About Amino Acids

Amino Acids are the building blocks of a protein and are essential for maintaining a healthy body. Proteins are required for structural integrity of all tissues and organs and chemical processes occurring within all living cells or organisms necessary for the preservation of life. Amino Acids also play a key role in energy production, transport and storage of nutrients, which influence the function of our organs, glands, tendons and arteries. They too are essential for repairing tissues, healing wounds and removing waste deposits.

Amino Acids are classified as essential and non-essential. Your body doesn’t store all amino acids and daily supply through a healthy diet ensures adequate levels of essential amino acids. Non-essential amino acids are still needed in your body, but as they are made by your body they do not form an essential part of your diet.

How do Amino Acids work?

In order for Amino Acids to work in the body they need to be broken down (known as Amino Acid metabolism) for which enzymes are needed.

Some enzymes require assistance from vitamins and minerals (called cofactors) for optimal functionality. Our genes provide instructions for making proteins and enzymes, if there is a change / irregularity in these genes it can result in an abnormal build-up of amino acids. This may signal that the body is not functioning as it should.

What is Amino Acid Testing

Amino Acid testing determines if the level of any particular amino acid is high or low.

This may indicate a deficiency in enzymes or cofactors (vitamins and minerals) which are producing specific amino acids. It may also indicate a gene irregularity which is affecting the make-up and then function of an enzyme or protein. As a result, the body cannot utilise essential components within the diet to produce sufficient energy for optimal body function.

What can you expect from Amino Acid Testing

The test indicates the need for certain nutrients and minerals, amino acid supplements and metabolism support.

Personalised and targeted treatment of underlying imbalances using nutrient recommendations may play a role in treating chronic disease and overall health.

When to do an Amino Acid Test

An Amino Acid test may be beneficial if you are experiencing health issues such as fatigue, problems with your mood, sleep, attention and focusing.

An imbalance may be a contributing factor in disorders such as ADD, depression, anxiety, Tourette syndrome, TIC disorder, OCD and seizures. It may also be applicable when experiencing poor immune function or other chronic illnesses. If you have weight issues and would like some dietary guidance or insights into protein intake, digestion or nutrient absorption you may also benefit from testing.

The test result will have to be interpreted by your health care provider.

Testing Procedure

  1. Your Health Care Provider will recommend you have the Test and will sign a Test Requisition Form (TRF) and give it to you for completion.
  2. Email a copy of this form to info@hexalabs.co.za to register
  3. Next Biosciences will send you a payment link
  4. Once payment is received, you will be sent a collection kit
  5. Follow the instructions on foods and medications to be avoided prior to urine collection
  6. Collect your urine sample – then secure the cup lid tightly, wrap it with the Ice Packs provided, secure them and place it all in the freezer.
  7. Request collection of your sample. Collection can only happen once your sample has been frozen for at least 48 hours.
  8. Your sample is couriered to the laboratory for testing
  9. Result turnaround time is 2-3 weeks.
  10. Next Biosciences will send your results to your Health Care Provider, who will interpret them for you.