What is Ketogenic Amino Acids

ketogenic amino acids
Medical review by Natalie Butler, R.D., L.D.    
Essential keto amino acids

As you remember, all proteins are composed of amino acids, and a lack of at least one of them can significantly reduce the quality of the protein. To prevent its breakdown and loss of muscle mass, during the period of adherence to a ketogenic diet, the diet should be enriched with certain amino acids.

They are divided into glucogenic and ketogenic depending on what you can get from them – glucose or ketone bodies. There are also combined glucogenic and ketogenic amino acids.

In human bodies, only two of them are exclusively ketogenic:

  • leucine
  • lysine

While the other five are combined:

  •  phenylalanine
  • isoleucine
  • tyrosine
  • threonine
  • tryptophan

The Importance of keto amino acids For Your Metabolism

The metabolic process of ketogenesis occurs primarily in the liver since the long-chain fatty acids (LCFA) derived from triglycerides split into adipose tissue (lipolysis). Another potential endogenous source for the formation of ketone bodies is given by the so-called ketogenic amino acid, or phenylalanine, tyrosine, threonine, tryptophan, isoleucine, leucine, and lysine.

However, leucine, lysine and are only considered ketogenic because others can also be used to convert to glucose in the process of gluconeogenesis. It is argued that ketogenic amino acids make a significant contribution to this process.

However, five or six ketogenic amino acids are essential and their breakdown in response to ketogenesis can significantly affect protein metabolism and the entire state of the body. There is, however, little attention to roles and functions, and the importance of the clinical ketogenic amino acid and available information is present only in a limited number of medical journals.

Glucogenic and Ketogenic Amino Acids

Glycogenic amino acids include those whose catabolism forms direct glucose precursors involved in gluconeogenesis – pyruvate, oxaloacetate, phosphoenoylpyruvate (there are 14 such amino acids), either in fats (ketogenic, one amino acid), or in carbohydrates and fats ( glycogenic and ketogenic).

The most important process in the conversion of amino acids is the removal of the amino group and its substitution with oxygen to form keto acids, which are then used as energy sources. Amine nitrogen released during oxidative deamination is drawn into the ornithine cycle for the subsequent formation of urea. The keto acids formed during oxidative deamination are further oxidized in the tricarboxylic acid cycle or are used to form other substances.

By the ability to form acetoacetic acid and glucose, one group of amino acids belongs to glycogenic (interchangeable), and the other to ketogenic (leucine, lysine, tryptophan). A number of them (methionine, cysteine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, tyrosine) by the method of their conversion can belong to either one or the other group.

In addition to the direct transitions of the metabolites of these classes of substances into each other, there is a close energy connection, when the energy needs can be provided by the oxidation of any one class of organic substances with insufficient intake of others by food. The importance of proteins (in particular, enzymes, hormones, etc.) in the exchange of all types of chemical compounds is too obvious and does not require evidence.

The importance of proteins and amino acids for the synthesis of a number of specialized compounds (purine and pyrimidine nucleotides, porphyrins, biogenic amines, etc.) was previously noted. Ketogenic amino acids forming acetoacetic acid (acetoacetyl-CoA) during the exchange can directly participate in the synthesis of fatty acids and sterols. Glycogen amino acids can be used similarly through acetyl-CoA but after prior conversion to pyruvate.

In the 40-50s of the XX century it was found that the carbon skeletons of 12 amino acids can be converted to carbohydrates (glycogenic alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, methionine, proline, serine, threonine, valine, cysteine), and to fats (ketogenic amino acid – leucine) as well as fats and carbohydrates (glycogenic and ketogenic – isoleucine, lysine, tryptophan, tyrosine, phenylalanine).

Ramping Up The Effectiveness of your Efforts

As you know, intensive prolonged training causes catabolic processes, manifested by the breakdown of muscle tissue proteins, and the amino acids formed in this process are used to generate energy. In parallel, ammonia levels dramatically increase in blood and muscles. These changes persist for more than an hour after the end of physical activity.

The accumulation of ammonia is a negative factor that reduces exercise tolerance, increases fatigue and, as a result, reduces athletic performance. The inclusion of alpha-keto analogs (BCAA) in the NMP of highly qualified athletes with the aim of replacing some of the essential amino acids to reduce the formation of nitrogenous “waste” of metabolism is one of the new promising directions for increasing the endurance and tolerance of heavy and long workouts.

The Ultimate Ketogenic Amino Acids Supplement

Amino acids are a source of energy, accelerate the set of muscle mass and the recovery of the body after training, suppress the processes of catabolism (negatively affects muscle growth), provide fat burning.

