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The Relationship Of Amino Acids And Indigestion

Mar 5, 2008
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and of life itself. They make up 75% of the body and are essential for every function in the body. Ten of the twenty essential amino acids come from the food we eat, while the rest are produced naturally in the body.

Here are a few of the essential amino acids: histidine is necessary for tissue regrowth, lysine helps with calcium absorption, phenylalanine affects memory and nerve functions, methionine breaks down fats, and tryptophan aids in sleep and serotonin production.

When our digestive system is out of whack, we suffer in several ways. Acid reflux, heartburn and indigestion can be an unpleasant side effect of improper digestion. While it's widely believed that acid reflux comes from overproduction of hydrochloric acid, recent research suggests that indigestion can actually be caused by the underproduction of this acid.

In the case of underproduction of acid, also known as achlorhydria, undigested protein sits in our stomach, essentially rotting away. Bloating, burping and discomfort follows - sometimes forcing acid or food back up the esophagus. Disgusting, isn't it? If you have bad breath, burp excessively after eating, feel heavy after eating, experience nausea, diarrhea or constipation, then these may be tell-tale signs that food isn't being broken down properly into the amino acids you need to feel your best.

Digestive systems can malfunction for a variety of different reasons. At the basic level, the body isn't receiving the chemical signals needed to stimulate waste removal, amino acid absorption, mineral use and protein use.

Body chemicals can be affected by heavy duty workouts or stress -- which seems to command all of your body's attention, thus taking it away from other processes that may need neurotransmitters. Age also naturally diminishes hydrochloric acid production : a 65 year old individual has only 15% of the HCl that he or she had at the age of 35. Sleep deprivation, eating disorders and a poor diet can also affect digestion in significant ways.

Prilosec, which is a top selling prescribed medication, promises to relieve the discomfort by stopping acid production. This however, does not treat the underlying issues of putting right what should happen naturally. Even though drugs such as Prilosec may provide immediate relief, it does not address the fact that improper digestion prevents the production of essential amino acids in the body.

Many people choose to take amino acids in supplement form to regulate their digestive processes. These supplements act as a boost to the removal of waste and control stomach acid production as well as the absorption of minerals. The body is after all like an intricate machine and needs the proper mix of nutrients to function well.
About the Author
Steve Pallovy has done research and written articles on nutrition and dieting for several years. Learn more about the importance of amino acids at Simplygreatnutrition.com
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