Biosynthesis of Amino Acids

Biosynthesis of Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, which is why getting enough essential amino acids in your diet is critical to maintaining optimal health and preventing protein deficiency.

Amino acid synthesis is the set of biochemical processes (metabolic pathways) by which the amino acids are produced. The substrates for these processes are various compounds in the organism's diet or growth media. Not all organisms are able to synthesize all amino acids. For example, humans can only synthesize 11 of the 20 standard amino acids (a.k.a. non-essential amino acid), and in time of accelerated growth, histidine, can be considered an essential amino acid.[1]

All amino acids are derived from intermediates in glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, or the pentose phosphate pathway (Fig. 21-8). Nitrogen enters these pathways by way of glutamate and glutamine. Some pathways are simple, others are not. Ten of the amino acids are only one or a few enzymatic steps removed from their precursors. The pathways for others, such as the aromatic amino acids, are more complex.

Different organisms vary greatly in their ability to synthesize the 20 amino acids. Whereas most bacteria and plants can synthesize all 20, mammals can synthesize only about half of them.

Those that are synthesized in mammals are generally those with simple pathways. These are called the nonessential amino acids to denote the fact that they are not needed in the diet. The remainder, the essential amino acids, must be obtained from food. Unless otherwise indicated, the pathways presented below are those operatives in bacteria.


Free form amino acid

These types of amino acids are singular molecules which are basically not attached to peptide bonds which are also attached to other amino acids.


Amino Acids Benefits for Weight Loss, Muscle Gain, and Even Mood.

Protein essential when it comes to your health. It makes up the structure of your muscles, bones, and skin and is used to build tissues and synthesize hormones, enzymes, and neurotransmitters.


Amino acids definition includes any organic compound that contains both a carboxyl and an amino group. To put it simply, though, they are considered the building blocks of proteins. For example, they make up a large portion of your muscles and tissues, and protein foods like meat, fish, poultry, and eggs are composed of many different types of amino acids.


Essential Amino Acids vs. Non-Essential Amino Acids
The 20 amino acids that your body needs can be further divided into two distinct categories: essential amino acids and non-essential amino acids. 


Essential amino acids cannot be synthesized by the body, That means you must get them from food sources to help meet your needs. So how many essential amino acids are there? There are nine essential amino acids that you must obtain through the diet, including:


  1. Lysine: necessary for growth and tissue repair as well as the production of several hormones, proteins, and enzymes.
  2. Leucine: involved in protein synthesis, wound healing, blood sugar control, and metabolism.
  3. Isoleucine: aids in detoxification, immune function, and hormone excretion.
  4. Tryptophan: increases levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, pain, appetite, and sleep.
  5. Phenylalanine: helps produce other amino acids as well as neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine.
  6. Threonine: forms the foundation of connective tissues like collagen and elastin.
  7. Valine supports brain function, muscle coordination, and calmness.
  8. Histidine maintains the health of myelin sheaths, which protect nerve cells against damage.
  9. Methionine keeps skin elastic and helps strengthen the hair and nails.



Getting a good variety of amino acids in your diet is crucial to maintaining overall health. A deficiency in any of these key essential amino acids can cause serious side effects that affect nearly every aspect of health, including immune function, muscle mass, appetite, and more.
  • In contrast, non-essential amino acids can be produced by your body, meaning it’s not as crucial to get them through the foods that you eat. There are a total of 11 amino acids that make the non-essential amino acids list, including:
  • Arginine: stimulates immune function, fights fatigue, and optimizes heart health.
  • Alanine: aids in metabolism and provides energy for muscles, brain, and central nervous system.
  • Cysteine: as the main type of protein found in hair, skin, and nails, cysteine is crucial for collagen production and skin health.
  • Glutamate: acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.
  • Aspartate /Aspartic Acid: helps produce several other amino acids, including asparagine, arginine, and lysine.
  • Glycine: functions as a neurotransmitter to support brain health.
  • Proline: found in collagen, which helps promote joint health, metabolism and skin elasticity.
  • Serine: necessary for fat metabolism, immune function, and muscle growth.
  • Tyrosine: helps synthesize thyroid hormones, melanin, and epinephrine.
  • Glutamine: supports many metabolic processes and provides energy for the cells in the body.
  • Asparagine: acts as a diuretic and optimizes brain and nerve cell function.
Signs of Amino Acid Deficiency (Plus Potential Causes and Complications)
So what is an amino acid deficiency, and what causes it? Also known as protein deficiency, this is a serious condition that occurs when you don’t consume enough amino acids to meet your daily needs. It can result in a long list of negative symptoms, ranging from reduced muscle mass to bone loss and beyond.
Some of the top symptoms of an amino acid deficiency can include:
  • Dry skin
  • Splitting hair
  • Hair Loss
  • Brittle nails
  • Thinning hair
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Impaired growth in children
  • Increased appetite
  • Decreased immune function
  • Bone loss
  • Puffiness and swelling
Protein deficiency can affect anyone who doesn’t get enough amino acids in the diet. Older adults and people with chronic conditions, such as cancer, are at especially high risk for protein deficiency because they often have increased protein needs and decreased food intake. Those following a vegan or vegetarian diet should also plan their diets carefully to ensure they meet their protein needs by eating a variety of plant-based protein foods.
Introduction to Inherited Metabolic Disorders
How Your Nutrition Deficiency Affects Your Offsprings!


comprised of the following essential amino acids:

Valine, Leucine, and Isoleucine.


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