Amino acids are building blocks of all essential structural proteins for the human body and require specific nutrients for their metabolism and use. Among the functions that amino acids perform are: energy generation, synthesis of neurotransmitters and hormones, tissue growth and repair, immune function, maintenance of lean body mass and implication in inflammatory processes and glutathione formation for free radical detoxification. Furthermore, diet, lifestyle, hormonal status, stress, physical exercise, intestinal health and particular clinical conditions can influence the use and urinary secretion of amino acids.
Amino acid analysis measures essential and non-essential amino acids, intermediate metabolites involved in protein metabolism, and dietary markers related to food peptides. The amino acid metabolism requires specific nutrients and their detection is able to directly and indirectly highlight situations of food deficiencies, gastrointestinal imbalances or defects in the detox process.
This test offers important metabolic, nutritional and neurological clinical data. Amino acid imbalances are often related to attention deficit disorder, depression, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia. They could also highlight food deficits or excesses, pathologies affecting the liver or serve as an insight into the patient's gastrointestinal condition.
For these reasons, the urine amino acid test can be used to investigate some clinical scenarios:
The amino acid analysis is broken down as follows: