Tag Archives: Essential Aminos by Pure Encapsulations

Amino Acid Primer

AminoAcidsJacquie Eubanks RN BSNMacronutrients, specifically carbohydrates, fats and proteins, are energy providing substances the body requires in relatively large quantities. Together with micronutrient vitamins, minerals, enzymes, trace elements and phytonutrients, macronutrients provide essential nutrition necessary to thrive, as well as support proper function and good health. Of these, getting sufficient protein intake may be uppermost in minds of those who are paying close attention to their diets. Yet many official nutrition organizations recommend a fairly modest protein intake for most people. There are certain groups of people who do benefit from a larger proportion of protein in their diet relative to fats and carbohydrates. This can include body builders, elite athletes, dieters or those with dietary restrictions, as well as seniors seeking to counteract muscle loss often associated with aging. While high protein diets for weight loss have been trending for several years, many healthcare practitioners tout a largely plant-based, whole food diet with healthy combinations of nutrients for overall good health, weight management and proper bodily function.

We may think of protein strictly in terms of dietary intake, yet proteins in various forms provide the structure for all living things. In the human body, protein substances make up the muscles, ligaments, tendons, organs, glands, hair and nails, as well as vital body fluids, enzymes and hormones. In order to build specific proteins required, the body must first break down dietary protein into its constituent amino acids. Held together by a peptide bond, amino acids are comprised of hundreds or even thousands of smaller units attached to one another in long chains of polypeptides. As proteins are not interchangeable, the sequence of these links determines their unique functions and characters, with each protein tailored for a specific need. So while we think in terms of protein’s role in nutritional health, it is actually amino acids that are vital to the chemical processes that sustain life.

In order to perform biological functions, the body typically utilizes 21 types of amino acids. Certain conditionally-essential and nonessential amino acids can be synthesized by the body.  Ten are deemed essential amino acids, as they cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained from dietary plant or animal protein sources. Amino acids are necessary for cellular growth, as cells continually break down and rely on a fresh supply of amino acids to build new proteins. They also serve as precursors from which the body produces the remaining non-essential amino acids. As well, certain amino acids act as neurotransmitters or precursors to neurotransmitters that carry information between cells. Because some amino acids can pass the blood brain barrier, which functions to protect brain tissue, they can be utilized by the brain to communicate with nerve cells elsewhere in the body.

  • Optimal balance of amino acids in the diet and in circulation is crucial for whole body homeostasis.
  • In additional to their protein building roles, amino acids regulate key metabolic pathways necessary for growth, maintenance, reproduction and immunity.
  • Just like protein, amino acids provide an energy source of 4 calories per gram.
  • Certain amino acids are converted into other amino acids, proteins, glucose, fatty acids or ketones.
  • Specific amino acids function as neurotransmitters in the nervous system.
  • Some amino acids are key precursors for neurotransmitter and amino acid based hormone synthesis.
  • Specific amino acids are precursors to nucleic acids, parts of DNA.
  • Branched chain amino acids are thought to stimulate muscle recovery and may decrease muscle soreness after exercise.
  • In individuals with sleep disorders, amino acids hydroxytryptophan and GABA taken before sleep can reduce time to fall asleep, and support sleep duration and sleep quality.
  • Supplemental amino acids may help to balance chemical messengers in the brain including epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, aiding healthy mood, focus and quality sleep.
  • Dietary supplementation of amino acids may be beneficial for ameliorating health problems, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.
  • Amino acids may optimize efficiency of metabolic transformations to enhance muscle growth and athletic performance, while preventing excess fat deposition and reducing adiposity.
  • Insufficient vitamin and mineral intake, especially vitamins C and B6 can interfere with the absorption and transport of amino acids.
  • Vitamins and minerals require amino acids for performance, absorption and assimilation.

The process of breaking down proteins into amino acids, as well as assembling amino acids to make proteins, is continuous. The body produces different types of proteins as the need arises. Impaired absorption, infections, trauma, stress, age, and imbalances of other nutrients may all contribute to deficiencies of amino acids.  Failure to supply the body with sufficient amino acids daily can hinder the synthesis and reduce body levels of necessary proteins. This can lead to a gradual breakdown of tissues, such as found in muscle wasting, as well as a negative nitrogen balance. When the body lacks sufficient nutrients, it struggles to properly carry out bodily and cognitive functions. In order to reduce the risks of metabolic disorders, optimal nutrition can be achieved with a healthy varied diet, as well as intake of vitamins, trace elements and minerals to replace what is utilized each day to promote overall vitality and wellbeing.

