Today’s blog is the first in a five part series to uncover what I believe are the best tests to help increase fat loss, improve muscle production and achieve optimal health faster. I’m sure there will be disagreements and differing opinions, but I come at this from experience. Over the past 27 years, I’ve seen over 60,000 lab tests and feel that these tests really make a difference.
Today’s blog is an overview of what I feel is optimal to achieve maximum results. It would be impossible short of a 400-500 page book (it’s in the works) to give you all the information I’ve learned over the years. But, if you come to one of my classes (Sydney and Melbourne, Australia in February, Lake Tahoe at the end of April) I guarantee you will walk out with more immediately usable information than any class you will take.
#5 – Plasma Amino Acids
As many of you know, amino acids are the building blocks of hormones, muscle, collagen, neurotransmitters and so much more. They are every personal trainer’s best friend and are essential to good health. The problem lies in the quality of protein that most of us get in our diet and the co-factors that allow the amino acids we take in to be processed and metabolized properly.
Imbalances in amino acid composition are an issue I see all the time, regardless of the fitness of the individual. Over the years I dealt with world class athletes, weekend warriors, generally fit people and the full spectrum of the chronically ill and I have seen only a handful with truly balanced amino acid profiles. Having a properly balanced amino acid profile is not that hard to achieve but you have to know what it looks like to get maximum benefits.
People trying to get fit or maximize fat loss can gain a lot from a plasma amino acid profile. Here are some examples. In order to improve fat metabolism, you need adequate taurine. To build muscle you need the branch-chain amino acids (BCAA’s), leucine, isoleucine and valine. But there is a problem with branch-chains that I’ve seen over the years especially with highly fit individuals. Many of them have elevated BCAA’s which indicates a lack of proper metabolism.
Without giving away the farm information wise (you’ll have to come to my classes for that) here one issue with high levels of the BCAA’s is that they may cause a blockade at the site of the blood brain barrier and can interfere with the ability of tryptophan to enter into the brain which can cause a problem with serotonin metabolism and other tryptophan related pathways. In my classes, I review case studies with high BCAA’s in plasma and how to get them to metabolize properly. I also make the case why I recommend plasma or bloodspot testing over urinary amino acids.
Other amino acids that can make a huge difference in fat loss and improved health include glycine (a potent detoxifier), arginine (helps improve circulation) and lysine and methionine (helps to create carnitine which is essential in fat metabolism). Deficiencies in any of these can hinder your bodies ability to metabolize fat properly. Excesses can point out nutrient deficiencies in a biochemically individualized manner.
This is just a scratching of the surface of everything you can get out of an amino acid panel. The amount of information available is enormous. Because no one can hope to remember every nuance, I developed the Lab Assist™ Report which provides all the information possible to interpret the results in an easy to understand and easy to use format.
Tomorrow lab test #4.