Amino Acids
The Building Blocks for a Healthy Body and Mind

The twenty amino acids that keep you alive, healthy, and energetic.

Alanine, Arginine, Asparagine, Cysteine & Cystine, Glutamic Acid, Glutamine, Glycine, Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Tyrosine, Valine, Minor Amino Acids, GABA, Taurine

Click here to read the "Medical Disclaimer."

Biochemistry of Amino Acids

Amino acids combine in an unlimited number of configurations to make all the proteins of which our bodies are composed. The body uses amino acids to make the following partial list of body components:

The only complete food source for all of the amino acids used by the body is meat, meaning red meat, fowl, fish and seafood. Fresh, unprocessed meats should be eaten in large amounts with every meal. Meat keeps the body healthy. Meat heals the body and prevents disease. Meat causes no diseases. The negative statements made against eating meat are all big fat lies promoted by animal worshippers and their unknowing and duped accomplices.

The 20 major amino acids, plus hundreds of minor amino acids keep us alive, vibrant, and healthy. A deficiency in a single amino acid will cause problems for us, and even a single deficiency should be replaced.

In addition to making up all protein, amino acids have numerous functions... far too many to discuss within these pages.

Before each amino acid is discussed, you will read how it is classified within the various categories, such as essential versus non-essential, glycogenic versus ketogenic, etc.

L-Amino Acid - The "L" indicates the molecule has a left hand configuration. Because all amino acids are left hand molecules the "L" is simply not shown. Many amino acid supplements are listed with the "L" shown.

Proteogenic - The term "proteogenic amino acids" is to be understood as meaning all amino acids which are constituents of proteins or polypeptides, and especially the following: aspartic acid, asparagine, threonine, serine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, alanine, cysteine, valine, methionine, isoleucine, leucine, tyrosine, phenylalanine, histidine, lysine, tryptophan, proline and arginine.

Glycogenic - of or relating to or involving glycogen.

Polar -  the molecule has an electron polarity.

Hydrophilic - A hydrophilic molecule or portion of a molecule is one that is typically charge-polarized and capable of hydrogen bonding, enabling it to dissolve more readily in water than in oil or other hydrophobic solvents.

Hydrophobic - Hydrophobic or lipophilic species, or hydrophobes, tend to be electrically neutral and nonpolar, and thus prefer other neutral and nonpolar solvents or molecular environments. Hydrophobic is often used interchangeably with "oily" or "lipophilic."

Aliphatic - Aliphatic compounds are non-aromatic organic compounds, in which carbon atoms are joined together in straight or branched chains rather than in rings.

Amidic - Amides are commonly formed from the reaction of a carboxylic acids with an amine. This is the reaction that forms peptide bonds between amino acids.

Side chains -  A side chain in organic chemistry and biochemistry which is a part of a molecule that is attached to a core structure.

Essential - Indicates that the amino acid cannot be made in the body from other amino acids and must be available in the food. Failure to obtain the full compliment of amino acids in the food results in an amino acid deficiency accompanied by a resulting health problem or disease.



Non-Essential - Proteogenic - Glycogenic
Non-Polar, Hydrophobic - Aliphatic

Main Functions:

Important source of energy for muscle.
The primary amino acid in sugar metabolism.
Boosts immune system by producing antibodies.
Major part of connective tissue.

Alanine Deficiencies Seen In:

Muscle breakdown.
Viral infections.
Elevated insulin and glucagon levels.

Alanine Excess Seen In:

Low insulin and glucagon levels.
Diabetes mellitus.
Kwashiorkor (starvation).


Conditionally-Essential - Proteogenic - Glycogenic - Basic Side Chains

Main Functions:

Essential for normal immune system activity.
Necessary for wound healing.
Assists with regeneration of damaged liver.
Necessary for production and release of growth hormone.
Increases release of insulin and glucagon.
Arginine is the most potent amino acid in releasing insulin.
Assists in healing through collagen synthesis.
Precursor to GABA, an important inhibitory neurotransmitter.
Aids in wound healing.
Decreases size of tumors.
Necessary for spermatogenesis.