Professional Supplement Center offers many high quality formulations in support of homeostasis and overall wellness:

Free Form Amino CapsFree Form Amino Caps by Douglas Laboratories®: This formula provides a nutritionally balanced blend of essential, conditionally-essential and non-essential amino acids in their physiological L-crystalline forms. Free of wheat gluten, soy, yeast, dairy, sugar and artificial coloring, preservatives and flavoring. Contains phenylalanine.


Amino Acid Base...Amino Acid Base Powder Unflavored by Metabolic Maintenance®: This powdered proprietary formula provides therapeutic levels of nine amino acids blended with vitamin B6 and bio-activating agents for optimal utilization. Gluten and lactose free, vegan formulation. Contains phenylalanine.


Amino Acid ComplexAmino Acid Complex by Professional Complementary Health Formulas: This high potency formula provides a balanced blend of 19 naturally occurring amino acids for overall good health and maintenance support. Contains phenylalanine.


Essential AminosEssential Aminos by Pure Encapsulations®: This hypoallergenic formulation provides free form amino acids in support of healthy muscle and body tissues. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.


Super Shake Plus -...Super Shake Plus – Vanilla by Nutritional Frontiers: This hypoallergenic meal replacement powder provides a delicious protein alternative suitable for vegans and vegetarians, as well as those with food allergies or sensitivities. Provides 20 g of pea, rice and pumpkin protein with a full complement of amino acids per serving. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegan formulation. Chocolate formula also available. Contains phenylalanine.

Products containing phenylalanine should not be combined with Parkinson’s medications, MAO inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants. Those who are pregnant, lactating, have a health condition or are taking medications, please consult a healthcare practitioner before using any supplements.


Amino Acids: http://www.nutrientsreview.com/proteins/amino-acids
Proteins. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Organic/protein.html
Amino Acids & Their Actions: https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/amino-acids-actions-2541.html
Amino acids: metabolism, functions, and nutrition: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19301095
What are proteins and what do they do? https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/howgeneswork/protein
Phyllis A. Balch, CNC. Prescription for Nutritional Healing. The Penguin Group; fifth edition, 2010.

Thoughts On “Going Vegan”

GoingVeganJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Interest in the vegan lifestyle is steadily rising worldwide. The global shift away from animal product consumption and toward a plant-based diet appears to be rapidly gaining acceptance. The research firm GlobalData reported a 600 percent increase in Americans identifying as vegan in the last three years. Within the last decade, veganism increased by 350 percent in the U.K. and 400 percent in Portugal. Impressive increases were also found in Israel, Australia, Canada, Austria and New Zealand. More evidence suggests that a plant-based diet is not a fad, but a growing trend that is steadily becoming more acceptable and mainstream. An increasing number of believers perceive an ethical and sustainable lifestyle to be an important component of their wellbeing, as many report increased energy, more restful sleep, better mood, proper weight, and a genuine feeling of overall wellness.

Evidence suggests that an ovo-lacto-vegetarian diet, a largely plant-based diet that includes eggs and dairy products, offers protection against cardiovascular diseases, some cancers and total mortality. Scientific research shows that health benefits increase as the amount of food from animal sources decreases. Vegan diets appear to offer additional protection against obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular mortality. Those who follow a vegan diet tend to have lower body weight, lower serum cholesterol and lower blood pressure, reducing their risk of developing heart disease. A vegan diet with increased intake of fruits and vegetables provides high levels of protective nutrients and phytochemicals, minimizing the dietary factors implicated in certain chronic diseases.

Those new to plant-based diets should be careful not to trade animal protein for processed foods that provide calories but little nutritional value. Some who consider a plant-based diet worry about protein intake. However, a well-balanced varied diet can provide many sources of plant-based protein, including soy products, quinoa, wild or black rice, millet, legumes, nuts, beans, seeds, mushrooms, cruciferous vegetables. and many dark colored, leafy greens. Vegans and vegetarians do need to plan ahead to ensure they get all the essential amino acids typically obtained from animal protein, as well as calcium, nonheme iron, vitamin D, zinc, vitamin B12 and fatty acids. Regular intake of B12 is essential with a vegan diet. Although tempeh, miso and some fermented foods provide a limited source of B12, to ensure B12 sufficiency care should be taken to supplement the diet with multivitamins, nutritional yeast or fortified foods and drinks. Chlorella, spirulina, moringa and sprouted legumes/seeds can provide additional protein and nutrients.

