Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

AgriLife scientist: Functional amino acids regulate key metabolic pathways

22.11.2010
Functional amino acids play a critical role in the development of both animals and humans, according to a Texas AgriLife Research scientist.

In a journal article appearing in the American Society for Nutrition (Advances in Nutrition 1:31-37, 2010), Dr. Guoyao Wu, AgriLife Research animal nutritionist and senior faculty fellow in the department of animal science at Texas A&M University, calls for scientists to "think out of the box” and place more emphasis on this area of study.

"We need to move forward and capitalize on the potential of functional amino acids in improving health and animal production," he said.

A functional amino acid is an amino acid that can regulate key metabolic pathways to improve health, growth, development and reproduction of animals and humans, Wu said.

"This involves cell signaling through amino acids and their metabolites, and the metabolic pathways may include protein synthesis, antioxidative reactions and oxidation of energy substrates," he said. "A functional amino acid can be either a 'nonessential' or an 'essential' amino acid."

Past research emphasis has focused primarily on essential amino acids. However, Wu says both essential amino acids and non-essential amino acids should be taken into consideration.

"This is important when formulating balanced diets to maximize growth performance in livestock species, poultry and fish," he said. "It is also recommended that nonessential amino acids be provided to humans to prevent growth retardation and chronic diseases."

Wu's previous research discovered that arginine, an amino acid, contributes many positive benefits in growth and embryo development in pigs, sheep and rats. Arginine also aids in fighting obesity. Wu has identified this as an important area for expanded research on new amino acids and health.

"Currently in the U.S., more than 60 percent of adults are overweight or obese," he said. "Globally, more than 300 million adults are obese and more than 1 billion are overweight. Also, a large number of children in the U.S. and other countries are overweight or obese. The most urgent needs of new research in amino acids and health are the roles of functional amino acids in the treatment and prevention of obesity and its associated cardiovascular dysfunction."

Wu also said that dietary supplementation with arginine can help improve meat quality in pigs prior to slaughter.

The two top scientific discoveries in the field of amino acids and health over the past two decades are nitric oxide synthesis from arginine and the role of amino acids in cell signaling.

"An important area of research in the next few years may be to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms whereby some amino acids (e.g., arginine) can regulate metabolic pathways in animals and humans," he said. "An example is how arginine reduces obesity and ameliorates the metabolic syndrome, and how elevated levels of leucine may contribute to mitochondrial dysfunction and insulin resistance (including vascular resistance) in obese subjects."

He said "unquestionably" recent advances in understanding functional amino acids are "expanding our basic knowledge of protein metabolism and transforming practices of nutrition worldwide."

Though nutritional studies conducted on animals have benefited human health, Wu suggests that caution should be taken to "extrapolate animal data to humans" as dietary requirements differ from one species to another.

Wu said that humans need diets with balanced portions of amino acids for cardiovascular and reproductive health.

Dr. Guoyao Wu | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tamu.edu

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht New technique reveals details of forest fire recovery
17.05.2018 | DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory

nachricht Mixed forests: ecologically and economically superior
09.05.2018 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>