To start with, let us understand the process by which the amino acids enter the blood stream to form circulating amino acids. It is a known fact that protein is synthesized from amino acids. But then, the protein also breaks down into the amino acids. The digestive processes break down dietary protein to amino acids.
These amino acids are released into the small intestine, from where they move into the circulating blood and are carried throughout the organism. Each individual cell of the organism then can, selectively use from the blood, whichever amino acids it requires for synthesis of its own proteins required for specific functions.
Before the circulating amino acids are latched up from the bloodstream, by the cells, these amino acids move freely in the bloodstream. Several studies have been conducted to research the role of these circulating amino acids and their contribution to blood circulatory disorders.
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in our bodies, comprising approximately half of the free amino acids in our muscles and blood. Epithelial cells lining the small intestine use glutamine to function properly an do not allow toxins and infectious agents to enter the body
The amino acid alanine is second only to glutamine in prominence as a circulating amino acid. In this capacity it serves a unique role in the transfer of nitrogen from peripheral tissue to the liver.
The amino acid homocysteine has been proved to be a potent independent risk factor for peripheral vascular disease (PVD).
The amino acid L-arginine was shown to play a proactive role. It boosts production of nitric oxide, which dilates arteries so blood flows more freely and may prevent plaque in vessels. Studies show that increased nitric oxide reduces the symptoms of intermittent claudication (lack of blood supply to leg muscles) in people with PVD.
However, the circulating amino acids gained from digestion are in no danger of excretion via the kidneys. They are filtered at the glomeruli but are mostly reabsorbed into the blood as they pass down the kidney tubules.
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