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Does L-tryptophan Affect Women More Than Men?

An interesting study from Europe has found that depletion of the amino acid L-tryptophan affects emotional processing, specifically how we recognize fear. But are women affected more than men? L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid, which means we must obtain it from our diet, or in supplements. L-tryptophan is found in many animal and plant […]

Sulfur-Containing Amino Acids Cysteine and Methionine

The two main sulfur-containing amino acids are cysteine and methionine; however, there are other sulfur-containing amino acids as well. Both cysteine and methionine are nonpolar as well as hydrophobic, with methionine being extremely hydrophobic as far as amino acids go. Methionine is also found inside proteins, and cysteine is often found there too. There are […]

Selenium and Selenocysteine and Health

Selenium is a nonmetal element on the periodic table (between sulfur and tellurium), while Cysteine is a semi-essential amino acid. But when Selenium performs its biological functions, it does so through selenoproteins. Selenoproteins have selenium in them as the form of the 21st amino acid, selenocysteine (also called Sec), which is a cysteine analog. Selenocysteine […]

Amino Acid L-Citrulline in Watermelon Can Help Athletes Recover Faster

Could watermelon juice help you with sore muscles? Could it help improve athletic performance by enabling muscles repair faster?  Scientists Tarazona, Alacid, Carrasco, Martinez and Aguayo studied this topic in Murcia, Spain, and came to this conclusion. The key ingredient that does the job is the amino acid L-Citrulline.  It has been used as a […]

Amino Acid Phenylalanine Helps Us Make Good — And Bad — Decisions

Are you an optimist, or a pessimist? Do you ever make bad decisions? The level of dopamine—created from the amino acid phenylalanine—in your brain could be influencing your ability to make good decisions. A recent interesting study from University College London investigated whether high levels of dopamine makes us unrealistically optimistic. Have you ever purchased […]

L-Glycine for Sleep

The next time you’re feeling the effects of sleep deprivation, consider adding L-glycine to your diet. A non-essential amino acid found predominantly in proteins, L-glycine is created in the body from another amino acid, serine. L-glycine has a variety of functions, such as protein production and as an inhibitory neurotransmitter.  It is because of the […]

Valine Benefits

Valine was discovered in 1901 by a German scientist named Emil Fischer. It is known as a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) along with leucine and isoleucine, and is one of 10 essential amino acids that our bodies require. Although our bodies are not able to synthesize valine, we are able to get our daily recommended […]

Carnitine vs Carnosine? What are They and What Do They Do?

Carnitine is an essential amino acid, while carnosine is a non-essential amino acid. The term “essential” simply means that it is required through diet (by eating foods that have or produce carnitine) to obtain the amino acid, whereas non-essential means that your body can make the amino acid carnosine on its own. Carnitine vs carnosine […]