As the name suggests, non essential amino acids are a group of nutrients that you do not necessarily need to add to your diet. This is because the body is usually capable of synthesizing these amino acids by itself. However, for people who are recovering from a surgery or physical injury, it may become difficult for their bodies to effectively synthesize these non essential amino acids from the enzymes present in the body. In such cases, it becomes necessary to consume a diet that is rich in these types of amino acids.
Some non essential amino acids examples include alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine.
Benefits of Non Essential Amino Acids
Some claim that the name “non essential amino acids” is in fact a misnomer in the nutritional sciences because many people assume they provide no benefit to the human body. Whereas, these amino acids have a host of different benefits that help with the regular functioning of the body.
1. Tissue Growth and Repair
Non essential amino acids and their functions include promotion of tissue growth as well as repair. Coupled with essential amino acids, these proteins form the basis for the development of new cells in the body. Since protein is widely known as the building block of cells in the body, these amino acids (a type of protein) can also help repair damaged cells.
2. Provide Energy in the Form of Glucose
Non essential amino acids can differ greatly in their function depending on the nature of your daily diet. For example, these amino acids, instead of facilitating the generation of new cells and regeneration of existing cells, can even be converted into glucose and consumed by the body as energy.
3. Boost Immune Function
Scientific studies have proven that supplementary intake of non essential amino acids like arginine, glutamine, and cysteine precursors is beneficial in boosting immunity. In fact, it has been proven that these amino acids can help reduce morbidity and mortality when consumed for a longer period of time.
4. Promotes Formation of RBCs
Some non essential amino acids like glycine, glutamic acid, aspartic acid, cysteine, histidine, phenylalanine, and proline have also been proven to have an effect on the production of red blood cells (RBCs). Research has shown that injecting anemic patients with controlled doses of these amino acids can indeed promote the production of RBCs.
5. Helps Prevent Cancer
Although there is not enough evidence, ongoing research suggests that non essential amino acids may have powerful tumor inhibiting properties. In some studies, these amino acids have been used on test subjects as the primary method of treating cancer or in combination with chemotherapy. The results of these studies have suggested that adding these amino acids to your diet could supplement chemotherapy and help fight cancer.
It is evident that non essential amino acids are in fact quite essential for your body in a variety of ways. You can add the most important of these amino acids like arginine, glutamine, cysteine, glycine, glutamic acid, aspartic acid, histidine, phenylalanine, and proline to your daily diet and reap the several health benefits they have to offer. The best way to do this is to consume soybeans, nuts (especially peanuts, almonds, and walnuts), eggs, chickpeas, lentils, meat, and fish (especially shellfish). These are some of the foods that are rich in non essential amino acids and can help you stay healthy even if your body is unable to synthesize these amino acids on its own.