(NaturalNews) Many foods contains a variety of essential and non-essential amino acids that play a critical role in metabolizing nutrients, building muscle tissue, and protecting the body against disease. And new research has revealed even more about how vital functional amino acids are in improving growth and development, boosting reproductive function, and maintaining optimal health.
Dr. Guoyao Wu, an animal nutritionist and senior faculty fellow at Texas A&M University's department of animal science, recently published a study in the journal American Society for Nutrition about how scientists need to take a more proactive approach in studying functional amino acids. Wu explains in his study how amino acids regulate key metabolic pathways in such important ways that supplementation with them could greatly improve overall health conditions both in animals and humans.
Since most research into amino acids has been focused primarily on the essential ones -- meaning the type not produced naturally by the body and that have to be supplemented through diet -- Wu says more attention needs to be given to the non-essential ones.
The name non-essential does not mean that these amino acids are not necessary for human health, but rather that they are naturally produced in the body. But if biochemical conditions in the body leave these non-essential amino acids lacking, then a person can develop serious illnesses apart from additional supplementation.
According to previous research conducted by Wu, arginine, a type of amino acid, improves the growth and development of animal embryos. It also helps to fight obesity, which means it could play a valuable role in helping to naturally fight the U.S. obesity epidemic. Amino acids also help to lengthen lifespan, prevent cardiovascular disease, and improve antioxidant function.