Amino acid supplements

I read an interesting article in Trainer Magazine, issue 11, on amino acid supplements for race horses. The article stated that protein must be high quality so that it can be broken down in the small intestine where amino acid absorption occurs.

The article talked a good bit about tryptophan, which is a precursor for serotonin. Serotonin builds up in the body with exercise and this amino acid depresses the nervous system and contributes to the perception of fatigue. Branched chain amino acids, leucine, isoleucine and valine, compete with tryptophan to cross the blood brain barrier so they are thought to help combat fatigue. Research showed that low doses of tryptophan helped attentuate excitable behavior but high levels were detrimental for endurance.

The article mentioned common protein feed supplements as soybean meal, milk protein and whey protein. They also mentioned the blue green algae, spirulina, whose amino acid content is 62%. They also stated correctly that blue green algae also contains antioxidants, vitamins and trace minerals. I prefer a powdered algae and probiotic blend
to spirulina and have used it for mane years with great results.

The article also talked about the importance of glutamine which is important as an energy source for the immune system cells and cells of the gastro-intestinal tract. Glutamine is also required for the synthesis of glutathione, an important antioxidant. Glutamine is on of the ingredients in Succeed which helps explain why this product works so well on many types of ulcers.

I could not help but thinking what harm is done to the breakdown of proteins by the use of stomach acid blocking and neutralizing products to treat ulcers. If the acid is not present to digest the proteins into individual amino acids they will not likely be available for absorption in the small intestine. This is one reason I am such a proponent of natural treatments for ulcers. Madalyn

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