When it comes to nutrients and bioactive substances, most people are familiar with vitamins and minerals, but less knowledgeable about amino acids. These biologically important compounds, much like vitamins and minerals, can impact fat metabolism and weight loss in profound ways. These are some examples of amino acids with roles in weight management:
- Asparagine: First isolated and so named due to its presence in asparagus, this amino acid increases insulin sensitivity, which helps the body store energy in muscle instead of storing it as body fat. Asparagine supplementation has been shown in studies to reduce fatigue after intense exercise.
- Carnitine: A combination of the individual amino acids lysine and methionine, carnitine is a compound whose primary role is to transport fatty acids into a cell so that they can be burned for fuel. Carnitine can help reduce visceral adiposity (fat around the midsection) by increasing the availability of fatty acids for energy.
- Glutamine: This amino acid improves glucose uptake by muscle, which can ultimately reduce fat mass.
- Cysteine: Supplementation with this sulfur-containing amino acid has been shown to reduce fat in obese patients. It also has powerful antioxidant properties, which helps keep oxidative stress (linked to obesity) at bay.
Despite their lower profile, amino acids can have an equally powerful effect on overall health as vitamins and minerals. SpectraCell’s Micronutrient Test measures these and many other micronutrients. Detecting and addressing deficiencies are critical steps in enhancing metabolism, promoting health, and looking and feeling your best – be sure to get tested today!