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© BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com
BR Publishing
THE ROLE OF
AMINO-ACIDS IN
BRAIN HEALTH
...
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© BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com
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© BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com
Table of Contents
Preface................................
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© BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com
Preface
This eBook is offered by the BR Publishing tea...
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© BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com
Part 1:
Understanding amino-acids
1. What are amino-ac...
6
© BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com
2. What’s the link between amino-acids and proteins?
P...
7
© BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com
3. Essential amino-acids
Some amino-acids are called “...
8
© BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com
Essential amino-acids:
● Alanine has an important role...
9
© BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com
Non-essential amino-acids:
● Histidine is recommended ...
10
© BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com
PART 2:
The role of amino-acids in brain health
Now t...
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© BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com
All these neurotransmitters have interconnectivity be...
12
© BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com
3. Glutamate (more about)
Glutamate is actually relea...
13
© BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com
Some of the most common issues that appear when the o...
14
© BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com
5. Can I compensate somehow for my bad dieting?
Even ...
15
© BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com
So, the most important things to remember of amino-ac...
16
© BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com
We hope you enjoy this presentation about the role of...
17
© BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com
References
Wagner, Ingrid; Musso, Hans (November 1983...
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The role of amino acids in brain health

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THIS BOOK IS MEANT TO TEACH PEOPLE ABOUT THE ROLE OF AMINO-ACIDS IN COGNITIVE HEALTH WHILE ALSO PRESENTING SOME INFORMATION ABOUT THEIR IMPORTANCE AND THE WAY IN WHICH PEOPLE CAN MAINTAIN OR OBTAIN THEM IN THEIR BODIES.

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  • GABA generally doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier but with higher doses, it's able to do so. There's also a belief that Tyrosine helps in alleviating depression (Tyrosine + 5HTP combo).
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The role of amino acids in brain health

  1. 1. 1 © BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com BR Publishing THE ROLE OF AMINO-ACIDS IN BRAIN HEALTH THIS BOOK IS MEANT TO TEACH PEOPLE ABOUT THE ROLE OF AMINO-ACIDS IN COGNITIVE HEALTH WHILE ALSO PRESENTING SOME INFORMATION ABOUT THEIR IMPORTANCE AND THE WAY IN WHICH PEOPLE CAN MAINTAIN OR OBTAIN THEM IN THEIR BODIES.
  2. 2. 2 © BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com
  3. 3. 3 © BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com Table of Contents Preface.................................................................................................................................................... 4 Part 1: Understanding amino-acids What are amino-acids ............................................................................................................................. 5 What is the link between proteins and amino-acids?............................................................................... 6 Essential amino-acids .............................................................................................................................. 7 A short description of essential and non-essential amino-acids ............................................................7-9 Part 2: The role of amino-acids in brain health Neurotransmitters and connection to amino-acids........................................................................... 10-11 GABA (more about) ............................................................................................................................... 11 Glutamate (more about)........................................................................................................................ 12 What problems can lack of amino-acids cause? .................................................................................... 13 Where can I find amino-acids and in which quantities? ......................................................................... 13 At the end of the day, what have I learnt from this eBook? .............................................................. 14-16
  4. 4. 4 © BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com Preface This eBook is offered by the BR Publishing team which is composed of individuals specialized in the area of nutritional supplementation that includes ingredients, manufacturing processes, and ways in which they affect the human body with both positive and negative sides. Description We keep hearing about amino-acids and their importance for the human body, but have we ever wondered why the brain couldn’t properly function without them? Why are they so important that they have been included in a wide array of nutritional supplements that target various health features? Well, with the help of this eBook, we’ll try to explain what the main properties of amino-acids are, what happens if they lack from a proper diet and in what way would their presence in the organism change the functionality of a normal individual. By doing this, we hope that people will treat their diets in a different manner, while being aware of the influence of what they consume on the health of their brain. Additionally, people will learn about the major studies that have been conducted on amino-acids, the way in which they influenced overall research as well as some opinions from individuals that have worked on this area of studying. We hope it will help you decide better diet for the brain, thus enhancing cognitive functionality in both children and adults.
  5. 5. 5 © BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com Part 1: Understanding amino-acids 1. What are amino-acids? Amino-acids are organic compounds that are obtained from carboxylic acid and amine. Therefore, the key components of an amino-acid are hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen, but other components can be a part of its side-chain. Currently, there are approximately 500 amino-acids which are classified in a variety of types. One of the main reasons behind their importance in the body is related to their role in protein making. Based on this, they’re classified into two main categories: standard and non-standard, with the non- standard or non-proteinogenic is generally not found in proteins. Generally, based on its chemical properties, the biological activity is determined. This means that they can play a wide variety of roles, from controlling cellular processes to being a catalyzer for certain reactions. As studying progresses, the most important thing to keep in mind about amino-acids is that their structure and properties are linked to the ones of proteins, because even a small and simple protein has characteristics based on the qualities of the amino-acids that are included in its composition.
