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Non-essential Amino acids – Asparagine, Aspartic Acid, Carnitine, Citrulline, Cysteine, Cystine

Asparagine is of therapeutic use in brain and neurological imbalances. This amino acid increases the resistance to fatigue, thereby stepping up the stamina of athletes. It enhances the smooth functioning of the liver.
Aspartic acid is a non essential amino acid which is crucial for general body metabolism. It is found in plants, especially in sprouting seeds. In protein, it exists mainly as asparagine.
Carnitine is a non essential amino acid which is present in muscle and organ meats and synthesized in liver. The supply of carnitine depends upon the ingestion of some essential amino acids particularly lysine and methionine. An adequate amount of vitamin C is also necessary. Men seems to have a greater need for carnitine than women. Carnitine plays an important function in the metabolism of fat and the reduction of triglycerides in the body. It is also useful supplement in cases of muscular dystrophy and cardiac ischemia.
Citrulline is found mainly in the liver and is a major component of the urea cycle. It is found in abundance in plant foods such as onion and garlic. This non-essential amino acid is useful for detoxification of ammonia and in the treatment of fatigue. A precursor to the essential amino acids arginine and ornithine, citrulline can influence the production of the growth hormone.
Cystine is a sulphur containing non essential amino acid. It is a stable form of the sulphur rich amino acid cysteine. The body is capable of converting one to the other as required. The metabolic states of the formation of these two amino acids are methionine -> cystathionine -> cysteine -> cystine.
In chronic disease, it appears that the formation of cysteine from methionine is prevented. It is therefore essential to restore adequate levels of cysteine or cystine in such cases. Cystine provides resistance to the body against harmful effects by building up white blood cell activity. It is essential for the proper functioning of the skin and helps in recovery from surgery. It promotes the formation of carotene which helps hair growth. The flexibility of skin, as well as the texture is influenced by cysteine as it has the ability to protect collagen, the connective tissue protein. Cystine protects the body against damage caused by alcohol and cigarette smoking. It also reduces lung damage resulting from smoking.
The main sources of cystine are whole grains, soya beans, and leafy vegetables. Cystine is used in the treatment of skin diseases, for low count of white blood cells, and in some cases, for anemia.
Some stones in kidney are made up of uric acid or the amino acid cystine. To prevent formation of such stones, large quantities of fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits are recommended. Excessive loss of cystine in the urine is said to be a hereditary disorder.

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