino acids in the body, but they are not part of the composition of proteins.

Here is the list of the 22 amino acids involved in protein synthesis:

  • Arginine
  • Asparagine
  • Aspartate
  • Cysteine
  • Glutamate
  • Glutamine
  • Wisteria
  • Histidine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Proline
  • Pyrrolysine
  • Selenocysteine
  • Serine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Tyrosine
  • Valine
  • Alanine

Of these 22 amino acids, only 9 are considered essential, which means that the body cannot produce them itself and must therefore be supplied through food.

The essential amino acids are:

  • Isoleucine (BCAA): Necessary for athletes, it contributes to the production of muscular energy and slows down muscle breakdown.
  • Leucine (BCAA): Triggers muscle building, participates in muscle energy production and slows muscle breakdown.
  • Valine (BCAA): Necessary for muscle energy production and slows down muscle breakdown.
  • Lysine: Necessary for the formation of collagen and certain antibodies, it is effective in the fight against herpes.
  • Methionine: Helps lower blood cholesterol levels and prevents the accumulation of fat in the liver and arteries.
  • Phenylalanine: Precursor of melanin, adrenaline, norepinephrine and a peptide responsible for stimulating the digestion of proteins and lipids.
  • Threonine: Necessary for the formation of collagen (which gives cohesion to our tissues and organs) and elastin (which helps with the enlargement and firming of the skin).
  • Histidine: Necessary in children but not in adults, it has an anti-inflammatory effect, stimulates growth and tissue regeneration.
  • Tryptophan: Precursor of serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in the control of appetite and sleep.

Amino acids play a crucial role in the body, including in the control of growth processes, protection against diseases and toxins, the proper functioning of metabolism, as well as in the anti-catabolic effect on muscles and the anabolic effect to support muscle mass gain.

Studies to confirm the information:

  • Tipton KD and Wolfe RR. Exercise, protein metabolism, and muscle growth. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2001 Mar;11(1):109-32. PMID: 11255140. (Effect of amino acids on muscle growth)
  • Fernstrom JD. Role of precursor availability in control of monoamine biosynthesis in brain. Physiol Rev. 1983 Apr;63(2):484-546. doi: 10.1152/physrev.1983.63.2.484. PMID: 6138578. (Role of tryptophan in monoamine biosynthesis)
  • Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Military Nutrition Research; Marriott BM, editor. Food Components to Enhance Performance: An Evaluation of Potential Performance-Enhancing Food Components for Operational Rations. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1994. PMID: 25144094. (Effects of amino acids on physical performance)

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