  6. 6. 6 © BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com 2. What’s the link between amino-acids and proteins? Proteins are in fact biological molecules that are composed of one or more amino-acids chains. They are important in the human body because they perform a wide variety of functions like DNA replication, transportation of molecules from a point to another, influencing metabolic reactions, as well as responding to some stimuli. They are viewed as essential to some organisms and affect almost all processes that are linked to cells. Due to the fact that proteins are responsible for the maintenance and growth of bodily structures and cells (including blood cells, hair, skin, muscles, and bones), they shouldn’t miss from a normal diet, particularly when it comes to children. After they are eaten, the stomach begins to break them down. This is continued into the small intestine where most of the breakdown happens. In the end, they are actually reversed to their amino-acid structure and are absorbed into the bloodstream through the intestine. Afterwards, they are either sent to the liver, where important proteins are synthesized, or somewhere else in the body for further usage. There are two main protein sources. The first one can be obtained from plans like nuts, soy, or beans and, unlike other opinions, they do provide all essential amino-acids in proper quantities. However, these should be carefully chosen because some plants only offer some, which means that if an individual decides to follow a vegetarian diet, he/she should think about combining the sources so they can receive the amounts they require on a daily basis. For example, pumpkin seeds are thought to have 9.35 grams of proteins per ounce, while asparagus has approximately 3 grams. Therefore, people shouldn’t be afraid that they’re lacking essential proteins if they’re following a vegan diet because they can just as easily take them from certain plants. A chart of plant/protein ratio can be consulted so individuals can pick what is needed in their diets with more ease. The second protein source is organic and includes seafood, meat, milk, eggs, pork tenderloin, and lean beef. While this second source is viewed as better by some individuals, in some situations the cholesterol levels may speak for themselves and a healthier alternative can be found in plants.
  7. 7. 7 © BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com 3. Essential amino-acids Some amino-acids are called “essential” because the body is unable to produce them and they have to be taken through foods that feature them. There are twenty standard amino-acids from which only ten can be made by the body in normal circumstances. The ones that can be produced by the body are aspartic acid, asparagine, alanine, glutamic acid, cysteine, proline, glycine, tyrosine, and serine, while the other ones are histidine, arginine, isoleucine, lysine, leucine, phenylalanine, methionine, tryptophane, valine, and threonine. Additionally, there are other amino-acids that are viewed as “conditionally essential” because there are some individuals whose bodies are unable to produce them directly due to factors like aging or medical conditions. For example, when the organism doesn’t produce alanine within normal parameters, glucose isn’t properly converted into energy and the person can be exposed to diseases such as diabetes. If an individual fails to obtain any of the ten that are essential, the organism may start to degrade protein-wise and some bodily organs and functions can be negatively affected, in some cases even irreversibly. This is why any person should decide on a proper diet that includes essential amino-acids. If they are unable to receive them through dieting, they should think of other ways of obtaining them, such as nutritional supplements. However, before taking any type of natural remedy, one should consult a specialized doctor because certain side-effects or interactions with other prescribed drugs may occur and nobody wants to do more harm than good to their body. 4. A short description of essential and non-essential amino-acids As we’ve previously mentioned, the essential amino-acids are asparagine, alanine, cysteine, glutamic acid, aspartic acid, glycine, tyrosine, serine, and proline. Bellow you’ll see a short description of each, in order to understand what happens if the right amounts lack from the organism.
  8. 8. 8 © BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com Essential amino-acids: ● Alanine has an important role in the glucose level maintenance because it helps convert glucose into energy. Excessive lacks of alanine have been linked to chronic fatigue syndrome and Epstein-Barr. ● Tyrosine is used by the organism in order to make chemical messengers that are involved in cognitive functions like mental alertness. ● Proline is a catalyzer in some organic reactions. ● Serine also plays a role in catalytic functions of some enzymes. ● Cysteine acts as an antioxidant and prevents some medical conditions including Angina, Acetaminophen poisoning, HIV/AIDS, Influenza, Chronic bronchitis, and Acute Respiratory Distress Sydrome (ARDS). ● Glutamic acid and Aspartic acid function as excitatory neurotransmitters within the central nervous system, thus stimulating the brain. For instance, glutamic acid helps by supplying the brain with proper fat and sugar levels. Furthermore, it facilitates the potassium absorption throughout the BBB or blood-brain barrier. ● Glycine is used by the body in the protein making processes and is involved in the signal transmission of chemical receptors towards the brain. Some studies also suggest that it might have a role in prevention of cancer due to the fact that it affects the blood supply required by some tumors. ● Asparagine is generally synthesized from some metabolic pathway intermediates and can be also found in Asparagus. People should keep in mind that the essential amino-acids are not required in a normal diet, unless other factors such as diseases or aging are involved which usually leads to an imbalance in the organism that can sometimes be dangerous.
