Navigation Links
AgriLife scientist: Functional amino acids regulate key metabolic pathways
Date:11/19/2010

COLLEGE STATION - Functional amino acids play a critical role in the development of both animals and humans, according to a Texas AgriLife Research scientist.

In a journal article appearing in the American Society for Nutrition (Advances in Nutrition 1:31-37, 2010), Dr. Guoyao Wu, AgriLife Research animal nutritionist and senior faculty fellow in the department of animal science at Texas A&M University, calls for scientists to "think out of the box" and place more emphasis on this area of study.

"We need to move forward and capitalize on the potential of functional amino acids in improving health and animal production," he said.

A functional amino acid is an amino acid that can regulate key metabolic pathways to improve health, growth, development and reproduction of animals and humans, Wu said.

"This involves cell signaling through amino acids and their metabolites, and the metabolic pathways may include protein synthesis, antioxidative reactions and oxidation of energy substrates," he said. "A functional amino acid can be either a 'nonessential' or an 'essential' amino acid."

Past research emphasis has focused primarily on essential amino acids. However, Wu says both essential amino acids and non-essential amino acids should be taken into consideration.

"This is important when formulating balanced diets to maximize growth performance in livestock species, poultry and fish," he said. "It is also recommended that nonessential amino acids be provided to humans to prevent growth retardation and chronic diseases."

Wu's previous research discovered that arginine, an amino acid, contributes many positive benefits in growth and embryo development in pigs, sheep and rats. Arginine also aids in fighting obesity. Wu has identified this as an important area for expanded research on new amino acids and health.

"Currently in the U.S., more than 60 percent of adults are overweight or obese," he said. "Globally, more than 300 million adults are obese and more than 1 billion are overweight. Also, a large number of children in the U.S. and other countries are overweight or obese. The most urgent needs of new research in amino acids and health are the roles of functional amino acids in the treatment and prevention of obesity and its associated cardiovascular dysfunction."

Wu also said that dietary supplementation with arginine can help improve meat quality in pigs prior to slaughter.

The two top scientific discoveries in the field of amino acids and health over the past two decades are nitric oxide synthesis from arginine and the role of amino acids in cell signaling.

"An important area of research in the next few years may be to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms whereby some amino acids (e.g., arginine) can regulate metabolic pathways in animals and humans," he said. "An example is how arginine reduces obesity and ameliorates the metabolic syndrome, and how elevated levels of leucine may contribute to mitochondrial dysfunction and insulin resistance (including vascular resistance) in obese subjects."

He said "unquestionably" recent advances in understanding functional amino acids are "expanding our basic knowledge of protein metabolism and transforming practices of nutrition worldwide."

Though nutritional studies conducted on animals have benefited human health, Wu suggests that caution should be taken to "extrapolate animal data to humans" as dietary requirements differ from one species to another.

Wu said that humans need diets with balanced portions of amino acids for cardiovascular and reproductive health.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Guoyao Wu
g-wu@tamu.edu
979-845-1817
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. AgriLife Research scientists complete two-year study on short-day onions
2. AgriLife research hibiscus breeder comes up with the blue
3. AgriLife scientists do groundwork for genetic mapping of algae biofuel species
4. Texas AgriLife researchers helping
5. Unique winter-hardy hibiscus has roots with AgriLife Research scientist in Vernon
6. Neuroscientist: Think twice about cutting music in schools
7. U of I scientist: Public policy should promote family mealtimes
8. Nanoengineers aim to grow tissues with functional blood vessels
9. Structural defects precede functional decline in heart muscle
10. Mass. General researchers develop functional, transplantable rat liver grafts
11. Compression clothing and athletic performance -- functional or fad?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/16/2017)... 2017  Genos, a community for personal genetic ... received Laboratory Accreditation from the College of American ... laboratories that meet stringent requirements around quality, accuracy ... "Genos is committed to maintaining the ... honored to be receiving CAP accreditation," said ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... SAN FRANCISCO , Feb. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... a centralized platform that is designed to enhance ... the latest release in the RSA Fraud & ... to enable organizations to leverage additional insights from ... anti-fraud tools to better protect their customers from ...
(Date:2/10/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... Commercial Aspects" to their offering. ... Biomarkers play an important ... selection of treatment as well for monitoring the results. There ... modern medicine. Biochip/microarray technologies and next generation sequencing are also ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/28/2017)... -- Summary This report provides all the ... partnering interests and activities since 2010. Description The Partnering ... into the partnering activity of one of the world,s leading ... prepared upon purchase to ensure inclusion of the most up ... will be delivered in PDF format within 1 working day ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... March 28, 2017  Viking Therapeutics, Inc. ("Viking") (NASDAQ: ... of novel therapies for metabolic and endocrine disorders, today ... , Ph.D., will deliver a corporate presentation at H.C. ... Conference, being held April 3, 2017 at the St. ... for this presentation are as follows: ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... Currently symptomatic therapies for ... recent study published in STEM CELLS suggests that human neural stem cell (hNSC) ... to produce more neural cells. , Strategies involving transplantation of these cells ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... Triangle Park, NC (PRWEB) , ... March 28, ... ... development company engaged in the development of a new orally administered treatment for ... Advisory Board. , CEO John Didsbury states, “As we seek to uniquely treat ...
Breaking Biology Technology: