»Wiener Zeitung«, 20/03/07

The building blocks of life

Amino acids are one of the basic building blocks of the human body. They are linked to form proteins that act as an important source of energy for each individual cell. Amino acids occur in all body tissues and play an essential role in the processes that control our physical and mental functions.

They participate in detoxification processes, help counteract the consequences of oxidative stress, act as health police and prevent free radicals from penetrating the cell walls, explains biochemist Jürgen Spona in an interview with "Wiener Zeitung".

Although the body can produce many of the amino acids by itself (the “non-essential” amino acids), there are some which, like vitamins and trace elements, have to be included in our diet (these are the “essential” amino acids).

Their range of use and effects in the body are extremely wide and include muscles, skin, hair, bones, blood components, hormones and enzymes as well as many “messengers” in the brain, such as serotonin, explains Spona.

An amino acid deficiency, caused by illness, poor eating habits or mental and physical stress, can lead to general unwellness, fatigue, burn-out syndrome, sleep disorders, metabolic disorders or a greater likelihood of infections, he continues. It is thus important to supply the body with the required amount of energy and the right foods.

Spona has been experimenting with individualised substitution for some years and has reported on the positive effects, for example, in the field of sport (both professional and amateur) and on anti-ageing. Amino acids are also used as a preventive measure for cardiovascular diseases such as arteriosclerosis, for weight loss, to improve bone density or as anti-inflammatories.

Dear reader,

We are often asked for amino acid product recommendations. As we generally cannot answer this in a universal way, the information collected from our German colleagues could be used as a guide to those who are looking for quality supplements: www.aminosaeuren.de. The site trialed and evaluated the products and services of the main providers in German-speaking countries. The information is currently only available in German, but you will nevertheless be able to see the names of the best manufacturers.


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