Phenylalanine: The essential amino acid that can elevate mood, decrease pain, aid in memory and learning, and suppress the appetite.

Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid that is also one of the aromatic amino acids that exhibit ultraviolet radiation absorption properties with a large extinction coefficient.  This characteristic is often used as an analytical tool to quantify the amount of protein in a sample. It is one of the essential amino acid which means it should be provided to the body from diet.  Once in the body, phenylalanine can be converted into another amino acid, tyrosine, which in turn is used to synthesize two key neurotransmitters that promote alertness: dopamine and norepinephrine. Because of its relationship to the action of the central nervous system, this amino acid can elevate mood, decrease pain, aid in memory and learning, and suppress the appetite. It can be used to treat arthritis, depression, menstrual cramps, migraines, obesity, Parkinson’s disease, and schizophrenia.

 

 

 

 

 

This amino acid also absorbs ultraviolet light and strong absorbance of light by protein is at 280 nm. This property is used to detect and measure proteins. Its codons are UUU and UUC and are coded for by DNA as well. The codons are discovered byHeinrich Matthaei and Marshall Nirenberg in 1961. It has three forms: D-phenylalanine, L-phenylalanine, DL-phenylalanine.

The L- form is the most common type and is the form in which phenylalanine is incorporated into the body’s proteins. The D- type acts as a painkiller. The DL- form is a combination of the D- and the L-. Like the D­form, it is effective for controlling pain, especially the pain of arthritis; like the L- form, it functions as a building block for proteins, increases mental alertness, suppresses the ap­petite, and helps people with Parkinson’s disease. It has been used to alleviate the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and various types of chronic pain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Functions of the Phenylalanine

  • Phenylalanine amino acid can elevate mood, decrease pain, aid in memory and learning, and suppress the appetite. It can be used to treat arthritis, depression, menstrual cramps, migraines, obesity, and schizophrenia.
  •  Helpful for some people with Parkinson’s disease and has been used to treat chronic pain.
  • It helps with memory and learning. It has been used as an appetite suppressant.
  • It has also found useful in persons with vitiligo as it helps to strengthen the ultraviolet rays’ effect in them.
  • Phenylalanine gives rise to tyrosine which is one of the most important amino acid. This reaction is characterized by phenylalanine hydroxylase.
  • Tyrosine also gives rise to many different and essential products for example melanin, thyroid gland, and neurotransmitters like aldosterone, noraldosterone and dopamine. So it is also involved in central nervous system.
  • L-phenylalanine (LPA) serves as a building block for the various proteins that are produced in the body.
  •  LPA can be converted to L-tyrosine (another amino acid) and subsequently to L-dopa, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. LPA can also be converted (through a separate pathway) to phenylethylamine, a substance that occurs naturally in the brain and appears to elevate mood.
  • D-phenylalanine (DPA) is not normally found in the body and cannot be converted to L-tyrosine, L-dopa, or norepinephrine. As a result, DPA is converted primarily to phenylethylamine (the potential mood elevator). DPA also appears to influence certain chemicals in the brain that relate to pain sensation
  • DLPA is a mixture of LPA and its mirror image DPA. DLPA (or the D- or L-form alone) has been used to treat depression. DPA may be helpful for some people with Parkinson’s disease and has been used to treat chronic pain—including pain from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis—with both positive and negative results. No research has evaluated the effectiveness of DLPA on rheumatoid arthritis.
Deficiency symptoms of phenylalanine are :-

  • Bloodshot eyes.
  • Cataract.
  • Schizophrenic behavior.

 

Rich Food Sources of Phenylalanine

Almonds, avocado, bananas, beans, brewer’s yeast, brown rice bran, caseinate, cheese, corn, cottage cheese, dairy products, eggs, fish, lactalbumin, legumes, lima beans, meat, nuts, ovalbumin, peanuts, pickled herring, pumpkin seeds, seafood, seeds, sesame seeds, pistachio nuts and leafy vegetables.

 

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Vitamin PQQ (Pyrroloquinoline Quinone) : The vitamin your body needs for energy production and cancer protection.

What really makes this vitamin so important is the fact that you probably never heard of it.  PPQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone) tells us that there are countless components in whole food that haven’t been discovered yet. PQQ is a nutrient that was discovered in the later part of 1970’s and is just beginning to be understood. Pyrroloquinoline quinone is an organic element which is obtained from the bacteria and is a reduction-oxidization cofactor like nicotinamides and flavins. Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is considered to be one of the important nutrients for humans and is thought to be a vitamin. It is a member of group B complex vitamins. It was found by J.G. Hauge which called it the third redox cofactor. It is found to be water soluble. It causes activation of various signaling molecules. It contains vitamin B12 along with quinone in its structure. PQQ was first discovered in 1979 as an essential cofactor for alchohol dehydrogenase, the enzyme that is responsible for helping the liver metabolize alcohol.

In bacteria,  PQQ stimulates growth and serves as a cofactor for a special class of dehydrogenases/oxidoreductases. As such, PQQ is a key regulator of cellular function and is involved in signal transduction processes involved in cellular growth, development, differentiation and survival. It is also as an extremely powerful antioxidant capable of catalyzing continuous redox cycling (the ability to catalyze repeated oxidation and reduction reactions) to a much greater degree compared to other antioxidants.