Sufficient calcium can be obtained from dark green leafy vegetables, beans, calcium- fortified juice or soymilk. Iron is plentiful in whole grains, beans, olives, prunes, nuts, seeds, lentils and soybeans. As plant-based non-heme iron is more difficult to absorb than iron found in animal products, consuming foods rich in vitamin C along with plant foods can help increase absorption. Vitamin D fortified foods and daily vitamin D supplementation can ensure adequate vitamin D status. Vegans should  regularly consume plant foods rich in the fatty acid ALA, such as ground flaxseed, walnuts and hemp-seed based beverages, and can also benefit from DHA-rich microalgae supplements. Whole grains, legumes, soy and zinc-fortified foods can provide sufficient zinc intake.

Potential vegans who try to eliminate all animal products at once are the least likely to maintain a vegan diet long-term. Switching to a vegan diet can be done gradually by adding more plant-based foods and meals to your diet as you eliminate animal products. Transitioning to a vegan diet should be smooth, steady and adventurous. Acquiring a vegan cookbook or two that provide recipes for quick and easy home cooked meals is highly recommended, as diet diversity must be considered when switching to a plant-based diet. Veganizing your diet helps to eliminate some of the unhealthier processed foods you might be eating but be wary of substituting these foods with too many processed vegan foods.

Once on an all vegan diet, you may feel hungrier and may need to eat more often, as whole plant-based foods are nutrient dense but low in calories. Consuming more complex starchy carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes, root vegetables and whole grains, can help keep hunger pangs at bay and support steady energy production. While a proper vegan diet consisting of unprocessed single ingredient foods is health promoting, a poorly planned vegan diet may often result in nutrient deficiencies. Vegans must take nutrition seriously to ensure an adequate intake of nutrients, including essential vitamins and minerals. Even with a diet based around nutrient-rich whole plant and fortified foods, many vegans look to intelligent supplementation to maximize their nutrition in support of optimal health and function.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality supplements in support of optimal nutrition:

Vitamin B12Vitamin B12 by Designs for Health: Each berry flavored lozenge provides 5000 mcg of highly bioavailable vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin. Gluten-free, Non-GMO formulation.


Blood BuilderBlood Builder® by MegaFood®: This synergistic whole food product delivers iron, vitamin C, folate and B12 in support of healthy red blood cell and energy production. Free of gluten, soy and lactose. Non-GMO, kosher vegan formulation.


B12-Active™ CHERRYB12-Active™ by Integrative Therapeutics®: These natural cherry flavored chewable tablets provide B12 as methylcobalamin, a highly bioavailable form that doesn’t require conversion by the body to be utilized. Free of gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast, soy, animal products, preservatives and artificial ingredients. Vegetarian formulation.


Essential AminosEssential Aminos by Pure Encapsulations®: This hypoallergenic supplement provides free form amino acids in support of the building and repair of heathy muscles and tissues. Essential Aminos provides the essential amino acids that may be limited or lacking in the diet. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.


Vegan 1-a-Day...Vegan 1-a-Day Multivitamin by Deva® Nutrition: Specifically formulated to meet the nutritional requirements of vegans and vegetarians, this high-potency, balanced multiple vitamin and mineral formula is enriched with whole green foods, vegetable powders and botanicals. Free of yeast, wheat, gluten, starch, sugar, salt, hexane, dairy, egg, fish, artificial flavor or fragrance and animal products, byproducts or derivatives. Certified Vegan formulation.


O.N.E. MultivitaminO.N.E.™ Multivitamin by Pure Encapsulations®: This comprehensive, hypoallergenic, vegetarian formulation provides highly bioavailable forms of vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.

Beyond Meatless, the Health Effects of Vegan Diets: Findings from the Adventist Cohorts. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4073139/
Vegetarian Foods: Powerful for Health. https://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/vegdiets/vegetarian-foods-powerful-for-health
Health effects of vegan diets. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/89/5/1627S/4596952
21 Vegetarian Foods That Are Loaded With Iron. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/iron-rich-plant-foods
Top 15 Calcium-Rich Foods (Many Are Non-Dairy). https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/15-calcium-rich-foods