Q: What amino acids are the essential amino acids? –

Layperson A: You may see conflicting data on this, but to be labeled essential, means the amino acid must be gotten from the diet because the body lacks the enzymes to synthesize these amino acids.

Eight are classified as core essential amino acids-Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, and Valine.

Seven are classified as conditionally or semiessential- Arginine (essential in infants in which production is not sufficient, but not in adults), Cysteine, Cystine, Glutamine, Histidine, Proline, and Tyrosine(derived from Phenylalanine and essential if not enough Phenylalanine is present for it to be synthesized), and nine nonessential (the body can synthesize these)-Alanine, Asparagine, Aspartic Acid, Carnitine, Glutamic Acid, Glycine, Ornithine, Serine, and Taurine.

At one time it was thought that all the amino acids had to be taken in at one meal to synthesize protein, but it has been determined that several hours can pass before the remaining amino acids need to be taken in for protein synthesis to occur. None of the amino acids are stored and must be assimilated daily through the diet.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this column, is NOT intended to diagnose and/or treat any health related issues and is provided solely for informational purposes only. Consult the appropriate healthcare professional before making any changes to your healthcare regime. Even what may seem like simple changes in the diet for example, can interact with, and alter, the efficiency of medications and/or the body’s response to the medications. Many herbs and supplements exert powerful medicinal effects.