As the name implies, nonpolar amino acids are the amino acids that are not charged (neither positive or negative) or more precisely, amino acids that are neutral in nature due to them having equal numbers of amino and carboxyl groups. As a type of amino acid, nonpolar amino acids are part of polymers of protein or the building blocks of protein itself. All this may seem scientific and may even prompt some readers to ask “what are nonpolar amino acids?”. More importantly however, let us look at what nonpolar amino acids do and their health benefits to the body.
The Nonpolar Amino Acids
Listed below are the nonpolar amino acids:
- Glycine with the three (3)letter code of Gly and single letter code of G
- Alanine with the three (3) letter code of Ala and single letter code of A
- Proline with the three (3) letter code of Pro and single letter code of P
- Valine with the three (3) letter code of Val and single letter code of V
- Leucine with the three (3) letter code of Leu and single letter code of L
- Isoleucine with the three (3) letter code of Ile and single letter code of I
- Methionine with the three (3) letter code of Met and single letter code of M
- Tryptophan with the three (3) letter code of Trp and single letter code of W
- Phenylalanine with the three (3) letter code of Phe and single letter code of F
Health Benefits and Contribution of the Nonpolar Amino Acids
The different nonpolar amino acids enumerated above have different health benefits and the following are the unique health properties of the said polymers:
Glycine is needed to produce the antioxidant, glutathione and the energy providing creatine. It is also the primary amino acid used in collagen and intrinsically provides strength to one’s muscles, skin, cartilage, blood, ligaments and bones. Glycine has also shown to possibly enhance a person’s sleep quality.
This nonpolar amino acid is a pretty interesting and unique amino acid in the sense that it improves athletic performance, enhances muscle mass, can decrease lactic acid in the muscles and lessen fatigue. Alanine then is a great amino acid in terms of helping the body gain not only muscle mass but also the muscle stamina to continue developing strong and resilient muscle fibers
Proline is another nonpolar amino acid aimed at helping active people achieve better performance. It helps in supporting healthy skin, improves overall muscle health, enhances joint movement and health and increases the ability of injuries to heal.
This nonpolar amino acid is especially helpful for people who always encounter demanding and stressful situations at work and in their everyday lives as it generally assists in stress management. Aside from this, valine can help in boosting the body’s immune system, supports the muscle growth and development and can effectively improve the growth rate of children.
Leucine generally improves energy and protein production of the body. As such, it greatly supplements muscle strength, may improve a person’s longevity with continued and appropriate use, can aid the body in its fight against the hardening of arteries ( Atherosclerosis) and may also help in addressing weight issues and concerns such as obesity.
Mainly known as an amino acid that improves endurance, Isoleucine actually has other health benefits. Evidence suggests that this essential acid can also help regulate the body’s blood sugar and therefore maintain stable levels of energy during physical activities
This nonpolar amino acid is actually very useful against acetaminophen poisoning. Methionine may also help in addressing the various other medical concerns like breast cancer, colon cancer, neural tube birth defects, Parkinson’s disease, Herpes Simplex Virus, shingle, Human papillomavirus (HPV), inflamed pancreas (pancreatitis), impaired liver function, depression, alcoholism, various allergies, asthma, side effects of radiation, schizophrenia and the different symptoms of drug withdrawal.
This amino acid can be used by smokers to aid them in their objective of smoking cessation. However, Tryptophan has a number of other health benefits such as helping against premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), helping patients against teeth grinding (bruxism), reducing teeth pain, helps improve the athleticism, helps manage the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), assist the elderly in terms of slightly improving and restoring mental acuity and function, lessen the symptoms of depression, help address ulcers caused by H. Pylori, address various sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and general anxiety disorders.
Phenylalanine has been shown to be effective against the skin condition known as vitiligo where there is a loss in skin color and patches of skin go through blotching. This nonpolar amino acid can also help the body produce the hormone dopamine and in turn, may be able to help patients suffering from depression. Phenylalanine is also currently being studied further for its potential as a pain reliever, as an aid in addressing alcohol withdrawal, as alternative treatment for Parkinson’s disease and possibly help in the management of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Some Considerations in taking nonpolar amino acids as a supplement
Listed above are some of the impressive health benefits of nonpolar amino acids. However, as with any medical treatment, there are some considerations that people or patients may want to look into before fully committing themselves full time to taking nonpolar amino acids as a supplement. Below are a few of these possible considerations:
Seek Professional Medical Advice
Each person is unique and the specific needs of a patient can only really be identified by a professional health worker. Doctors can look at your overall health and determine which nonpolar aminos can be used to improve your health.
Choose the right nonpolar amino acid for you
Amino acids come in different types and forms and they specifically address certain health issues such as mental disorders, stress and anxiety and muscle development and growth. Knowing your body’s exact needs can help your doctor give better recommendations in terms of amino acid supplementation.