Amino Acid Supplements Therapy for Addiction
Amino acids are the breakdown products of proteins, some of which are not readily available in diet and need to be supplemented in a concentrated form. They are the building blocks of proteins. Proteins play a very important role in maintaining our health and make up a big part of the diet. The three main macronutrients found in food include carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Proteins are required in our diet, as they are an important building block of muscle and brain tissue and are an important part for addiction treatment.
What Are Amino Acids and Why Do We Need Them?
Amino acids, derived from protein intake, are precursors to brain chemicals such as serotonin, a natural anti-depressant-like chemical produced in the brain. Serotonin requires the amino acid tryptophan, found in foods such as turkey, for its production. Without the proper amino acids in our diet, our brains can become depleted of these crucial chemicals, otherwise known as neurotransmitters.
Neurotransmitter depletion can not only lead to depression, it is also connected with insomnia, Attention Deficit Disorder, anxiety, memory loss, weight gain and addiction disorders.
Can’t You Get Amino Acids From Food?
The amino acid profile of various proteins varies greatly. Foods that contain protein, whether they are vegetarian or animal in origin, contain different combinations of amino acids. While we do need to keep up our overall daily intake of protein to maintain our health, proper neurotransmitter balance cannot always be achieved through diet alone.
Protein intake increases the level of amino acids circulating around in the blood stream. Once proteins are broken down into amino acids by the digestive system, they are then released into the blood stream. In order for these amino acids to be taken up into the brain, they have to be carried across the blood-brain barrier using a specific transport system.
This transport system will not help to correct amino acid imbalances within the brain. For example, if you have become depleted in serotonin because of high stress, dietary deficiencies or other lifestyle factors, the tryptophan uptake will not increase in any capacity across the blood-brain barrier.
The Role of Amino Acid Supplementation
So, how can we increase the amount of serotonin in the brain utilizing tryptophan as a precursor? The answer lies in the timing of supplementation.
Between meals, the levels of circulating amino acids in the bloodstream decreases. By supplementing with an individual amino acid when one is between meals, we are allowing that particular amino acid to become more available to be taken up by the transporter at the blood-brain barrier. Once the amino acid supplement is taken up in the brain, it can then be used for neurotransmitter production.
What Is Amino Acid Therapy Used For?
Amino acid therapy is often used to help address withdrawal symptoms and aids addiction therapy. Each neurotransmitter has a specific amino acid, which is required for its synthesis and plays a particular role within the brain and body.
Amino Acid Therapy at Ranch Creek Recovery
At Ranch Creek Recovery, our experienced staff is dedicated to your individual well-being. Contact us today to learn more about our addiction treatment programs. Our testing and evaluating physicians have been setting the standard for proper amino acid therapy in Southern California for years.