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Have you ever heard of amino acid therapy? If not, I want you to listen close today.
If you suffer from depression, anxiety, irritability or cognitive issues, this could change your life.
Before we dig in, I want to mention that anti-depressants can be effective in some cases and “just what the doctor ordered.” However, many years of research have convinced me to always seek natural solutions first.
That’s especially the case when it comes to emotional or behavioral problems.
If you’re struggling with something like depression or anxiety, I have good news.
You CAN get your life back.
The neurotransmitter imbalances behind those conditions can be reversed by treating with amino acids.
Let’s learn how.
What Is Amino Acid Therapy?
It’s the process of balancing neurotransmitters by supplementing with amino acids through diet and targeted supplements.
Let’s back up and explain what neurotransmitters have to do with depression, anxiety, etc.
Neurotransmitters are just chemical messengers that send signals from one neuron to the next. The function of these “signaling devices” is directly related to how we feel, what we crave, how we think and more.
If there’s an imbalance here, you’ll feel it in your mood and elsewhere.
The most common neurotransmitters you hear about are:
Problems arise when we don’t have enough neurotransmitters to keep our body functioning like it should. That’s when things like depression, anxiety and brain fog come into play.
So, thinking logically:
Insufficient neurotransmitters = depression
Increasing neurotransmitters to sufficient levels = no more depression + a happier you.
Now the question remains, how we do we increase neurotransmitter production?
With amino acids, of course! 🙂
Amino acids are essentially the building blocks that are used to build proteins and are intricately involved in nearly every structure in our bodies, including neurotransmitters.
There are about 20 primary amino acids, and 5 of them play a critical role in the development and function of neurotransmitters.
Therefore, amino acid therapy involves using these targeted “building blocks” to give the body what it needs to produce more “signaling devices” that keep you feeling happy and healthy.
Sorry for all the super science-y talk, but hopefully you have a better picture of how amino acids work, their role in neurotransmitters and how they directly affect your mood, thoughts, appetite and more.
Who Is Amino Acid Therapy for?
Do any of these sound familiar?
- You struggle to get out of bed in the morning
- You experience bouts of rage for no reason
- You can’t focus or concentrate like you use to
- You forget things a lot
- You have obsessive thoughts
- You’re nervous and anxious even though there’s nothing really going on
If so, you’re a great candidate for amino acid therapy.
This form of treatment is also for those who want to treat depression or anxiety naturally, as opposed to using harsh pharmaceuticals.
However, there are a small group of people who shouldn’t treat with amino acids.
- If you’re currently on antidepressants (there’s such a thing as too much serotonin)
- If you have severe liver or kidney problems
- If you have an ulcer
- If you have an overactive thyroid
- If you experience uncontrollable hypertension (high blood pressure)
- If you have phenylketonuria (PKU)
Then you shouldn’t do amino acid therapy unless directed by your physician.
Of course, always check with your general care practitioner before starting any new therapy, regardless of your current conditions or lack thereof.
By the way, you can get an amino acid analysis online through companies like Bio Synthesis. You can also request a similar lab test from your primary care physician.
What Can You Expect with Amino Acid Treatment?
This differs from person to person, depending on your healthcare provider, holistic nutritionist or naturopathic doctor.
If you’re severely deficient, he or she may suggest amino acid IV therapy. This involves injecting amino acids and other nutrients directly into the bloodstream.
However, I’d say the most common way to treat with amino acids is with supplements.
Amino Acid Supplements
You might be surprised to find out these supplements come in all shapes and sizes. The best one depends on your unique needs and how deficient you are. That’s why testing prior to treatment is so effective and highly recommended.
The most common forms include:
I personally like Klaire Labs Amino Acid Complete. It’s not loaded with fillers like many other supplements. It’s also hypoallergenic with a vegetarian capsule.
I was first introduced to the company through their Vital Zymes digestive enzyme product. I’ve been impressed with their results, and their commitment to purity and testing is top in the industry.
Keep in mind that the average amount of time on amino acid therapy ranges from 3 to 12 months. Of course, a balanced diet that includes amino acid foods is recommended for life.
Best Food-Based Sources of Amino Acids
Since amino acids are what make up proteins, the richest source of this vital nutrient is found in high-protein foods.
9 out of the 20 amino acids are called “essential,” meaning our bodies can’t make them, so we have to get them through diet. Animal-based foods like red meat contain all of the body’s essential amino acids.
However, you can still find some of them in plant-based foods, too!
Here’s a list of amino acid-rich foods divided into animal and plant-based sources:
- Animal Proteins
- Grass-fed beef
- Pasture-raised poultry
- Pork chops
- Plant Proteins
- Sesame seeds
That list is by no means comprehensive, but it’s a good place to start!
My Favorite “Quick and Easy” Way to Get More Amino Acids
I mentioned grass-fed beef as one of the best sources for amino acids. However, I’m a busy mama and don’t always have time to brown up some beef every day. That’s why I love grab-and-go snacks.
You have to choose them wisely though because all too often “grab and go” is code for “highly processed and unhealthy.”
I limit my store-bought, convenience snacks to those loaded with nutrients that support my body’s function and overall wellness.
Paleovalley’s Grass-Fed Beef Stick is one of those!
They contain all of the amino acids your body needs to create those neurotransmitters and support so many other vital functions throughout the body.
Since they’re grass-fed, they don’t contain any of the antibiotics, steroids or hormones that you find in most other beef snacks AND they use organic spices.
But my favorite part is the fact that they’re fermented!
Instead of preserving them with toxic chemicals and preservatives, they’re preserved using an old-world fermentation process – completely 100% natural.
1 billion probiotic CFUs in every stick.
Starting to see why I love them so much? 🙂
If you haven’t tried these grass-fed beef sticks yet, check them out here!
I hope this article helped you learn more about amino acid therapy and whether or not it’s right for you. Please Let me know if you have any questions!
I’m Jordan – a professional researcher for health & wellness companies. For the last 7 years, I’ve been hired to search medical journals and studies to separate fact from fiction. Now as a mom with chronic illness, I help other families live their best life by providing research-backed information about natural health. Read my story here.