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 Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University

nachricht New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

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: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Predicting unpredictability: Information theory offers new way to read ice cores

07.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

Sea ice hit record lows in November

07.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

New material could lead to erasable and rewriteable optical chips

07.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>