Amino Acid Analysis

Essential Amino Acids

Amino Acid Analysis

Simple Talk:

Amino acids are compounds that combine to form protein.  When proteins are digested, amino acids are left.  They are the raw materials used to make neurotransmitters and other substances.

Amino acids are classified as either “essential” amino acids (which must be consumed in the diet), or “nonessential” amino acids (which can be made by the body from the essential amino acids).

The Amino Acid Analysis uses a blood or urine sample to assess the levels of 40 amino acids.  It provides the most precise measurement of the “essential” amino acids, the ones we cannot make in our bodies and must get from nutritional sources.  

Laboratory Talk:

Amino acids are the basic structural building units of protein and other biomolecules; they are also utilized as an energy source.  Daily intake of dietary protein is necessary to present tissue protein breakdown to supply the continuous, critical amino acid needs.  Utilization of amino acids is highly tissue and time dependent. Plasma from blood drawn at any given moment will reflect the state of the dynamic flux of amino acids leaving sites such as skeletal muscle and flowing into sites of utilization in the liver, brain and other tissues.  To detect metabolic disorders due to genetic polymorphisms, micronutrient deficiencies or toxicant abnormalities, urinary amino acid testing is the preferred test because levels can rise to very high values as separate amino acids spill from blood into urine.

Fasting plasma levels of amino acids represent homeostatic balance between supply and utilization of these critical building blocks.  Problems in amino acid metabolism are revealed by the amino acids and metabolites that are reported in categories according to function.  Amino acid analysis helps with determination of amino acid imbalances, evaluation of functional vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and diagnosis of metabolic disorders.

The human body can synthesize all of the amino acids necessary to build proteins except for ten called the “essential amino acids“.  These ten must be included in the diet or supplemented to be in adequate supplies.  Failure to obtain enough of even 1 of the 10 essential amino acids has serious health implications and can result in degradation of the body’s proteins.  Muscle and other protein structures may be dismantled to obtain the one amino acid that is needed.

Metametrix Clinial Laboratory offers an Amino Acids 40 Profile Test:

  1. 1-Methylhistidine
  2. 3-Methylhistidine
  3. Alanine
  4. Alpha-Aminoadipic Acid
  5. Alpha-Amino-N-Butyric Acid
  6. Anserine
  7. Arginine
  8. Asparagine
  9. Aspartic Acid
  10. Beta-Alanine
  11. Beta-Aminoisobutyric Acid
  12. Carnosine
  13. Citrulline
  14. Cystahionine
  15. Cystine
  16. Ethanolamine
  17. Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  18. Glutamic Acid
  19. Glutamine
  20. Glycine
  21. Histidine
  22. Homocystine
  23. Hydroxylysine
  24. Isoleucine
  25. Leucine
  26. Lysine
  27. Methionine
  28. Ornithine
  29. Phenylalanine
  30. Phosphoethanolamine
  31. Phosphoserine
  32. Proline
  33. Sarcosine
  34. Serine
  35. Taurine
  36. Threonine
  37. Tryptophan
  38. Tyrosine
  39. Valine
  40. Ratios:
  • Phenylalanine/Tyrosine
  • Glutamic Acid/Glutamine
  • Hydroxyproline/Proline
  • Alpha-ANB/Leucine
  • Tryptophan/LNAA (Large Neutral Amino Acids)

In July 2012, Metametrix, Inc. and Genova Diagnostics, Inc. have entered into an agreement to combine efforts under one company.  They have operated as two leading clinical laboratories.

I provided links to both labs below.  Seems you have to go through a Doctor to get tested.

I have not tried this.  If you have, please share/comment below your experience.

Foods such as meat, fish and poultry are considered complete proteins, because they contain all the essential amino acids.  Other animal-based foods, such as dairy products and eggs, are also considered complete proteins.  Plant-based foods contain a variety of amino acids, but with the exception of soybeans and quinoa, do not contain all 10 amino acids at once.  Such foods are considered incomplete proteins. Plant-based sources of amino acids include corn, beans, rice, legumes and nuts.  Vegetarians can obtain adequate daily intake of amino acids by consuming a variety of these plant-based protein sources.

I found a blood test you can buy online with no prescription, and they send you to a lab from LifeExtension.

I also found an at-home urine testing kit from Neurogistics recommended by Juice Lady Cherie that tests serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, GABA and glutamate but doesn’t offer explanation.


Quoted from Sources: – Amino Acids – 10 Essential Amino Acids – Amino Acids 40 Profile – Plasma, Assessing the Body’s Fundamental Building Blocks – Article – Amino Acid .pdf – Patient Brief – Amino Acid .pdf – Amino Acids Test Description.pdf

Featured Image Source: – Biochemistry – Chemistry of Amino Acids

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