The Importance of Essential Amino Acid Phenylalanine
Do we need it?
The Phenylalanine Amino Acid
Let's take a look at what it is, why we need it, how to get it, deficiencies and toxicity.
Phenylalanine is one of the eight essential amino acids required by the human body. These are not produced by the body and therefore must be provided through our daily diets or supplements. They are called the building blocks of the human body and essential because the body does not produce them. It is up to us to make sure to add it and the other essential amino acids to our daily diets or through supplements to obtain optimal health and wellness.
Phenylalanine is the amino acid that builds proteins and is the precursor in the synthesis of the neurotransmitters of dopamine and norepinephrine. These compounds are hormones that in turn assist in the body's central and nervous system developments and help to keep our minds clear and alert, maintain our memory, help to balance our mood and provide us with energy. Adequate amounts of phenylalanine are required in osteoarthritis, pain and menstrual cramps.
Deficiencies in Phenylalanine Amino Acid
When the body becomes deficient in this important component, problems will result in the areas of the central and nervous systems. These would include confusion, decreased alertness, poor memory, depression, cataracts, behavioral changes, fatigue and lack of energy as well as decreased sexual interest.
Infants 3-6 months old risk obtaining PKU (Phenylketonuria) due to a lack of phenylalanine resulting in eczema, delayed development, alopecia (baldness), hyperactivity and skin disorders.
Obtain Phenylalanine Amino Acid through Nutrition
Here is a list of items in the following foods that can be added to a well balanced diet daily for a healthy body and to prevent many of the problems associated with a deficiency.
* Nuts, peanuts
* Soy proteins
* Dairy - milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese
* Lima Beans
Nutritional supplements can be suggested by your medical professional to treat some of the problems associated with decreased levels. See my top supplement pick below if you don't get enough and need to add it in a vitamin form.
Toxicity is rare with regular dietary intake and is mainly caused by high amounts of supplements. Too much could result in problems with irregular blood pressure, headaches, nausea and nerve damage.
* Cancer patients are not recommended to take these supplements because they could increase growth of cancer, especially of the skin.
* Aspartame contains phenylalanine and should be used with caution or checking with your medical professional first.
* Always check with your medical care provider before taking these particular supplements if you're not sure you need it.
I hope this article has helped you learn more about this important item needed for a healthy body. Add your comments below and thanks for reading.
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