Amino acids and how to test for your deficiencies and imbalances

  • Are you feeling tired, anxious or depressed without any obvious reason?
  • Are you finding it hard to sleep?
  • Have you lost weight recently without good reason?
  • Are your skin, hair and nails losing their quality?

You may be low in amino acids!

In a world where everyone seems to focus on vitamins and minerals, the body’s building blocks (amino acids) are often neglected or forgotten. But we do this at our peril.

If you are deficient in amino acids, the use of expensive vitamin and mineral supplements won’t work. This is because amino acids are higher up your body’s hierarchy of nutrient needs.

Remember, in Hompes Method, we’re acknowledging that nagging symptoms and even advanced diseases are merely consequences of too much bad stuff being in your body, combined with inadequate levels of good stuff.

Amino acids comprise an important part of the good stuff your body needs for proper function and ideal health.

What are amino acids?

Amino acids are the molecules that build protein and are the fundamental building blocks required for all life. In other words, you can’t have life without amino acids.

In addition to building skin, muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, organs, hair and all other structures in your body, amino acids play a major role in nearly every chemical process that affects both physical and mental function.

Take a look at this image to gain an idea of how and where amino acids are used:

amino1

Healing with Amino Acids, Pain & Stress Publications, 1998

What are “essential” amino acids?

Eleven amino acids are what we call “essential”, which simply means they can’t be manufactured by your body.

Thus, in order to ensure ideal levels, you must receive them from the food you eat.

Amino acid deficiencies

Amino acid imbalances and deficiencies are surprisingly common and can contribute to or cause some of the following symptoms.

Amino acid imbalances can result from four main reasons:

  1. You simply don’t eat enough protein (or the quality of protein you consume is not ideal).
  2. Your digestive system can’t break down your dietary protein properly, or absorb it from your intestine (this is easily assessed using the Hompes Method Digestive Health MOT).
  3. Once in your body, amino acids may not be able to get into your cells where they are needed. This is common when folk are insulin resistant.
  4. Amino acids are used up too quickly because of a combination of stress on, and toxins in, your body (certain amino acids are used up very quickly in these situations).

Possible symptoms of amino acid deficiencies and imbalances

If amino acid supply is inadequate to meet your body’s needs, a whole host of important functions can begin to suffer.

This results in the appearance of signs and symptoms ranging from immune system effects to cardiovascular disease to emotional disorders and more.

Typical symptoms I see when folk are deficient in amino acids include:

  • Low energy levels (even chronic fatigue)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Low thyroid function (which affects everything!)
  • Allergic symptoms
  • Digestive symptoms
  • Inability to detoxify properly
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Increased body fat

Amino acid testing

amino2The Bloodspot Amino Acids Profile is measured from a simple finger stick-no blood draw required!

In other words, testing amino acid levels doesn’t require you to leave the comfort of your home.

A testing kit is sent to your home, you supply a simple finger-prick blood sample, which you then return to the lab for analysis.

Click here to see a sample report in a new web window

Organic acids testing can also be incredibly useful in determining your amino acid status. The organic acids don’t provide information on amino acid levels in your blood.

Instead, they give an indication of specific functions in your body – energy production, detoxification and neurotransmitters – and whether they’re being affected by inadequate amino acids.

Elevations in, or low levels of, certain organic acids in your urine can tell us whether your cells are making energy efficiently, whether your liver and kidneys are able to run their detoxification pathways effectively, and whether you’re making adequate levels of serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline

Restoring ideal amino acid levels

As per Hompes Method philosophy, certain steps simply must be taken in order to restore ideal amino acid levels:

  1. Eat adequate amounts of high quality protein for your bodyweight.
  2. Remove foods that inflame your gut and interfere with protein digestion.
    (Read The Hompes Method or see Hompes Method Basics for details on how to implement these steps)
  3. Run a stool test to check for bad bugs and whether you’re digesting protein properly.
  4. Remove bad bugs and restore digestive function based on your stool test result.
  5. Consider supplementation with high quality amino acid blends.

Amino acid supplementation

Wherever possible I like to restore amino acid status using whole foods and restoring optimal gut function.

However it can be hugely beneficial to use amino acid supplements to help rebalance your status of these important nutrients.

But, as with all supplements, amino acid must be used wisely.

I don’t recommend whey protein formulas for my clients unless I know they are in tip-top health (some of my professional athletes do well on whey protein, but it’s by no means the optimal choice).

The amino acid profile in whey is pro-inflammatory, and in most cases we’re trying to reduce inflammation in your body. Some people have real trouble tolerating why protein powders

Nor do I recommend soy protein isolate, because there is just too much research showing how soy causes health problems.

High quality egg protein can be very helpful, but it’s important with egg protein to make sure that your blood sugar remains stable (blood sugar is pushed down by egg protein).

One of the best protein powders is unquestionably gelatin, or collagen hydrosylate. My clients love this stuff.

Gelatin has been used for millennia by cultures around the world. Bone broths and soups made with animals’ hooves and connective tissues are used as health-promoting foods at all corners of the globe.

You can also make some really cool broths, recipes and energy snacks using powdered gelatin.

The advantage of gelatin lies within its amino acid profile, which is very much anti-inflammatory. It’s excellent for healing the gut, boosting detoxification, sleep, growth, repair and recovery from exercise / sports performance.

Customized amino acid formulas

One of the nicest features of running an amino acid test is that our lab provides a formula for a customized amino acid blend that’s based on your specific test results.

The customized formulation provides appropriate amounts of amino acids, delivered in a balanced ratio to restore amino acids that appear low on your test, whilst taking care not to cause further imbalances.

Here’s an example customized amino acid formula, showing base amino acid recommendations on the left, and customized recommendations on the right.

amino3

Please note – this table is not intended as a recommendation. Do not use the formulation shown here.

Ordering an amino acid test

If you are a new customer you must first complete, sign and return the Hompes Method client intake paperwork.

If you are an existing customer and we’ve recommend you run an amino acids test, simply click here or fill in the form below to place your order.