In the form of food additives, they are absorbed by the body much faster than in the composition of products, since digestion is not required. In addition, amino acids (additives) are presented in higher concentrations, which increases the convenience of administration (several capsules or tablets against bulk food).

It is worth knowing that nutritional supplements do not replace natural products since their task is to make up for the insufficient amount of substances necessary for muscle development. Amino acids are also effective only in combination with proper nutrition and optimally selected training.

Separate – one amino acid (arginine, ornithine, glutamine, citrulline, and others) or a group of amino acids with the same properties (BCAA). Used to control and direct individual biochemical processes in the right direction. Thus, various parameters can be influenced, such as muscle growth, fat burning, strength or endurance.

Complex (“fast protein”) – contains the entire spectrum of amino acids (interchangeable and irreplaceable), which ensure the development and growth of muscle tissue. Disadvantage: relatively high price and small doses per serving.

Why you need Ketogenic Aminos?

Ketogenic amino can delay the process of protein destruction, and thus have an anti-catabolic effect. In addition, a decrease in urinary protein excretion contributes to an increase in serum albumin and maintenance of nutritional status at normal boundaries.

Effect on phosphorus-calcium metabolism. The use of calcium salts of BCCA allows you to do without additional calcium supplements. This is convenient when taking a parallel course of vitamin D.

Effect on disorders of carbohydrate and fat metabolism. Keto analogs increase the sensitivity of tissues to insulin.

Effect of metabolic acidosis. Metabolic acidosis that occurs during intensive and prolonged training plays a significant negative role in changes in protein metabolism, glucose tolerance, and bone metabolism. VSKA in chronic use reduces the manifestations of acidosis.

Antioxidant effects. BCAAs have a positive effect on the lipid peroxidation of erythrocyte membranes, which increases with physical exertion and reflects an increase in the production of oxidative free radicals.

FAQ

What amino acids are ketogenic and Glucogenic?

Amino acids, which are converted into pyruvate and intermediate products of CTK (α-KG, succinyl-CoA, fumarate) and ultimately form oxaloacetate, can be used in the process of gluconeogenesis. Such amino acids belong to the group of glycogenic amino acids.

In the process of catabolism, some amino acids are converted to acetoacetate (Lys, Lei) or acetyl-CoA (Lei) and can be used in the synthesis of ketone bodies. Such amino acids are called ketogenic.

Which amino acids are strictly ketogenic?

The true ketogenic acid is only LEY, the rest are not true, because part of their carbon atoms is used for the synthesis of ketone bodies, and the other part for the synthesis of H, so they will be called ketoglycogenes more correctly.

What are ketogenic amino acids used for?

It is important for a person to receive amino acids both essential and irreplaceable when eating because their deficiency can cause serious health complications. After eating, chewing, and digestive enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract, the intestines absorb the simple substances available for assimilation – amino acids, monosaccharides, monoglycerides, and fatty acids, after which they enter the bloodstream and are delivered to the liver, where they undergo transformations.

There they are spent on:

  • plastic processes, the purpose of which is the formation of new tissues;
  • formation of reserve substances (glycogen, fats);
  • burning glucose obtained by digestion (after delivery to tissues with blood) to produce energy.

Depending on the amino acids contained in food, proteins are:

  • Native – are full-fledged due to the fact that they contain a complete set of twenty amino acids. Meals containing these proteins include meat, fish, seafood, poultry, eggs, and cheese;
  • Not native – are not complete, because they do not have all 20 amino acids necessary for a full life of a person. These compounds predominate in the product: soy, legumes, nuts, a number of cereals and vegetables.

Is glycine Glucogenic or ketogenic?

It is Glucogenic.

Can amino acids be used for energy?

The process of obtaining energy by muscles during high-intensity training is quite complex and complex. A substantial part of the energy necessary for it is not obtained from carbohydrates at all.

When contracting, during the first few seconds, the muscles use the reserves of adenosine triphosphate (ATP, a vital substance for energy processes in all living cells). Creatine phosphate is used to immediately replenish ATP reserves, which, in turn, is synthesized from three amino acids: arginine, methionine, and glycine. To maintain high levels of ATP, these amino acids must be present in our blood.

Conclusion

  • Acquire amino acids of well-known brands and only in specialized stores. Fake ones will not give the desired effect and will harm health.
  • High-quality powder amino acids are highly soluble in water (except BCAA). The authenticity of powdered preparations (BCAA) is also indicated by their bitter taste.
  • The consistency and color of the drug match the description on the label.
  • When buying them, make sure the integrity of the package and check the expiration date of the drug.
  • Although they combine well with protein and other types of sports nutrition (such as gainer or creatine), they should not be taken at the same time, as this significantly reduces the rate of absorption.
  • Before use, carefully read the instructions.

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