The 3 Types of Amino Acids: And How They Make the Difference in Your Health

Amino acids are the foundation of biology.

Muscle protein is made of amino acids. Most of your neurotransmitters are made from amino acids. Glutathione, the most important detox molecule in biology is made from amino acids. Enzymes that break down food and catalyze biochemical reactions are made from amino acids. Collagen is a combination of amino acids.



In short, your health depends on amino acids.
Therefore, the more you know about these critical building blocks of life, the greater health you can cultivate.

There are thousands of amino acids found in nature, but when it comes to biology living cells of everything from plants to elephants to humans only use a set of 20. And these 20 break down to 3 basic categories: Essential, Non-Essential, and Conditionally Essential.

Essential Amino Acids

This term refers to amino acids that cannot be made by the cells, so they must be obtained through diet. They are different for every organism, so let’s focus on humans.

This is particularly interesting because it actually changes as we age.

As infants, we have 9 essential amino acids. However, as we grow, new enzymatic pathways come online. After the age of 3 months, our bodies can begin to synthesize histidine* (see note below on the scientific debate) from other amino acids.

So that leaves us with 8 core essential amino acids for the average adult:

  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine


From these 8 basic amino acids, the enzymes of your cells can synthesize all of the other 12 amino acids.

That means anything your body needs, every digestive enzyme, detox molecule, neurotransmitter, protein, or anything else can be reduced to these 8 basic ingredients.

Almost everything you need for optimal health comes down to amino acids.

This is the basis of Dr. Minkoff’s scientifically tested PerfectAmino formula, optimized for 99% utilization by your body.

Conditionally Essential Amino Acids

Sometimes, however, our bodies face challenging situations, placing extra biochemical demands on our system. In times of stress or illness, your body increases the use of certain amino acids, and this can drain your reserves, eventually leading to dysfunction or disease.

These are called Conditionally Essential amino acids because in certain conditions they become essential. These include:

  • Arginine
  • Cysteine
  • Glutamine
  • Tyrosine
  • Glycine
  • Ornithine
  • Proline
  • Serine
  • Histidine*


However, because these can still be converted from the 8 basic essential amino acids, making sure to cover your 8 essentials first though attention to diet or with PerfectAmino is your best insurance policy for total health.

Non-essential Amino Acids

The final and smallest group of amino acids to look at are the non-essential. Most other classification systems will lump the conditionally essential and non-essential amino acids together and call them both non-essential.

That said, these last 2 amino acids are still important and necessary for life. But because the intelligence of your body can produce them through biochemical synthesis, you can easily compensate for any dietary deficiencies.

This group includes:

  • Alanine
  • Asparagine

The Foundation of Biology

Amino acids are the foundation of your all biology, which also makes them the foundation of your health.

No matter where you are at, or what your goals are…

Whether you are an athlete looking for greater gains in your training, healing from disease, detoxing, preserving your health as you age, or just looking to optimize your health so you can be your best…

The 8 essential amino acids are critical to your optimal health––eat and supplement accordingly.

If you would like to cover your amino acid needs in one easy dose, try Dr. Minkoff’s proprietary PerfectAmino Formula, a special blend scientifically tested for 99% utilization.

No waste. No filler. Just the essentials.

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