Non essential amino acids are amino acids that can be produced in our body. Most of them are produced from glucose. Of course, they are also found in the diet, in both plant and animal foods.

The difference between non-essential and essential amino acids is that the later must be obtained from food sources and supplements.

The uses and functions of non-essential amino acids are equally as important as the essential (limiting) amino acids.

Functions of Non-Essential Amino Acids

Below is a list of the 12 non-essential amino acids with their functions and benefits, and side effects (if any).

Alanine removes toxic substances released from breakdown of muscle protein during intensive exercise. Side effects: Excessive alanine level in the body is associated with chronic fatigue.

Cysteine is a component of a protein type abundant in nails, skin and hair. It acts as antioxidant (free radical scavenger), and has synergetic effect when taken with other antioxidants such as vitamin E and selenium.

Cystine, the same as cysteine, helos in removal of toxins and formation of skin.

Glutamine promotes healthy brain function. It is also necessary for the synthesis of RNA and DNA molecules.

Glutathione is antioxidant and has anti-aging effect. It is useful in removal of toxins.

Glycine is a component of skin and is beneficial for wound healing. It acts as neurotransmitter. The side effect of high level glycine in the body is that it may cause fatigue.

Histidine is important for the synthesis of red and white blood cells. It is a precursor for histamine which is good for sexual arousal. Improve blood flow. Side effects of high dosage of histidine include stress and anxiety.

Serine is constituent of brain proteins and aids in the synthesis of immune system proteins. It is also good for muscle growth. See here for serine food sources.

Taurine is necessary for proper brain function and synthesis of amino acids. It is important in the assimilation of mineral nutrients such as magnesium, calcium and potassium.

Threonine balances protein level in the body. It promotes immune system. It is also beneficial for the synthesis of tooth enamel and collagen. See here for foods high in threonine.

Asparagine helps promote equilibrium in the central nervous system—aids in balancing state of emotion.

Apartic acid enhances stamina, aids in removal of toxins and ammonia from the body, and beneficial in the synthesis of proteins involved in the immune system. See here for asparic food sources.

Proline plays role in intracellular signalling.

L-arginine plays role in blood vessel relaxation, stimulating and maintaining erection in men, production of ejaculate, and removal of excess ammonia from the body. Argenine is non-essential for healthy persons but It is essential amino acid for infants and adults with heavily compromised health condition, thus it is called sem-essential amino acid. Find here high arginine foods list.


Related links:
Essential amino acids: definition and functions