Medical Potential in All Amino Acids
Amino acids are essential to medicine!
Amino acids are used for treatment and to improve nutrition.
Amino acids are used as main ingredients in medicines!
Medical Use of Amino Acids Pioneered in Japan
Japan was the first country in the world to make a medical infusion containing high-quality amino acids. This was done in 1956, and was designed to address nutritional deficiencies before and after surgery.
Development and Adoption of Amino Acid Infusions
Researchers developed amino acid-based infusions after first developing infusions with proteins. The initial attempts using protein infusions failed because when proteins were injected into the blood the body rejected them. This did not happen when researchers switched to amino acids. This showed that infusions needed to contain the amino acids that make up proteins and not the actual proteins.
High-calorie infusions are widely used in medicine today. These infusions contain the five major nutritional elements needed to sustain life: proteins, sugars, fats, vitamins and minerals. Since the body rejects proteins the infusions contain a mixture of amino acids instead of proteins.
Advances in amino acid production, especially fermentation, have made it possible to mass produce high-quality amino acids. This has lowered the cost of production and helped spread the use of amino acid infusions.
Amino Acid Infusions are Important for Patients' Nutrition Management
High quality amino acid solutions improve patient nutrition before and after of surgeries.They are widely used today for this reason.
Role of Amino Acids in Treating Liver Dysfunction
Persons suffering from liver dysfunction have low levels of the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) valine, leucine and isoleucine in their blood.
Not having enough of these amino acids can often cause encephalopathy (a condition that can lead to a coma). That's why researchers have developed BCAA formulas that are specifically designed to supplement a lack of amino acids and prevent encephalopathy. These formulas have been effective in treating liver dysfunction.
Improving Nutrition for Persons with Kidney Disease
When food proteins are eaten the amino acids are metabolized and eventually become urea, a waste product. If a person has chronic kidney disease their kidneys cannot filter as well. This causes urea and other waste products to collect in the blood. If the condition continues to worsen they often need artificial dialysis and cannot eat as much protein as they need.
However, eating a low-protein diet for an extended period of time can reduce the level of essential amino acids in the blood, causing a further decline in nutrition. By supplementing with the right amount of needed amino acids it is possible to maintain the patient's nutrition level and prevent the loss of kidney functions. These formulas consist mainly of essential amino acids that are important to maintaining body functions.
Amino acids by themselves give us many different benefits.
For example, glutamate is used for ulcer treatment and is also being closely studied for helping to repair gastrointestinal mucous membrane.
Arginine has been shown to help improve immune function. It can be used both in healthy individuals and after surgery when immune function is weakened. Taking arginine also helps intensive care and HIV patients.
Many medicines today use amino acids as pharmaceutical intermediates. These medicines including antibiotics, anti-hypertensive, hypoglycemic agents, and anti-virus drugs are used across the globe.
One example is Nateglinide, an oral diabetes drug developed by Ajinomoto Group. Drugs like these use the amino acids proline, valine and phenylalanine in addition to the non-proteinogenic amino acid D-phenylalanine as important ingredients.
Ajinomoto Group—A World Leader in Amino Acids for Medicine
Hydrolysis of wheat gluten or soybean protein produces a solution containing all 20 amino acids that make up proteins.
At first Ajinomoto Group only extracted glutamate from this solution. Further research was done to isolate the remaining amino acids and crystallize them. This made it possible to use the characteristics of each amino acid for medical purposes.
After conducting comprehensive research to isolate and purify amino acids Ajinomoto Group succeeded in isolating 18 amino acids by the early 1950s. Vials of these amino acids were supplied to researchers around the world and helped propel amino acid use into worldwide research.
Since then, the Ajinomoto Group has become the world’s leading supplier in this field as a comprehensive manufacturer of amino acids.