Amino acids are essential building blocks of life. These tiny molecules are the foundation of all proteins in our body, and they play an important role in our overall health and well-being. Without amino acids, our bodies would not be able to function properly, and life as we know it would not exist.
Amino acids are responsible for building the body’s proteins by reassembling the amino acids that have been extracted from a protein source. However, the body cannot simply take the amino acids from one protein source and convert them into our body’s human proteins. It’s like trying to form a word in a language that the body doesn’t speak. The lower the net nitrogen utilization (NNU), the fewer amino acids the body has to form the words that are turned into human proteins. This is why the percentage of amino acids available from a protein source is so important to maximizing the quality-of-life potential for as long as we live.
Proteins are made of very complex combinations of amino acids. There are 20 different types of amino acids that can be found in proteins, and they are broken down into two categories: essential and non-essential amino acids. The body can produce some of the amino acids on its own, but the majority must be obtained from the diet. This is why it is essential to have a diet high in proteins that are not compromised in any way through processing or preparation.
Amino acids are not just important for building muscles, as many people believe. They are essential for the growth and maintenance of all cells in our body. We make the lining of our gut twice a month, we make our liver twice a year, and we remake almost every cell in our body every seven years. This reconstruction takes place only by the amino acids interacting with our genes. Not fats, carbs, or proteins can we remake ourselves, only with amino acids.
Animal sources of protein, like fish, have a net nitrogen utilization of only 30%. This means that only 30% of the amino acids from these sources can be utilized by the body. The other 70% of amino acids that cannot be utilized by the body end up as toxic waste called Nitrogen Catabolites. If we eat 100 grams of meat, assuming that it is all protein, the amino acids contained in those 100 grams of meat proteins will be used to build 30 grams of body proteins, and 70 grams will be partially converted into glucose and partially into catabolites (toxins).
Dr. Ruggiero, a well-known expert in the field of nutrition, has long been a proponent of using un-denatured whey protein as a source of high-quality amino acids. Un-denatured whey protein is derived from raw milk and has not been processed or heated, which ensures that the amino acids in the protein remain intact. Dr. Ruggiero believes that un-denatured whey protein is one of the best sources of amino acids in the world.