FAQ

Why should I assume essential amino acids?

Because the normal protein intake provided by the diet is not enough to fulfil the human needs for essential amino acids (EAAs). Furthermore the balance between their quality and quantity is not efficient: in a normal diet, EAAs are scarce, and rather useless!
Keep in mind that, as age increases, the need and usefulness of EAAs rises as well. Last but not least, do not forget the potential damages resulting from an excessive intake of non-essential amino acids contained in food proteins!

Proteins or amino acids?

Protein synthesis process is very expensive in terms of energy, and essential amino acids (EAAs) are fundamental, since they are deeply involved in protein and energy metabolism.
During an illness the human body increases EAAs demand: they will be employed both in synthesis and in metabolism, in order to maintain an efficient energy production. It is necessary to distinguish the metabolic role of proteins and of amino acids. Food proteins contain a specific amount of amino acids, and non-essential amino acids (nEAAs) always prevail over EAAs. For this reason excessive proteins intake causes accumulation of nEAAs and a consequent kidney overload, since they are excreted through the urine.

What is the use of essential amino acids?

Before talking about amino acids, we need to explain what micro- and macronutrients are.
Macronutrients are the most important source of energy for our body: carbohydrates, fat and proteins are macronutrients. Amino acids are the building “bricks” of proteins: every single protein is constituted by a specific amino acidic sequence and the lack of even one amino acid in this sequence blocks the constitution of that certain protein, just like the lack of a single letter hinders a proper word writing, if this letter is included in the spelling. Not only the muscle is made of proteins, but also gammaglobulins, albumin and hemoglobin are proteins.
Malnourished people have an increased risk of infections, illnesses and have more difficulties to recover.
In case of glucose need, because of a restricted diet, the body produces it by tapping into its protein reserves, degrading proteins into amino acids. Muscles are therefore disassembled to generate glucose, in a process called gluconeogenesis. If we introduce an adequate amount of essential amino acids (EAAs) they will be rapidly (half an hour) assimilated and introduced in the blood stream. These amino acids will send out a “central alarm” signal which will warn about a catabolic process underway. The body will then promote a defensive strategy which will result in lipid degradation from adipose tissues, so that the fat will be available for energy purposes, in order to spare glucose consumption and to contrast hypoglycemia. To obtain a fat (and not muscular) body mass reduction when losing weight it is necessary to introduce an adequate amount of EAAs, following the medical instructions provided by a specialist. Unfortunately many diets which produce a rapid weight loss have an effect on muscle mass reduction rather than on fat: this causes a weakening in the muscle tone and has a negative effect on the skin, as well.

Why are muscles (and not fat) easier to consume?

Human body is a complex machine, with a lot of turnover: its working principles need daily, abundant amounts of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen which are introduced with the diet. Our body can convert proteins into carbohydrates and lipids but cannot do the opposite, since only amino acids (which constitute proteins) contain the nitrogen we need, while both carbohydrates and fat are also made of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. We could therefore theoretically survive just eating proteins because they can provide us all the elements we need to activate the metabolic pathways.

Which is the secret of a diet based on essential amino acids?

When following a calorie-restricted diet, the body undergoes a metabolic stress and tries to compensate with some defensive mechanisms. First of all, it starts using the amino acids in the lesser-used muscles. This is a fake victory because fat reserves will not be affected.
Instead, supplementation with amino acids allows the body to adopt a different metabolic behaviour: since the second week fat reserves will be moved and used as a source of energy, leaving unaltered the muscle mass. As a consequence, although weight loss will seem to be slow, it will be completely imputable to the reduction of the fat reserves.

Why are essential amino acids not present in equal amounts?

Not all essential amino acids (EAAs) are requested in the same exact quantity by the body: they have to be present in a specific ratio, balancing quality and quantity, as a tailor made dress, for human needs. Such a mixture can cover requirements and deficiencies during certain periods or in case of health problems. EAAs are not drugs – they are dietary supplements which follow metabolism rules, acting in a very natural way. Supplementation with this EAAs mixture, as opposed to high-protein regimens, does not require any digestive phase and has no impact on kidney function, since it is completely employed for energy and or synthetic tasks.

How should I assume essential amino acids?

The mixture should be taken on an empty stomach, at least one hour before meals, to optimize protein synthesis, to promote fat consumption and to prevent those hypoglycemic crises which lead us “starved to death” to lunchtime.
It is possible to lose weight just taking the amino acid mixture and avoiding any kind of physical activity, although the advantages and the efficiency that could be gained with the training would be wasted.
Essential amino acids should never be taken together with sugary drinks, since the beverage would stimulate insulin production and this hormone, involved in several metabolic pathways, would interfere with the fat degradation in the adipose tissue.
Think about all the people who want to lose weight, so go to the gym, have an intense physical activity and then drink sugary drinks…what a disaster!

May a calorie-restricted diet cause bouts of uncontrollable appetite?

Yes. To overcome this problem, a supplementation with NutriXam AminoProtein cachet could be useful. NutriXam AminoProtein is a safe, manageable product, able to increase satiety, promote energy production, and delay hypoglycemic crises.