Arginine Deficiencies Seen In:

Immune deficiency syndromes, including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Gulf War Syndrome.
Candidiasis (systemic yeast like fungi infection).


Because of arginine's powerful boost to the immune system, people suffering from a great variety of ailments may be tempted to experiment with it. Before doing so, make sure you do not have an acute or chronic virus, such as Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), Cytomegalovirus (CMV) or Human Herpes Virus VI (HHV6), Herpes Simplex I or II. Arginine will speed up the rate of viral growth, which can prove to be dangerous. The amino acid, Lysine, has the opposite effect on viruses, slowing down their growth.


Non-Essential - Proteogenic - Glycogenic - Acid Side Chain

Main Functions:

Aspartic Acid is interconvertible with Asparagine, and therefore the two amino acids have many functions in common.
Increases stamina.
One of the two main excitatory amino acids, the other being Glutamate (Glutamic Acid).
Helps protect the liver by aiding the removal of ammonia.
Involved in DNA and RNA metabolism.
Involved in immune system function by enhancing immunoglobulin production and anti- body formation.

Aspartic Acid Deficiency Seen In:

Calcium and magnesium deficiencies. Because of this association, low aspartic acid levels should lead the clinician to test for calcium and/or magnesium deficiencies.

Aspartic Acid Excess Seen In:

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease).
Epilepsy, especially right after a seizure.


Non-Essential - Proteogenic - Un-charged, Hydrophilic - Amidic

Main Functions:

Asparagine is made from Aspartic Acid plus ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate).
One of the two main excitatory neurotransmitters. Glutamate, made from glutamic acid, is the other. Among their functions as neurotransmitters, of particular interest is the fact that Aspartic Acid and Asparagine have high concentrations in the hippocampus and the hypothalamus. The hippocampus is a part of the brain that plays the main role in short-term memory, while the hypothalamus is involved in the biology of emotion, and serves as a neurological gate between the brain and the rest of the nervous system.
Aids in removing ammonia from the body.
May increase endurance and decrease fatigue.
Detoxifies harmful chemicals.
Involved in DNA synthesis.
Probably stimulates the thymus gland.


Non-Essential - Glycogenic and Ketogenic
Un-charged, Hydrophilic - Sulfur-Containing

Main Functions:

Cysteine and Cystine are interconvertible. Two molecules of Cysteine make Cystine.
Protective against radiation, pollution, ultra-violet light and other causes of increased free radical production.
Natural detoxifier.
Essential in growth, maintenance, and repair of skin.
Key ingredient in hair.
One of the 3 main sulfur-containing amino acids, along with Taurine and Methionine.
Major constituent of Glutathione, an important tripeptide made up of Cystine, Glutamic Acid, and Glycine.
Precursor to the amino acid Taurine.
Precursor to Chondroitin Sulfate, the main component of cartilage.

Cysteine/Cystine Deficiency Seen In:

Chemical Sensitivity.
Food Allergy.


Non-Essential - Proteogenic - Glycogenic - Acid Side Chain

Main Functions:

Glutamic Acid is a precursor to Glutamine and GABA (2 neurotransmitters).
One of two excitatory neurotransmitters, the other being Aspartic acid or Asparagine.
Excesses in brain tissue can cause cell damage. This is thought to be one of the mechanisms by which strokes kill brain cells; that is through the release of large amounts of Glutamic Acid.
Helps stop alcohol and sugar cravings.
Increases energy.
Accelerates wound healing and ulcer healing.
Detoxifies ammonia in the brain by forming glutamine, which can cross the blood-brain barrier, which Glutamic Acid cannot do.
Plays major role in DNA synthesis.

Glutamic Acid Deficiency Seen In:

Vegetarians. Deficiencies of glutamic acid and glutamine in vegetarians are most likely the causes for the high incidence of leaky gut syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease in this group.


