Amino Acids For Hair Growth And Food Sources – You Need Know
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins in the body, and proteins are essential building blocks outside of our bodies. For example, about 88 percent of our hair is made up of the protein keratin, and if we don’t provide the right balance of amino acids for hair growth, we can’t make more of it.
Instead of trying to make your hair shiny and thick with oils, conditioners, and other products that can clog your scalp, why not try treating it from the outside in? The following article details the key amino acids necessary for new healthy hair growth and where to find them in your diet.
Why Amino Acids Promote Hair Growth?
When you think about hair care, your diet is often not the first thing that comes to mind, but at the end of the day, we are what we eat.
Amino acids are compounds made up of the functional, carboxyl, and carboxyl groups of molecules that are responsible for forming about 1/5 of the proteins in the average human body.
Keratin in our hair requires 18 different amino acids to produce, and while some of these amino acids can be made by the body itself (non-essential amino acids), we must obtain the rest from external sources such as food (essential amino acids). Let’s make sure you have enough amino acids to make keratin. First things first: what amino acids are needed?
What are amino acids?
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, which make up one-fifth of the human body. Scientists have identified at least 22 amino acids (1). Also known as essential amino acids, the nine amino acids that cannot be synthesized by the human body are valine, phenylalanine, leucine, isoleucine, threonine, tryptophan, histidine, and methionine
Amino Acids for Hair Growth and Food Sources
Cysteine is the most important amino acid for hair growth. It helps stimulate new hair growth (4). Cysteine is a powerful antioxidant that protects hair from sun damage and other harmful radiation (5). Anecdotal evidence suggests it can treat symptoms of hair loss. Cysteine also provides sulfur to hair cells and improves texture and strength
This essential amino acid also provides the sulfur needed to protect against hair disease, as well as powerful antioxidant capabilities. As a lipophilic methionine, it breaks down fat and prevents it from building up in the blood, making it valuable for cardiovascular health and optimal blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles, which is important for healthy hair growth. Methionine is also required for the synthesis of collagen, which is required for hair shaft strength.
Lysine helps form collagen by absorbing calcium (6). This collagen is important for the development of the basic structure of the hair follicle, strengthening the hair and promoting hair growth. Lysine is also thought to prevent the enzyme 5-alpha reductase from converting testosterone to DHT, the main cause of androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness).
Glutamine’s role in supporting new hair growth is to provide the sulfur needed by the scalp to synthesize cysteine. It’s a small part, but one of the many steps you can’t skip in creating healthy looking hair.
Arginine is an essential amino acid needed for healthy hair. Human hair growth depends on arginine. However, sunlight depletes arginine, causing hair to become dry and damaged. Eating foods rich in arginine can help curb this problem and keep hair thick and shiny.
Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid that is naturally produced in our body and is responsible for the production of melanin in hair. It can also treat anxiety, depression, insomnia, and other stress-related issues that cause hair loss and prevent healthy hair growth