  9. 9. 9 © BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com Non-essential amino-acids: ● Histidine is recommended for problems like ulcers, allergic diseases, anemia determined by kidney failure or dialysis, or rheumatoid arthritis. It can be taken from poultry, meat, dairy, fish, eggs, tofu, beans, corn, cauliflower, mushroom, and potatoes. ● Arginine is often used for conditions linked to blood vessels and the heart, such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, chest pain, and coronary artery disease. It can be taken from sesame flour and soy protein. ● Isoleucine is present in protein in the form of L-isoleucine and has a role in muscle and skeletal systems. Without it, there may be drastic consequences within the metabolism. ● Lysine is needed for bone development, as well as growth. It also assists in absorption of calcium and maintenance of normal nitrogen balance. Other uses include production of hormones, antibodies, enzymes, and tissue repair. ● Leucine is reliable when it comes to growth as well as stimulating the synthesis of protein in muscles. Among its key uses there are healing injuries and wounds, and balancing the blood sugar in the energy production functions. It is generally found in dairy products, wheat germ, oats, and animal proteins. ● Phenylalanine is utilized for some cognitive disorders or conditions that include ADHD (attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder), Parkinson’s disease, and depression. However, it may also prove reliable for treating osteoarthritis, symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic pain. ● Methionine is generally taken to prevent liver damage in Tylenol poisoning. Additionally, it can be taken for radiation side-effects, allergies, asthma, drug withdrawal, Parkinson’s disease, and schizophrenia. It is found in dairy products, fish, and meat. ● Tryptophane usually helps with mood alleviation, enhancement of sleep, and appetite regulation. It is found in dairy products, seeds, nuts, red meat, legumes, soybeans, tuna, turkey, and shellfish. ● Valine is a part of some muscle building programs and is helpful for repairing damaged tissues from gallbladder and liver. It can be taken from mushrooms, meat, peanuts, soy products, dairy products, and grains. ● Threonine is taken in order to reduce unwanted muscle contractions called spasticity.
  10. 10. 10 © BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com PART 2: The role of amino-acids in brain health Now that people are a little bit more familiar with what amino-acids are and what their purposes within the organism are, we’re going to present some information in the next chapter that try to reveal the connection between the health of their brain and the amino-acids intake or production within the organism. Even though the brain is such exquisitely organized at a molecular level, sometimes it needs a boost so it can function better and more efficient. In some situations, if there is a deficiency of an essential amino- acid, there may be pretty bad consequences for the person in case. 1. Neurotransmitters and connection to amino-acids Neurotransmitters can be described as chemical messengers which are a pathway between some brain cells. These substances are important for health because they affect a wide array of areas such as appetite, mood, sleep, heart rate, anxiety, aggression, and temperature, as well as other physical and psychological features. Therefore, proper levels should be sustained in order to avoid any type of imbalance in those areas. Some expert opinions state that the amino-acid neurotransmitters are regarded as main players in these processes. The two most important amino-acid neurotransmitters are Glutamate and Gamma- aminobutyric acid. The former is thought to play a role in memory and learning processes. In a related note, there were some studies that pointed out that people suffering from some cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease or brain injury may accumulate too much glutamate, which can eventually lead to damage in the brain cells. The second one, GABA has been tagged as an inhibitory neurotransmitter which blocks the chemical transmission from a cell to another. The reason for behind its importance relies on the balance provided in the brain. This is why some anti-anxiety drugs such as benzodiazepines work in the Gamma- aminobutyric acid receptors and determine a stage of relaxation.
