A closer look at amino acidsProtein is essential for our bodies. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and they effect everything from metabolism to hair growth. They are vital as part of a healthy, balanced diet and have many benefits.

Here we take a look at some important Amino Acids that need to be included in our diets.

Cysteine

Cysteine improves the immune system because it is responsible for maintaining healthy glutathione levels. Cysteine helps make up keratin needed for hair growth and conditioning.

Cysteine can be obtained by eating poultry and dairy, broccoli and whole grains.

Lysine

This helps protect skin and hair, keeping it healthy and strong. Lysine helps stimulate collagen production. It therefore helps repair damaged hair.

Lysine can be found in fish such as salmon, dairy, poultry and nuts and pulses.

L-Carnitine

L-Carnitine helps produce energy and is great for muscles and circulation. Good circulation to the scalp helps promote hair growth.

Methionine

This helps prevent hair loss. It helps make up keratin and collaged (procollagen). It is an important antioxidant and protects hair from the elements and the factors that can cause hair loss.

Good sources of Methionine include eggs, leafy greens and nuts.

L-arginine

One of the most important amino acids for muscle growth and to fight against hair loss. It enhances the immune system and helps fight disease-related hair loss. It can also protect hair that is coloured or bleached regularly and promotes blood flow to the scalp for strong hair production.

Good sources of the amino acid arginine can be found in fish, dairy, meat such as beef, poultry, chick peas and nuts or seeds.

Hair needs keratin to grow and amino acids are needed for this. Hair (as well as skin) also needs collagen, which relies on the amino acids lysine, methionine, glycine and proline.

Boosting our intake of amino acids via our diet can help fight against hair loss and promote strong, new hair growth and healthy hair follicles that are less likely to snap or break.

While some types of hair thinning and baldness are beyond our control (such as genetic baldness), obtaining proteins can give us a better chance of having a healthy head of hair.

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By Ian Watson

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