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Amino acids & Altering Metabolism

We have discussed some important aspects of amino acids and their relevance to diet. There are also some additional benefits to amino acids and the way they are used.

Growth and carbohydrate loading

for those trying to put on more muscle mass, adequate amounts of protein with a high biological value are helpful. High concentrations of certain amino acids can also help us in these regards. Growth hormone, a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland in the brain, is an important regulator of growth. Intake of proteins with high biological value can affect growth hormone release. In addition, proteins with higher concentrations of lysine and arginine with can increase the amount of growth hormone released by the pituitary. Higher amounts of carbohydrates also cause an increase in the amount of insulin secreted by the pancreas. Insulin is also a protein, but one which causes glucose to be removed from the blood and stored in the muscle (the primary storage sights for glucose are the liver and muscle). Sleep is also another important regulator of growth hormone. During the sleep cycle, there is a surge of growth hormone during the first few hours of sleep, demonstrating the importance of a good nights rest. Other potent stimulators for growth hormone release are pain, trauma, excitement, and low sugar and fatty acid (fats) levels in the blood.

Sleeping difficulties?

For those experiencing difficulties in sleeping, foods with high amounts of tryptophan may help. Tryptophan is the amino acid used in the production of the hormonr serotonin. Serotonin influences the sleep-wake cycle. Foods high in tryptophan are pumpkin seeds and turkey. Those who feel sleepy after a "Thanksgiving" meal of turkey and the traditional pumpkin pie can readily attest to its affects. read more on insomnia

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