  11. 11. 11 © BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com All these neurotransmitters have interconnectivity because they are a part of a complex system which requires balancing and checking at each moment of life. Considering this, maintaining proper amounts of each neurotransmitter is essential for the proper functioning of the cognitive processes that include thinking abilities, learning, memory, focus, and attention. 2. GABA (more about) As we already stated, GABA represents a neurotransmitter that helps block signals in the brain, also referred to as neurotransmissions. However, GABA has other usages as well. For instance, it can be consumed by mouth in order to enhance mood, relieve anxiety, and reduce PMS (premenstrual syndrome) symptoms. There are also some evaluations which reveal the fact that GABA can be helpful when it comes to treating attention disorders such as ADHD or ADD, mainly because it gives the brain a sense of relaxation and helps smoothen the connection it makes so the person can feel more calm and relaxed during and after the treatment. Other utilizations include fat burning, pain relief, muscle growth, and stabilization of blood pressure. Even though there aren’t usually too many side-effects attached to its consumption, pregnant or nursing women should be aware that it hasn’t been completely tested and in some situations may negatively affect the health of the child. Therefore, it is better to stay away from GABA supplementation in these cases. Before deciding to follow any type of treatment that features GABA, individuals should know that, although there is a standard dosage included in most of supplements found on the natural market, this dosage directly depends on the age, sex, and health condition of the patient. Hence, if a person wants a complete and personalized treatment, he or she should check with a healthcare practitioner prior to it. In case there are no noticeable effects after long-term usage, the amounts taken should be completely changed and the person should think about other options.
  12. 12. 12 © BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com 3. Glutamate (more about) Glutamate is actually released in the brain by nerve cells, being mainly responsible for delivering signals within the nerve cells. In normal circumstances, it has a reliable role in memory and learning. However, as with many substances, any type of excess can be pretty dangerous for the body, mostly due to the over-excitation between nerve signaling. This amino-acid neurotransmitter is naturally produced in some protein-featuring foods like milk, meat fish, mushrooms, cheese, and vegetables. However, if a person doesn’t have sufficient time to properly maintain a diet, he or she can try an alternative approach. Please note that, in most cases, this is not the best choice, but if the others have failed, it is a possibility. A natural approach would be better because it doesn’t vastly less counteractions and side- effects compared to the ones found in supplementation form. On the other hand, there are positive sides to taking glutamate through a supplement, such as noticing effects faster. They’re also considered to be safe for children, but further research is needed in this area. The decision behind an individual’s approach if glutamate levels aren’t within normal parameters should be made based upon either a doctor’s visit or considering factors like age, sex, and health state. 4. What problems can lack of amino-acids cause? As we’ve mentioned before, amino-acids are very important for maintaining the health of the organism. From stimulation of metabolism to replenishing or restoring the structures of cells, they possess a wide array of functions. From a particular point of view, they can help reduce symptoms of depression, enhance mental capacities, or even slow some of the aging processes. So, what happens if they aren’t present in the body? Well, you’re basically getting closer to death. As far as essential amino-acids go, if there are massive lacks in dieting, the body is unable to process protein. This means that everything from the muscles to the glands, hair, and nails will suffer. Furthermore, development and growth are directly dependent on these building blocks, thus their absence can lead to growth impairments or problems within the development stages. This is why grown-ups should be careful that their children consume sufficient quantities of essential amino-acids on a daily basis so they can avoid further problems.
  13. 13. 13 © BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com Some of the most common issues that appear when the organism doesn’t have sufficient amounts of amino-acids, hence is unable to properly synthesize protein, are colds and constant fatigue. Additionally, minor injuries are exposed to an enhanced period of healing and people may observe swelling in their feet, hands, or abdomen. A more serious condition is an illness named kwashiorkor which is characterized by a massive lack of protein. Some of its symptoms include changes in skin and hair, decreased muscular mass, delay in the body’s ability to recover from infections due to viruses, bacteria, or fungi, and extreme fatigue followed by some periods of diarrhea. The good news is that, in most situations, you can avoid the lack of amino-acids through a balanced dieting, a proper sleeping schedule, and some weekly if not daily exercising. 4. Where can I find amino-acids and in which quantities? In order to clarify this aspect, we’re going to present a table with aliment/ quantity of proteins CHICKEN (chicken breast) (chicken leg/ drumstick and wing) 30 g protein/ 3.5 oz Aprox. 10 g protein FISH (tuna) (fish filets or steaks) 40 g protein/ 6 oz can 22 g protein/ 3 ½ oz can PORK (chops, loin, tendon, and ground pork) (bacon) Aprox. 20 g protein/ 3 oz serving 3 g protein/ slice EGGS MILK, YOGURT, CHEESE 6 g protein Between 6-10 g protein TOFU MOST BEANS (pinto, lentils, black, etc.) 2.3 g protein/ ½ cup Between 7-10 g protein/ half a cup PEANUT BUTTER ALMONDS AND PEANUTS 8 g protein/ 2 tablespoons Between 8-9 g protein/ ¼ cup SUNFLOWER SEEDS PUPMKIN SEEDS 6 g protein/ ¼ cup 8 g protein/ ¼ cup FLAX SEEDS PECANS 8 g protein/ ¼ cup 2.5 protein/ ¼ cup SPLIT PEAS PARMESAN 8 g protein/1/4 cup cooked 10 g protein/ oz
