Essential Amino Acids (EEAs)
Essential Amino Acids, often referred to as EAAs, are termed ‘essential’ as they must be obtained via the diet as they can’t be synthesised by the body.
Often referred to as the building blocks of proteins, amino acids are compounds that play many critical roles in the body, needed for vital processes like the building of proteins and synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters.
Most recognized for their role in muscle development and repair, EEA deficiencies can negatively impact the entire body including the nervous, reproductive, immune and digestive systems.
When protein is digested, it’s broken down into amino acids, which are then used to help the body with various processes such as building muscle and regulating immune function. Thus, when a diet is protein-deficient, especially during winter on a low-quality hay diet, an EAA complex supplement can help support these vital processes.
The nine Essential Amino Acids are: Leucine, Isoleucine, Valine, Lysine, Phenylalanine, Tryptophan, Threonine, Methionine and Histidine.
- 5g/100kg bodyweight per day, thus for an average 500kg horse add 25g daily to feed.
- Humans - 15g stirred/shaken into water.
Nutrition per 25g
These nine essential amino acids are at the core of many vital processes in the body:
- Phenylalanine Phenylalanine is a precursor for the neurotransmitters tyrosine, dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. It plays an integral role in the structure and function of proteins and enzymes and the production of other amino acids.
- Valine Valine is one of three branched-chain amino acids, meaning it has a chain branching off to one side of its molecular structure. Valine helps stimulate muscle growth and regeneration and is involved in energy production.
- Threonine Threonine is a principal part of structural proteins such as collagen and elastin, which are important components of the skin and connective tissue. It also plays a role in fat metabolism and immune function.
- Tryptophan Though often associated with causing drowsiness, tryptophan has many other functions. It’s needed to maintain proper nitrogen balance and is a precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates appetite, sleep and mood.
- Methionine Methionine plays an important role in metabolism and detoxification. It’s also necessary for tissue growth and the absorption of the vital minerals zinc and selenium.
- Leucine Like valine, leucine is a branched-chain amino acid that is critical for protein synthesis and muscle repair. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels, stimulates wound healing and produces growth hormones.
- Isoleucine The last of the three branched-chain amino acids, isoleucine is involved in muscle metabolism and is heavily concentrated in muscle tissue. It’s also important for immune function, hemoglobin production and energy regulation.
- Lysine Lysine plays major roles in protein synthesis, hormone and enzyme production and the absorption of calcium. It’s also important for energy production, immune function and the production of collagen and elastin.
- Histidine Histidine is used to produce histamine, a neurotransmitter that is vital to immune response, digestion, sexual function and sleep-wake cycles. It’s critical for maintaining the myelin sheath, a protective barrier that surrounds the nerve cells.