Non-Essential Amino Acid Errors: Metabolic Lottery

June 3rd, 2010

Our body does not come with a guarantee. Just because we are designed to synthesize and metabolize  non-essential amino acids, does not mean everyone is able to. Every system, no matter how well designed can suffer from flaws, and human body is not an exception.  Metabolic flaws have major impact on how our body uses nutrients and facilitates the function of cells, tissues and organs.  They are  dispersed with lottery like odds. But instead of winning thousands of dollars, metabolic lottery costs the sufferers thousands of dollars in therapies that help them live until the cure is found.

There are unlucky few born with major errors in non-essential amino acid metabolism. There are no rules. That can be our mother, sister, father, child, a neighbor, stranger crossing a street, anyone. And while we enjoy our steaks, live, run, laugh and take our health for granted, they have to struggle every day to survive. And they would give anything to switch places.

So what prevents them? The inborn pre-exiting metabolic disorder of non-essential amino acids.  Or in plain English, they either cannot synthesize non-essential amino acids or they cannot use them once they are synthesized. Each brings significant challenges.

Some diseases caused by errors in non-essential amino acids metabolism errors are :

  • Alanine
    • Lactic Acidosis
  • Arginine
    • Hyperargininaemia
  • Cysteine
    • Cystinosis and Cystinuria
  • Glutamine
    • Congenital brain dysgenesis
  • Glutamate
    • Pyroglutamic Acidaemia
  • Glycine
    • Nonketotic Hyperglycinaemia and Ketotic Hyperglycinaemia
  • Proline
    • Hyperprolineaemia I and II
  • Serine
    • Hyperoxaluri II
  • Tyrosine
    • Transient Tyrosinemia, Tyrosinemia type I and  II, Alkaptonuria, Oculocutaneous Albinism

Many require life long therapy and diet tailored to minimize the harmful consequences of the condition.  Some disorders, such as albinism, are mild. While it causes total absence of skin pigment, it is not life threatening and is rarely accompanied by associated symptoms such as heart conditions, poor eyesight and photo sensitivity. Other disorders carry higher stakes. Congenital Brain Dysgenesis  for example, causes severe brain damage reducing life of a newborn to mere weeks following birth.

Like any disorder, non-essential amino acid metabolic errors  are possible and carry real risks.  Thankfully medicine keeps coming up with new ways to screen and treat metabolic disorders.

For more information on amino acid supplements visit Herbal Diet.

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