Non-Essential - Proteogenic - Glycogenic
Un-charged, Hydrophilic - Amidic

Main Functions:

Precursor to the neurotransmitter GABA. This is a vital function, as GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that produces serenity and relaxation.
Important glycogenic amino acid, meaning that it is essential for helping to maintain normal and steady blood sugar levels.
Involved with muscle strength and endurance.
Essential to gastrointestinal function; provides energy to the small intestines. The intestines are the only organ in the body that uses Glutamine as its primary source of energy.
Glutamine has the highest blood concentration of all the amino acids.
Precursor to the neurotransmitter amino acid Glutamate (Glutamic Acid).
Involved in DNA synthesis.

Glutamine can be supplemented in the diet without fear of an excess conversion to glutamate which is an unhealthy neuro exciter.


"Intercellular Glutamine to Glutamate conversion is done inside each cell which needs Glutamate.  The process is very fast and very tight Glutamate levels are maintained as everything stays inside the cell."

"The Glutamine to Glutamate conversion and control is not at all like the carb to glucose conversion and slowly reacting insulin/gulcagon control system which can be over loaded my high GI carbs, vary widely and has to work over the whole body."

"Within each cell that needs Glutamate to work, there is a part of the DNA structure which needs to express enzymes to do the conversion of Glutamine to Glutamate.  The DNA will only express these enzymes when the level of intercelluar Glutamate drops below a set point.   The cell's DNA will then detect this low level of Glutamate and cause enzymes to be produced to do the conversion.   When the Glutamate level increases above its set point, the DNA will stop producing the enzyme and Glutamate levels will stay constant until the cell starts using Glutamate in its operation.  This conversion process is very fast, as only a very small amount of Glutamate is needed to be converted, it needs to be so to maintain tight intercellular levels of critical chemicals.   As the levels drop again, the above will occur again and so on..........   This way intercellular Glutamate levels, like many other intercellular chemical levels are maintained with-in very tight bounds and widely varying precursor levels."

Glutamine Deficiency Seen In:

Bowel Diseases.
Crohn's Disease.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Anxiety and Panic Disorders.
Vegetarians. Deficiencies of glutamic acid and glutamine in vegetarians are most likely the causes for the high incidence of leaky gut syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease in this group.

Glutamine Excess Seen In:

Use of some anti-convulsant medications.


Non-Essential - Proteogenic - Glycogenic
Non-Polar, Hydrophobic - Aliphatic

Main Functions:

Part of the structure of hemoglobin.
One of the two main inhibitory neurotransmitters, the other being GABA.
Part of cytochromes, which are enzymes involved in energy production.
Inhibits sugar cravings.
One of the 3 critical glycogenic amino acids, along with Serine and Alanine.
Involved in glucagon production, which assists in glycogen metabolism.

Glycine Deficiency Seen In:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Viral Infections.

Glycine Excess Seen In:



Essential - Proteogenic - Glycogenic - Basic Side Chains

Main Functions:

Found in high concentrations in hemoglobin.
Useful in treating anemia due to relationship to hemoglobin.
Has been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
Precursor to histamine.
Associated with allergic response and has been used to treat allergy.
Assists in maintaining proper blood pH.

Histidine Deficiency Seen In:

Rheumatoid arthritis.
Dysbiosis (Imbalance of intestinal bacterial flora).

Histidine Excess In:


Special Functions and Predictive Value:

High Histidine levels are associated with low zinc levels. Low Histidine levels are associated with high zinc levels. Thus, abnormal Histidine levels are an indicator that zinc levels should be tested.


Essential - Proteogenic - Glycogenic and Ketogenic
Non-Polar, Hydrophobic - Aliphatic

Main Functions:

One of the 3 major Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA), all of which are involved with muscle strength, endurance, and muscle stamina.
Muscle tissue uses Isoleucine as an energy source.
Required in the formation of hemoglobin.
BCAA levels are significantly decreased by insulin. Translation: High dietary sugar or glucose intake causes release of insulin, which, in turn, causes a drop in BCAA levels. Therefore, right before exercise, it is not wise to ingest foods high in glucose or other sugars, as the BCAA's, including Isoleucine will not be readily available to muscles.