Functions and benefits of Pyrroloquinoline Quinone

  •  Most notably, PQQ stimulates the spontaneous growth of new mitochondria in aging cells, and activates genes that govern mitochondrial reproduction, protection, and repair.
  • Pyrroloquinoline quinone is important for the mitochondria where it supports its health. It promotes biogenesis in mitochondria. Therefore it improves the utilization of energy in them.
  • It acts as an ant oxidant and causes removal of dangerous substance form the body. In this way it provides protection from the oxidative stress.
  • It is found to causes breakdown of amino acids.
  • n 2010, researchers at the University of California at Davis released a peer-reviewed publication showing that PQQ’s critical role in growth and development stems from its unique ability to activate cell signaling pathways directly involved in cellular energy metabolism, development, and function.
  • Because of its important antioxidant functions as well as signaling activation it can use to protect an individual from aging. It acts as an anti-aging vitamin in our body.
  •  New research is forthcoming related to cognitive function as it relates to such conditions as memory loss, Parkinson disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Research shows that that PQQ supports heart cell function and promotes good blood flow in the heart muscle.
  • PQQ also interacts with the -ras genes that accelerate the growth of cancer. It seems to turn them off and prevent the spread of cancers throughout cancer-prone tissues. PQQ fights diabetes and cancers and helps you lose weight. Aren’t you glad you know about PQQ?

Deficiency of Pyrroloquinoline Quinone

  • Lack of this important vitamin results in slowing of mitochondrial energy utilization process. The biogenesis of mitochondria cannot take place effectively.
  •  Its antioxidant beneficial property can be depressed and our brain and heart would be at increases risk of getting harm from the oxidative stress.
  • Deficiency of PQQ can also lead to poor cognitive functions.

Food sources of Pyrroloquinoline Quinone

  • Apple, banana, cabbage, carrots,  celery,  edamamespinach, orange,  parsley, green peppers, green tea, kiwi fruit, papaya,  potatoes, tomato and tofu.
  • Since PQQ may be vital to our durability and longevity we should eat a wide variety of whole foods

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrroloquinoline_quinone

Choline : Essential for proper liver function, metabolism of fats and proteins and nerve functions

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Choline is a chemical similar to the B-vitamins, and is often lumped in with them, is necessary for proper liver function, metabolism of fats and proteins and nerve functions.  It was only relatively recently that choline was officially classified as a vitamin and an essential nutrient. Its RDA was established for the first time in 1998.  However, its key benefits have been known since the 1930s, when it was found to prevent fatty build up in the liver.

Choline is also good for the brain.  It has been established that choline is necessary for optimal cognitive function.  It is a basic nutrient needed for the production of acetylcholine, the signaling molecule or neurotransmitter that is essential for many brain and nerve functions.  Choline is extremely important in brain and memory function, and is helpful in treating Alzheimer’s. Choline prevents gallstone formation, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, kidney damage, nephritis, glaucoma, and myasthenia gravis. It is also used in the treatment of bipolar depression (manic depression).

CHOLINE BENEFITS & FUNCTIONS

  • constituent of lecithin (phosphatidylcholine), a key building block of cell membranes, important for cell formation and tissue growth and repair
  • needed for proper functioning of cell membranes, to allow passage of nutrients and waste products in and out of cells
  • needed for production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, a chemical that is vital for many brain and nerve functions; is being experimented with for improving neuromuscular function in Alzheimer’s disease
  • essential for optimal brain functioning, learning and memory
  • needed for nerves to interact with muscles
  •  may help nervous system disorders like epilepsy or Parkinson’s disease
  • regulates the gallbladder and helps prevent gallstones
  •  regulates liver function, helps eliminate toxins, and is beneficial for liver damage related to hepatitis and cirrhosis
  • for fat and cholesterol transport and metabolism as an energy source
  •  natural lipotropic agent that minimizes excess fat in the liver
  • converts homocysteine in the blood to other substances, which lowers its level and helps prevent cardiovascular problems
  •  preliminary research shows that, in combination with betaine, may help reduce chronic inflammation linked to disorders such as osteoporosis, heart disease, brain decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and type II diabetes

Deficiency Symptoms

  • impaired fat metabolism and transport, which hinders fat from being an energy source, and is symptomized by decrease in blood levels of VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein) which the liver uses to transport fats
  •  fatty build-up in the liver, which may lead to fatty degeneration of the liver, cirrhosis, and liver damage
  • raised levels of cholesterol or triglyceride (a type of fats)
  •  high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • high levels of homocysteine in blood, leading to risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular and circulatory problems
  •  respiratory distress in newborns or nerve degeneration or nerve-muscle imbalances due to insufficient acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that cannot be made without choline
  • anemia arising from lack of red blood cell formation, as a cell membrane component, phosphatidylcholine, needs choline for its production
  •  kidney hemorrhage or kidneys unable to concentrate urine, due to insufficient phosphatidylcholine
  •  abnormal bone formation
  •  impaired growth in newborns
  •  fatigue
  •  insomnia
  • infertility
  •  as choline is critical for brain function and intake decreases with age, deficiency might lead to impaired memory or brain function or senile dementia (shortage of acetylcholine in the brain has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease)
Choline Foods sources
banana, cauliflower, flax seed, leafy green vegetable, legumes, nuts,  oranges, peanuts,   potatoes , seeds, tomatoes, vegetable oils and whole grains
Choline is  found abundantly in lecithin , egg yolks are equally rich. Blackstrap molasses is also a rich source of choline.  Lecithin (usually derived from soybeans) ·soybeans and soybean products.  Sunflower lecithin contain 25% more lecithin than soy lecithin.
 Lecithin helps the body digest absorb, and carry fat and fat-soluble vitamins in the bloodstream. It helps less fat and cholesterol to be deposited in the arteries and liver. Without it, the arteries become clogged, leading to hypertension and cardiac problems. Lecithin is not only essential for fat metabolism, but is needed for the synthesis of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA).
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