Amino Acid Chart: Structure, Types, & Examples

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Amino Acid Chart

Amino acid, any of a group of organic molecules that consist of a basic amino group (―NH2), an acidic carboxyl group (―COOH), and an organic R group (or side chain) that is unique to each amino acid.

Amino Acid Chart, Amino Acid, Essential Amino Acid,2

Amino acids play central roles both as building blocks of proteins and as intermediates in metabolism. The 20 amino acids that are found within proteins convey a vast array of chemical versatility. The precise amino acid content, and the sequence of those amino acids, of a specific protein, is determined by the sequence of the bases in the gene that encodes that protein.

Amino Acid Chart

Amino Acid Chart, Amino Acid, Essential Amino Acid,1

Amino Acid Types

i. Essential Amino Acid

Amino acids are of 3 types: non-essential, essential, and conditional. Essential Amino Acid comprise 9 amino acids that form a group, these amino acids cannot be synthesized de novo inside the body so they are important to ingest in the diet.

Amino acids form the monomers that makeup protein polymers with the help of peptide bonds. Depending on the type and number of amino acids that make a protein they can vary in structure and function.

Histidine: This amino acid is essential during the development and growth of children, but it is not required in adults unless kidneys are impaired. It functions in growth, maintaining the nervous system, and forms the metabolite of histamine neurotransmitters.

One of its most significant functions is to regulate the concentration of heavy metals like molybdenum, copper, iron, manganese, and zinc and to metabolize them. If there are high level of trace metals in the system, but histidine amount is low then the depletion of histidine stores occur resulting in mineral-enzyme deficiencies.

Isoleucine: They are often taken as supplements to increase endurance in athletes. It together with valine and leucine comprise 70% of all proteins found in the human body.

They function in hemoglobin synthesis, tissue repair, and regulating energy levels and glucose levels. As they are relatively safe to consume in large quantities they are a popular ingredient of supplements in sports.

Leucine: Leucine is one of the important members of the BCAA essential amino acid group. They have a role in fat catabolism without any decline in muscle mass as a result, they are incorporated in weight loss supplements.

Weight loss can be increased by combining intake of leucine with vigorous exercise. Vegans usually have low leucine levels as it is found in dairy and meat products.

Lysine: These amino acids aids in calcium absorption and are important for nervous system function and to maintain healthy muscle movement. It is also involved carnitine and collagen synthesis. Legumes are rich source of lysine for vegans.

Deficiency of this amino acid causes dizziness, retarded growth, nausea, fatigue, and infertility. It can be administered to neurological patients to lower seizure events, but lysine-0restricted diets are needed for pyridoxine-dependent epilepsy.

Methionine: It is found abundantly in meat, whole-grain foods, and dairy products and hence not required as a supplement. If methionine metabolism is impaired then it affects fatty acids and lipid biosynthesis that can lead to atherosclerosis.

It contains elemental sulfur in its structure. The other amino acid that contains sulfur is cysteine. Sulfur is crucial in the formation of anti-oxidants.

They are taken in form of supplements suffering from liver ailments and people that suffer from dominance of hormone Low methionine supplements also improve cancer outcome and cell longevity according to researchers.

Phenylalanine: It is involved in the biosynthesis of adrenaline, tyrosine, and noradrenaline the latter increases memory and mental alertness, decreases appetite, and boosts mood.

Phenylketonuria refers to the disorder where phenylalanine hydrolase is lacking due to which the metabolism of phenylalanine is impaired and it accumulates in the body. This causes mental retardation is no intervention is done to treat this condition.

Threonine: This amino acid along with methionine and aspartic acid promotes the metabolism of fat in the liver that helps prevent steatosis. They are also important for maintaining the integrity of the nervous system.

They are often taken as supplements by people suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease and multiple sclerosis. It is involved in the synthesis of elastin, glycine, collagen, serine, and muscle production. Research is focusing on employing this amino acid in colitis therapy.

Tryptophan: It is one of the common health store supplements and ingredients that boost mood and energy levels. It is the precursor of melatonin, serotonin, structural proteins, and enzymes so it has become a popular ingredient in the health industry to treat conditions like migraine.

The emergence of various research studies focusing on blood-brain barrier and gut synthesized serotonin, highlights the significance of this amino acid. It has clinical significance and is administered to reduce ADHD symptoms, alleviate anxiety, treat menopausal depression and restless leg syndrome.

Valine: This amino acid is a part of BCAAs besides isoleucine and leucine that exhibit a different structural form than the rest of amino acids and are often utilized in dietary supplements. It is abundantly found in green leafy vegetables and kidney beans.

This amino acid is involved in many physiological functions like it can enhance sleep quality and calm the nervous system in times of stress and improve cognitive processes.

This is also involved in the recovery of tissues, growth, and repair and is endorsed as a supplement by athletes for building endurance. They also form a component of weight loss supplements as they decrease appetite.

ii. Non-Essential Amino Acids

They comprise 12 amino acids that can be synthesized in the body itself, but certain people may take further provide themselves with their supplements or high protein diets.

These non-essential amino acids include arginine, aspartate, alanine, cysteine, serine, tyrosine, taurine, glycine, glutamate, proline, glutamine, and asparagine. The deficiency of these can be inborn and can form dysfunctional proteins.

For instance, if there is a low synthesis of glycine amidinotransferase and arginine it can cause muscular impairments and mental retardation.

Another example is the lack of glutathione synthetase that can lead to progressive neurologic disorders, oxidative stress, hemolytic anemia, and metabolic acidosis.

iii. Conditional Amino Acids

6 amino acids are conditional that are tyrosine, proline, glutamine, glycine, cysteine, and arginine. These amino acids are synthesized by the human body but under some circumstances their production is limited. Such conditions denote natural temporary physiological conditions like stress conditions or in babies born preterm cannot synthesize arginine.

Amino Acid Chart Citations
  • A common periodic table of codons and amino acids. Biochem Biophys Res Commun . 2003 Jun 27;306(2):408-15.
  • Amino acid kinetics and the response to nutrition in patients with cancer. Int J Radiat Biol . 2019 Apr;95(4):480-492.
  • Amino Acid Transport Across the Mammalian Intestine. Compr Physiol . 2018 Dec 13;9(1):343-373.


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