Isoleucine Deficiency Seen In:

Panic Disorder.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Note: Deficiencies in BCAA in CFS, GWS, FM are associated with muscle weakness, fatigue, and post-exertion exhaustion).
Acute hunger.
Kwashiorkor (starvation).

Isoleucine Excess Seen In:

Diabetes Mellitus with ketotic hypoglycemia.


Essential - Proteogenic - Ketogenic - Non-Polar, Hydrophobic - Aliphatic

Main Functions:

As one of the 3 branched-chain amino acids (the other 2 being Isoleucine and Valine), Leucine has all of the properties discussed with Isoleucine, as it pertains specifically to the branched-chain amino acid functions.
Potent stimulator of insulin.
Helps with bone healing.
Helps promote skin healing.
Modulates release of Enkephalins, which are natural pain-reducers.

Leucine Deficiency Seen In:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Note: Deficiencies in BCAA in CFS, GWS, FM are associated with muscle weakness, fatigue, and post-exertion exhaustion).
Acute hunger.
Kwashiorkor (starvation).
Vitamin B-12 deficiency in pernicious anemia.

Leucine Excess Seen In:



Essential - Proteogenic - Glycogenic and Ketogenic - Basic Side Chains

Main Functions:

Inhibits viral growth and, as a result, is used in the treatment of Herpes Simplex, as well as the viruses associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, such as: Epstein-Barr Virus, Cytomegalovirus, and HHV6.
Carnitine is formed from Lysine and Vitamin C.
Helps form collagen, the connective tissue present in bones, ligaments, tendons, and joints.
Assists in the absorption of calcium.
Essential for children, as it is critical for bone formation.
Involved in hormone production.
Lowers serum triglyceride levels.

Lysine Deficiency Seen In:

Epstein-Barr Virus.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Hair loss.
Weight loss.

Lysine Excess Seen In:

Excess of ammonia in the blood.


Essential - Proteogenic - Glycogenic
Non-Polar, Hydrophobic - Sulfur-Containing

Main Functions:

Assists in breakdown of fats.
Precursor of the amino acids Cysteine (and Cystine) and Taurine.
Helps reduce blood cholesterol levels.
Assists in the removal of toxic wastes from the liver.
One of the sulfur-containing amino acids (the others being Cysteine and the minor amino acid, Taurine). The sulfur-containing amino acids act as anti-oxidants which neutralize free radicals.
Helps prevent disorders of hair, skin, and nails due to sulfur and anti-oxidant activity.
Precursor to Carnitine, Melatonin (the natural sleep aid) and Choline (part of the neurotransmitter, Acetylcholine).
Involved in the breakdown of Epinephrine, Histamine, and Nicotinic Acid.
Required for synthesis of RNA and DNA.
Natural chelating agent for heavy metals, such as lead and mercury.


Do not supplement the diet with methionine amino acid. The metabolism of methionine produces homocysteine which is a sulfur-containing amino acid. It exists at a critical biochemical juncture between methionine metabolism and the biosynthesis of the amino acids cysteine and taurine. Homocysteine is used to build and repair tissues, but an excess of homocysteine has been shown to be a major factor in hardening and obstruction of the arteries causing full-blown heart disease.

Methionine Deficiency Seen In:

Chemical Exposure.
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).

Methionine Excess Seen In:

Severe liver disease.


Essential - Proteogenic - Glycogenic and Ketogenic
Non-Polar, Hydrophobic - Aromatic

Main Functions:

Precursor to Tyrosine, which, in turn, is the precursor to the neurotransmitters: Dopamine and the excitatory neurotransmitters Norepinephrine and Epinephrine.
Precursor to the hormone, Thyroxine.
Enhances mood, clarity of thought, concentration, and memory.
Suppresses appetite.
Major part of collagen formation.
While the L-form of all of the other amino acids is the one that is beneficial to people, the D and DL forms of Phenylalanine have been useful in treating pain.
DL-Phenylalanine is useful in reducing arthritic pain.
Powerful anti-depressant.
Used in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease.