  14. 14. 14 © BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com 5. Can I compensate somehow for my bad dieting? Even though it’s not usually recommended, people can try some other approaches if their daily schedule doesn’t allow them to consume the right amounts of essential amino-acids. First of all, a visit to a dietician or a specialized doctor is recommended in order to determine if there are worrying aspects of an individual’s health. Afterwards, depending on a person’s schedule, eating, and exercising habits, the dietician can try to suggest a balanced diet so nothing is missed from the organism. However, for those who are unable to follow this diet or can’t afford to pay a dietician or whatever other reasons there may be, they can try another approach through dietary supplements which are usually customized to fulfill certain requirements of the body. A person can decide which one to consume after reading the labels of the product which generally recommend the type of treatment and daily intake depending on the person’s needs. On the other hand, there may be a downside to taking natural remedies. Some people can be allergic to some ingredients or are already following a prescribed treatment which can counteract with the combination found in this type of remedies. Therefore, it is recommended to either do some prior research of the product, read some customer testimonials of either the product desired or something similar made by the same company, or consult a healthcare provider who is capable of determining which products are good for you and which aren’t. Additionally, it is important to immediately stop the treatment if any type of side-effects appear because in extreme cases they can be lethal or damaging to the organism. Although these situations aren’t that common, it is better to be safe than sorry. 6. At the end of the day, what have I learnt from this eBook? People who had the patience and curiosity to read throughout the entire book should have gained some information regarding amino-acids. For those who want to remember some highlights or weren’t that interested in the entire book, but still wanted to learn something, we will resume the most important features to remember about amino-acids and their role in the organism.
  15. 15. 15 © BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com So, the most important things to remember of amino-acids are the following: 1. There are two main categories of amino-acids essential and non-essential. The non-essential ones are produced by the body, while the essential ones aren’t so they have to be taken from foods. 2. Amino-acids are very important for the human body because their presence is linked to a wide variety of functions and system from muscular system to cognitive system including enzymes, connective tissues, antibodies, hormones, skin, hair, blood, and nails. 3. It is mandatory to maintain proper levels of amino-acids in the body so if it’s not possible through food, people should find alternative ways such as dietary supplements. 4. Amino-acids are, in fact, the building blocks for protein so people should search for foods that feature proteins. 5. Even though the proteins are generally obtained from meat and dietary foods, people who are either vegetarian or vegans have to possibility to take them from some vegetables, seeds and beans. 6. There are some “conditional essential amino-acids” which are actually one or more of the non-essential ones that aren’t produced by the body in required amounts due to medical conditions or aging. 7. Amino-acids influence cognitive functions such as mental alertness, concentration, focus, and memory, thus some issues may appear in this area as well if they lack from the organism. 8. Research points out that an individual needs 8 to 10 grams of essential amino-acids in order to stimulate protein synthesis, but if they come from a high-quality protein source such as whey, approximately 20 grams are needed. 9. Amino-acids don’t need to be digested because they enter the blood stream once they are eaten. 10. Amino-acids are utilized as precursors of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine and they have been shown to reduce symptoms linked to depression, while also enhancing mood in older adults.
  16. 16. 16 © BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com We hope you enjoy this presentation about the role of amino-acids in brain health and more information have been brought to the people so they can understand the importance of a proper dieting for health maintenance. We wish to remind you about the reliability of a balanced dieting that should include at least 10 grams of protein per day, whether from an animal, dietary, or vegetable source. We don’t claim that the usage of dietary supplements is harmful, nor that it is of very high quality for the body, but we encourage people to pay attention to the product labels, consult a healthcare provider, and stop the treatment if any side-effects occur. Depending on the composition of these natural remedies, some may appear to have no effect whatsoever, but this may be mainly because they don’t offer what the person requires. Therefore people should focus on their eating habits and if the decision to consume natural remedies exists, combine those with a healthy lifestyle and don’t expect to see results from one day to another.
  17. 17. 17 © BR Publishing 2013. All rights reserved. www.brainreference.com References Wagner, Ingrid; Musso, Hans (November 1983). "New Naturally Occurring Amino Acids". Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. "Biochemical pathways: an atlas of biochemistry and molecular biology" – Michal www.webmed.com www.naturalnews.com www.everydayhealth.com

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