Amino Acids and Vitamins in special nutrition

Author Joanna Sikorska
Reading time 5 minut
Publication date 07 February 2023
  • Amino Acids and Vitamins are organic compounds that are essential for the proper functioning of the body.
  • They are involved in many processes and provide health – for this reason they are components in the special nutrition.
  • Amino Acids and Vitamins are also included in dietary supplements for athletes and animal feed.

Amino Acids and Vitamins – what are they?

Amino Acids, also known as α-aminocarboxylic acids, are a group of organic compounds consisting of molecules with carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen and a variable side chain group. They are essential compounds for the proper functioning of the body. Natural amino acids can be divided into proteins and non-proteins. Some are synthesized by the body itself, while others must be supplied with food or supplements. There are also synthetic amino acids.

Vitamins are essential nutrients found mainly in food, but can also be obtained synthetically. These organic compounds are exogenous, meaning they are not synthesized by the body. Vitamins can be divided into fat-soluble (e.g. vitamins A, D, E and K) and water-soluble (e.g. vitamins B and C).

The most important Amino Acids and their properties

Amino Acids are the building blocks of proteins and therefore play an important role in the formation of organs, muscles, skin, hair and nails. They are involved in many processes in the body and reduce the feeling of fatigue, but each Amino Acid has different effects and properties. The most important amino acids include:

  • Lysine – is involved in the synthesis of collagen proteins, helps with calcium absorption, has a protective effect on the cardiovascular system and influences mental concentration. It is also involved in the production of a compound responsible for accelerated fat metabolism, muscle regulation and energy production.
  • Threonine – is involved in the production of Collagen and elastin, providing firmness, elasticity and moisture to the skin. It also affects the digestive system, strengthens immunity and has a positive effect on the nervous system.
  • Leucine – has the effect of increasing exercise capacity, accelerating the process of building muscle mass and supporting recovery after exercise. It also stabilizes blood sugar levels and improves protein synthesis in the liver.
  • Methionine – together with cysteine has a positive effect on joints, promotes the growth and renewal of tissues in the body and keratin synthesis, thus improving the color and elasticity of skin, hair and nails. It also acidifies urine and bile, preventing their contamination.

The main Vitamins and their properties

The main Vitamins and their properties

Vitamins are essential for the body and provide a number of health benefits. This is because they are involved in many processes, support the immune system, strengthen teeth and bones, ensure proper functioning of the brain and nervous system, and prevent or delay the occurrence of certain types of cancer. The most important Vitamins are:

  • Vitamin A – has a great influence on vision, the condition of the skin, hair and nails, and also influences the proper functioning of cell membranes. In addition, it accelerates cell regeneration, has anti-cancer properties and strengthens the immune system.
  • Vitamin C – influences the functioning of the immune system, acts as an antioxidant and is essential for the synthesis of Collagen. It accelerates the process of wound healing, strengthens and seals blood vessels.
  • Vitamin E – is an antioxidant, so it fights free radicals and protects the body from oxidative stress and cell damage. It also affects normal blood clotting, muscle performance, vision and skin condition.

Amino Acids and Vitamins in special nutrition

Amino Acids and Vitamins are nutritional additives, meaning they are not added to maintain a certain consistency of the food, but to achieve certain nutritional goals. This is very important in specialty nutrition. Products for infants and sick people have a very strict qualitative and quantitative composition. The nutrients they contain are intended to compensate for the deficiency of certain substances and support recovery.

For example, infant food must not lack Vitamins A, D, E, K and C, as well as amino acids such as arginine, cystine, leucine, lysine, methionine or threonine, which are important for the functioning of the body. Medical foods, on the other hand, must by definition contain ingredients whose requirements cannot be met by a normal diet alone. Sick people need Vitamins to strengthen their immune system and promote wound healing.

Amino Acids and Vitamins – dietary supplements

Amino Acids and Vitamins are also important for other groups of people – they are part of many dietary supplements and sports nutrition supplements. People who are very physically active often take lysine because it helps build muscle mass and aids in muscle recovery after exercise. Threonine is essential for the synthesis of new muscle proteins. It also improves performance and reduces the feeling of fatigue.

Vitamin supplements are also very popular – each has a different effect and is used for different needs. Preparations with Vitamin C are said to strengthen immunity and maintain the proper structure and function of bones, teeth, gums, skin and blood vessels. On the other hand, when it comes to strengthening the visual organ or fighting acne, vitamin A is added.

Amino Acids and Vitamins in animal nutrition

Amino acids and Vitamins are also important in animal nutrition. Amino acids play an important role in breeding as the building blocks of proteins, while vitamins, on the other hand, are essential for the metabolism of animals and for maintaining their health and performance. Lysine and Leucine are added to the feed to increase muscle mass, Methionine to boost immunity, and Tryptophan to regulate appetite and increase feed intake.

Vitamins have a major impact on animal health. Vitamin A, for example, is involved in tissue and bone development and affects immunity and vision. Vitamin D is also involved in bone formation and growth. And Vitamin C has an influence on immunity and wound healing.

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