Phenylalanine Deficiency Seen In:

Parkinson's Disease.

Caution: Phenylalanine should be avoided in:

High blood pressure. Has hypertensive properties.
Urination Difficulties Caused by Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH or enlarged prostate).
Pregnancy. The excitatory neurotransmitters are bad for the baby.
Pigmented melanoma. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer.
PKU (phenylketonuria). Disorder related to improper phenylalanine metabolism.
Panic disorder and/or anxiety attacks.


See Tyrosine. It is more powerful and safer in raising the level of norepinephrine, and thereby treating depression.

A major source of phenylalanine in the diet is from diet sodas containing aspartame. These should never be consumed because aspartame digests into an excess of phenylalanine. High calorie drinks or regular sodas containing sugar or high-fructose sweeteners should not be consumed either.

Do not drink any diet soft drinks containing aspartame. Do not eat any foods sweetened with aspartame. Aspartame is converted in the body to the amino acid phenylalanine that is the precursor to tyrosine, which, in turn, is the precursor to dopamine and the excitatory neurotransmitters, epinephrine and norepinephrine (commonly called adrenalin and noradrenalin). These neurotransmitters are powerful vasoconstrictors that constrict the blood vessels to raise blood pressure dramatically. Aspartame hypes the hormonal system causing hunger, anxiety, and insomnia (lack of sleep). Do not take phenylalanine and tyrosine supplements except as part of a low-carb whey protein powder.  Phenylalanine and tyrosine are both helpful in treating depression but both should be avoided by persons with hypertension. Phenylalanine should be avoided for people with:

This is not simply a prejudice against aspartame. Most of the negative claims against aspartame are false. Most critical sources claim that aspartame turns to formaldehyde in the blood. This is basically false. Ten percent of the aspartame can be converted in the small intestines into methanol which could possibly be converted to formaldehyde, but this does not occur because formaldehyde is not found in the blood of a person who consumes aspartame sweetened diet drinks and foods. However, it is a scientific fact that aspartame is broken down into phenylalanine during digestion. Diet drinks containing aspartame give this warning on the can for people with PKU who cannot metabolize phenylalanine.


Non-Essential - Proteogenic - Glycogenic
Non-Polar, Hydrophobic - Aliphatic

Main Functions:

Critical component of cartilage, and hence health of joints, tendons and ligaments.
Involved in keeping heart muscle strong.
The main precursor to Proline is Glutamate.
Secondary precursor to Proline is Ornithine (minor amino acid).
Works in conjunction with Vitamin C in keeping skin and joints healthy.

Proline Excess Seen In:

Chronic Liver Disease.
Sepsis (infection of the blood).
Acute alcohol intake.


Non-Essential - Proteogenic - Glycogenic
Un-charged, Hydrophilic - Hydroxylic

Main Functions:

One of the 3 most important glycogenic amino acids, the others being Alanine and Glycine.
Critical in maintaining blood sugar levels.
Boosts immune system by assisting in production of antibodies and immunoglobulins.
Myelin sheath (the fatty acid complex that surrounds the axons of nerves is derived from serine. One variation of Serine namely Phosphotidyl Serine, a minor amino acid serves several important functions within the central nervous system, including development of the myelin sheath. Multiple Sclerosis is one of the so-called "De-myelinating Diseases."
Required for growth and maintenance of muscle.
The amino acid Glycine is a precursor to Serine and the two are inter-convertible.

Serine Deficiency Seen In:

Total body gamma and neutron irradiation.

Serine Excess Seen In:

Vitamin B-6 Deficiency.


Phosphoserine, a minor amino acid, a modification of Serine, is a good predictor of Vitamin B-6 deficiency, in particular the form of Vitamin B-6 called Pryidoxal-5-Phosphate (P5P). If plasma Phosphoserine levels are abnormally high, that is a clear indication of P5P deficiency. P5P is critical in amino acid processes. Tyrosine, for example, cannot be converted into the neurotransmitter Norepinephrine if there is not enough P5P. Likewise, Tryptophan cannot be converted into the neurotransmitter Serotonin if there is not enough P5P.


