Why Amino Acids are Good for You: Part 3: Amino Acid Imbalances

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I have recently been interested in learning more about supplementing with amino acids and have found that amino acids have large amounts of benefits, but there is one potential side-effect known as an amino acid imbalance, meaning that by supplementing with additional amino acids, some essential amino acids that come from a healthy diet might pass through the body without being absorbed properly.

A paper written specifically on amino acid imbalance brings up a troubling observation: “There have been relatively few studies of a quantitative nature on the effects of amino acid imbalances. In fact, much of our information about such imbalances has been obtained from studies designed for other purposes” (1). It also appears that most of these studies are from the 1950’s, but are still likely valid.

Amino Acid Imbalance

I asked one of my friends about amino acid imbalances and he told me that, as far as he’s aware, an amino imbalance is equivalent to an amino acid deficiency. He said as long as we get the essential amino acids through diet/supplementation then the body will remain healthy. If there is an imbalance, like excess amino acids, the body will basically just pee them out (similar to vitamins). I suppose this raises an issue with kidney function (vitamin toxicity), but I’m assuming the amount of amino acids we consume is negligible.  Don’t worry, your amino acids won’t kill you.

Sources:

  1. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/68/3/405.full.pdf