Natural Products Insider

SEP-OCT 2017

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96 INSIDER September/October 2017 Taurine also has been tied to better muscle performance. Research found supplementation with taurine improved muscle performance and reduced muscle damage and oxidative stress. 8 However, it did not affect infl ammatory response after eccentric exercise in males, Antony noted. "Taurine was administered at 50 mg/kg body mass per day for 21 days beginning 14 days before the eccentric protocol and continuing throughout the seven-day post-exercise period." In sports nutrition, popular amino acid products include powders and ready-to- drink (RTD) beverages. "Amino acids are delivered in many forms. The most popular delivery format in the sports nutrition market is through powder, but RTD beverages have gained a lot of traction and are a growing category," Lovett said. Amino Acids Boost Immunity Sports nutrition and immune health go together and, as Antony noted, "Heavy training load schedules render athletes prone to infectious diseases, indicating that training hinders immune function." However, infectious diseases can affect anyone, and studies are examining amino acids' effects on immune health. Glutamine is normally considered to be a nonessential amino acid. Yet, recent studies have pointed to evidence that glutamine may become "conditionally essential" during infl ammatory conditions such as infection and injury. It is documented that under appropriate conditions, glutamine is essential for cell proliferation, and can act as a respiratory fuel and enhance the function of stimulated immune cells, according to a review. 9 "Glutamine provides fuel for enhancing muscle repair, boosting the immune system and through its antioxidant effects, helps in glutathione synthesis," Antony added. One study found supplementation with 10 g of glutamine orally once a day infl uenced immune function by reducing the immunosuppressive effects of heavy load training. 10 Methionine also has been shown to improve immune health. A study found a low-protein diet consisting of 1.7 g of methionine followed by a high-protein diet of 4.5 g of methionine helped activate the immune system. 11 Cystine, a dipeptide of cysteine, is a precursor of glutathione that mediates antioxidant activity in the body, Antony said. Oral administration of cystine improved antibody production in the elderly with a lowered immune response at the time of fl u vaccination. 12 Another study found long-distance runners who supplemented with cystine in combination with theanine for 10 days prior to start of training showed a signifi cant increase in hs-CRP and neutrophil count compared to placebo, suggesting supplementation with amino acids may be effective for preventing fever or poor physical conditions, as well as for reducing the symptoms of infectious diseases. 13 Cognitive Health and Amino Acids Amino acids have been shown to affect cognitive health. From improving sleepiness to mood, studies examining their effect on the brain have shown interesting results. For instance, glycine was found to improve the occasional sleepiness and fatigue induced by lack of sleep. 14 An amino acid that can help boost energy and improve mood is tryptophan. "Tryptophan helps in the manufacture of serotonin, that calms the nervous system and improves sleep," Antony said. A study found supplementation with a tryptophan- rich bioavailable dietary supplement from egg protein hydrolysate at a dose of 0.5 g twice per day for 19 days in mentally and physically healthy women showed an increase in energy, shorter reaction times and a feeling of happiness before bed time, indicating a benefi cial effect on emotional and cognitive functions, according to Antony. 15 Formulating Amino Acid Products Although formulation can present challenges, various formats are available that manufacturers can use to make successful products packed with amino acids. "The supplement mixture needs to be formulated to comply with food industry standards, accommodate solubility and palatability issues, and have minimal adverse impacts," Antony said. One challenge for amino acids related to formulation is selecting an oral delivery system that doesn't compromise their benefi ts. "Designing oral amino acid delivery systems is a challenge due to unfavorable physicochemical properties of amino acids," Antony noted. Most amino acids are available in oral delivery formats such as powders and liquid shakes, in products such as whey protein. New products are exploring time- release patch formulas, according to Antony. "Recently eight-hour time-release patch formulas have been introduced in the market. The presence and inclusion of three key amino acids—leucine, isoleucine and valine—have been demonstrated to serve as a better delivery system for faster absorption," he said, adding drinks with BCAAs have become popular, especially those with fruit fl avors. Amino acids support a strong, healthy body, and formulating products that offer essential and nonessential amino acids will help target and improve varying areas of health. Amino Acids For a list of references, email references@naturalproductsINSIDER.com Although formulation can present challenges, various formats are available that manufacturers can use to make successful products packed with amino acids.

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