Essential - Proteogenic - Glycogenic
Un-charged, Hydrophilic - Hydroxylic

Main Functions:

Required for formation of collagen.
Helps prevent fatty deposits in the liver.
Aids in production of antibodies.
Can be converted to Glycine (a neurotransmitter) in the central nervous system.
Acts as detoxifier.
Needed by the GI (gastrointestinal) tract for normal functioning.
Provides symptomatic relief in ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's Disease).
In laboratory experiments with animals, Threonine increases thymus weight.
Threonine is often low in depressed patients. In that group of patients, Threonine is helpful in treating the depression.

Threonine Deficiency Seen In:

Muscle Spasticity.
ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis).

Threonine Excess Seen In:

Alcohol ingestion.
Those treated with sedative anti-convulsant medication (animal studies).
Vitamin B6 deficiency.
Liver cirrhosis.


Essential - Proteogenic - Glycogenic and Ketogenic
Non-Polar, Hydrophobic - Aromatic

Main Functions:

Precursor to the key neurotransmitter, Serotonin, which exerts a calming effect.
Effective sleep aid, due to conversion to Serotonin.
Reduces anxiety.
Effective in some forms of depression.
Treatment for migraine headaches.
Stimulates growth hormone.
Along with Lysine, Carnitine, and Taurine is effective in lowering cholesterol levels.
Can be converted into niacin (Vitamin B3).
Lowers risk of arterial spasms.
The only plasma amino acid that is bound to protein.
Tryptophan must compete with 5 other amino acids to pass through the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain. Those 5 are: tyrosine, Phenylalanine, Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine and are called Large Neutral Amino Acids (LNAA).
Requires pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P5P) a form of vitamin B6 to be converted into Serotonin. P5P deficiency will lower Serotonin levels, even if Tryptophan levels are normal.

Tryptophan Deficiency Seen In:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
FDA ban of Tryptophan.

Tryptophan Excess Seen In:

Increased intake of salicylates (aspirin).
Increased blood levels of free fatty acids.
Sleep deprivation.
Niacin intake.


Simultaneous treatment with Tryptophan and Prozac (and other SSRI anti-depressants, such as Paxil and Zoloft) can produce an irreversible brain disorder called Serotonin Syndrome. This treatment combination is to be avoided.


Standard AMA, APA (American Psychiatric Association), FDA, and pharmaceutical industry position has been that Tryptophan is not an effective treatment of Serotonin-depletion depressions, when compared to Prozac and other SSRI's.

Clinical experience has shown that some people respond well to Prozac while others respond well to Tryptophan in treating Serotonin-depleted depressions. When the FDA banned Tryptophan several years ago, thousands of people who only had a positive response to Tryptophan (and not to Prozac) decompensated psychologically and never recovered. L-Tryptophan is again available as an over-the-counter supplement.


Conditionally Essential - Proteogenic - Glycogenic and Ketogenic
Un-charged, Hydrophilic - Aromatic

Main Functions:

Precursor to neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine (adrenaline) and melanin.
Effective anti-depressant for norepinephrine-deficient depressions. Tyrosine is preferred over Phenylalanine, which is also a precursor to all of the above neurotransmitters. Phenylalanine is one step removed from the metabolic process, and can aggravate high blood pressure.
Precursor to Thyroxine and growth hormone.
Increases energy, improves mental clarity and concentration.
Requires pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P5P) a form of vitamin B6 to be converted into norepinephrine. P5P deficiency will lower norepinephrine levels, even if Tyrosine levels are normal.

Tyrosine Deficiency Seen In:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Gulf War Syndrome.
Parkinson's Disease.
Drug addiction and dependency.

Tyrosine Excess Seen In:

Chronic liver disease; cirrhosis.


