Amino acids are the building blocks of life.
Every cell in your body uses them. They are a major part of every structure in your body. And they support many body functions as well.
Amino acids are the basis for all proteins. You normally get them from eating protein in your diet. In fact, we need to eat certain amino acids regularly just to live. These are called essential amino acids.
But what do they have to do with slowing the effects of aging? As it turns out, plenty.
Let’s start with the basics. Eating enough high quality protein gives these health benefits.
- Helps prevent high blood pressure. Since high blood pressure is called “the silent killer,” you improve aging by lowering blood pressure.
- Helps prevent heart disease. Heart disease is one of the top 3 causes of death.
- Helps balance blood sugar and prevent afternoon fatigue. Fatigue is one symptom of aging.
- Improves insulin resistance. This lowers the chance of getting type 2 diabetes. Diabetes makes it more likely to have heart disease, cancer and other health problems.
- Helps build muscle. A major problem in aging is loss of strength. Protein helps reverse this. Of course you must still exercise to get the full value.
- Protein helps keep you from feeling hungry after a meal. That means you are less likely to snack or eat sweets. Your weight normalizes.
So far, so good. But there are more benefits to eating high quality protein. For instance, it increases bone density more than a high carb diet when combined with exercise. Bone fractures are a major precipitating factor for early death in people over 50.
Protein also improves free testosterone levels. More testosterone equals more energy and greater strength.
The best protein source for someone depends a person’s Metabolic Type®. Some types do better with heavy proteins. Beef, dark meat poultry and fatty fish are on their best list. Other types need much lighter proteins. White meat chicken, lighter fish and vegetable sources of protein work best for them.
Of course just eating protein does not insure getting the good from it. You also have to digest it. This is a bigger problem as you age. Levels of digestive enzymes decrease. So does stomach acid. You need both to digest protein well.
The way to fix this is by taking extra enzymes and HCL. People in their twenties and thirties have lots of enzymes. Enzyme levels go down with age. That is why it makes sense to supplement with them as you get older.
For digesting proteins, you need proteolytic enzymes. The most common in pill form are bromelain and papain. Both come from plant sources.
Proteolytic enzymes also reduce parasites and lower inflammation.
HCL is hydrochloric acid. It is what your body uses to digest proteins. If you try enzymes but feel you can get more from your food, this would be the next thing to try. It also helps absorb vital nutrients. These include beta-carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, folic acid, B-12 and C.
As always, when starting any new supplement, monitor your response. If you have any unwanted symptoms, stop taking it and see your doctor.
Following these guidelines you will get enough protein. And by eating and absorbing enough high quality protein, you can slow the effects of aging.
All the best to you for your health and happiness,
Liebovitz, B. Nutrition update: The best anticatabolic nutrients for natural bodybuilders: a summary. All Natural Muscular Development. 34(2):209, 1997.
Kelly, G. S. Hydrochloric acid: physiological functions and clinical implications. Alternative Medicine Review. 2(2):116-127, 1997.
Leipner, J., et al. Therapy with proteolytic enzymes in rheumatic disorders. BioDrugs. 15(12):779-789, 2001.