Essential - Proteogenic - Glycogenic
Non-Polar, Hydrophobic - Aliphatic

Main Functions:

One of the 3 major Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) . . . the other two being Leucine and Isoleucine . . . all of which are involved with muscle strength, endurance, and muscle stamina.
BCAA levels are significantly decreased by insulin. High dietary sugar or glucose intake causes release of insulin, which, in turn, causes a drop in BCAA levels.
Competes with Tyrosine and Tryptophan in crossing the blood-brain barrier. The higher the Valine level, the lower the brain levels of Tyrosine and Tryptophan. One of the implications of this competition is that Tyrosine and Tryptophan nutritional supplements need to be taken at least an hour before or after meals or supplements that are high in branched chain amino acids.
Actively absorbed and used directly by muscle as an energy source.
Not processed by the liver before entering the blood stream.
Any acute physical stress (including surgery, sepsis, fever, trauma, starvation) requires higher amounts of Valine, Leucine and Isoleucine than any of the other amino acids.
During period of Valine deficiency, all of the other amino acids (and protein) are less well absorbed by the GI tract.

Valine Deficiency Seen In:

Neurological deficit.
Elevated insulin levels.

Valine Excess Seen In:

Ketotic Hypoglycemia.
Visual and tactile hallucinations.


Minor Amino Acids

There are easily 100 identifiable amino acids beyond the 20 described within these pages. Being a minor amino acid does not mean their functions are unimportant. In fact, the two minor amino acids below, Taurine and GABA, are extraordinarily important.


(Gamma Amino Butyric Acid)
Non-Essential - Non-Proteogenic

Main Functions:

One of the two main inhibitory neurotransmitters, the other being Glycine.
Glutamic acid is the main precursor of GABA.
Does not easily pass through the blood-brain barrier, which has important clinical implications. Although GABA supplementation is used widely for a calming, sedative effect, there is mixed data indicating that GABA taken orally has much clinical effect. Glutamine, a precursor of GABA, readily passes through the blood-brain barrier and is, therefore, a better supplement to take if one wants to increase brain levels of GABA, since Glutamine, once it is in the brain, converts into GABA. The question of GABA's clinical usefulness may be a function of its dosage. That is, it appears that only mega doses of GABA have clinical effects.
Benzodiazepines, such as Valium and Librium, activate GABA neurons.
GABA activity found in glands controlled by the sympathetic nervous system, namely: pancreas and thymus.
Mega-doses of GABA raise IQ.
Mega-doses may be helpful in treating seizure disorders.

GABA Deficiency Seen In:

Seizure disorders.

GABA Excess Seen In:

Acute mania.
Liver (hepatic) encephalopathy.


Conditionally-Essential - Non-Proteogenic - Sulfur-Containing

Main Functions:

In the nervous system, stabilizes cell membranes, which raises the seizure threshold, and helps treat epileptic seizures.
Acts as inhibitory neurotransmitter and is as potent as Glycine and GABA.
Anti-convulsant effect is long-lasting and can be confirmed both clinically and by repeat EEG's (electroencephalograms).
Anti-oxidant. Slows down the aging process by neutralizing free radicals.
Highest concentration of Taurine is in the heart.
Reduces risk of gall stones by combining with bile acids to make them water soluble.
Involved in stabilization of heart rhythm. Loss of intracellular Taurine in the heart leads to arrhythmias.
Useful in treatment of Congestive Heart Failure (CHF).
Strengthens neutrophils (white blood cells/part of immune system) in their ability to kill bacteria.
Useful in brain injury.
Decreases cholesterol levels (along with Lysine, Carnitine, and Tryptophan).
Highly concentrated in the eye.

Taurine Deficiency Seen In:

Parkinson's Disease.
Cardiac insufficiency.
Kidney failure.

Taurine Excess Seen In:

Vitamin B6 deficiency.
Rheumatoid arthritis.
Zinc deficiency.
Liver disease.

Predictive Value:

Taurine levels, whether high or low, indicate whether further lab work is needed. For example, if Taurine levels are low and the clinical picture is suggestive of Candidiasis, one should test for Candida through comprehensive stool analysis and/or anti-Candida antibodies.

If Taurine levels are high, zinc and Vitamin B6 levels should be tested. P5P, an important form of Vitamin B6 is necessary for many amino acid reactions to take place.

Are you dangerously deficient in taurine - Part 1 -

Are you dangerously deficient in taurine - Part 2 -

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before starting a new fitness or nutrition regimen. The information contained in this online site and email is presented in summary form only and intended to provide broad consumer understanding and knowledge of dietary supplements. The information should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation or advice of your physician or other health care provider. We do not recommend the self-management of health problems. Information obtained by using our services is not exhaustive and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions or their treatment. Should you have any health care related questions, please call or see your physician or other health care provider promptly. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here. We strongly suggest you select a physician who is knowledgeable and supportive of the low-carbohydrate diet. Many of the physicians listed on this page have health clinics.

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Top Ten Historical Events That Created Our Current Health and Nutritional Quagmire.

Fibromyalgia, Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR), and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

Prostate Health - Reversing Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) and Preventing Prostate Cancer.

Hypertension, High Blood Pressure Control, Heart Palpitations, Arrhythmias, and Blood Testing.

Absolute Scientific Proof Carbohydrates Are Pathogenic.

Low-Carbohydrate Diet Confirmed by Duke Study.

Two Studies Validate the Low-Carbohydrate, High-Protein Diet.

Ketogenic, Low-Carbohydrate Diet for Bodybuilders.

Ketosis Myths and Facts on the Low-Carbohydrate Diet.

Breaking Stalls and Plateaus on the Low-Carbohydrate Diet. Eskimos Prove An All Meat Diet Provides Excellent Health.

Myths, Distortions and Lies About Beef.

Animal-Rights Terrorists Strike Again?

Studies Prove Beef Is A Safe And Healthy Food.

Bone Analysis Suggests Neolithic People Preferred Meat.

Proof Saturated Fats Are Healthy.

7,700-Year-Old Bones Prove Early Humans were Highly Carnivorous.

Eggs Do Not Cause Bad Cholesterol.

Feeding the Irrational Fear of Cholesterol.

Exposing the Myths, Dangers, and Lies About Organic Food. Amino Acids - The Building Blocks of Life and Healing.
The Organic Farming Myths. Anthropological Research Reveals Optimal Human Diet by H. Leon Abrams, Jr.
Dietary Fiber Theory. Scientific Proof Fiber in the Diet is Unhealthy. Vegetarianism: Another View
by H. Leon Abrams, Jr.
The Myths of Vegetarianism. The Case Against Milk by Sheila Buff.
Vegetarian Diet Deficiencies Are a Proven Fact. Vitamin Deficiencies and Vitamin Toxicities.

Atkins' Diet Healthier Than the American Heart Association's Diet.

Dr. Weston A. Price Foundation.

Genetically Modified Corn Study Reveals Health Damage and Cover-up. The Mediterranean Diet is a Big FAT Lie.
Pregnant? Pregnancy, Adoption, Abortion, Infertility,
and  Proper Diet During Pregnancy for a Healthy Baby

Mommy Goes Shopping for Baby Food.
Read Why Mommy's Diet Causes Infant Autism.

Top Ten Exercise Health Myths About Running, Jogging, Biking, Marathons, and Triathlons
Top Ten Embryonic Stem Cell and Human Cloning Research Claims, Promises, Facts, Expectations, Exaggerations, Hype, and Myths
My personal vitamin, mineral, and supplement program by Kent R. Rieske
Top Ten Myths About Nutrition and Diet in the Bible
The Truth, Myths, and Lies About the Health and Diet of the "Long-Lived" People of Hunza, Pakistan, Hunza Bread, and Pie Recipes
The Truth About the Balanced Diet Theory and the 
Four or Five Groups of the Food Guide Pyramid
Study With Mice Shows the High-Fat, Low-Carbohydrate Diet Improves Alzheimer's Disease and Most Likely Will Prevent Alzheimer's Disease

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