In a culture that places a high value on how a person looks, it can sometimes seem like there’s always some new flaw to address. Whether it’s the clothes you wear, the foods you eat, or even the condition of your skin, problems abound, leading people of every age and gender to seek solutions that can make their perceived flaws disappear. It’s this motivation that has made the cosmetic and skincare industries into financial behemoths, but is it possible that the answer to damaged skin lies in a few simple organic compounds, and ones we already have, to boot? As they’ve gained popularity, amino acid supplements have seen the claims linked to them grow exponentially, but can amino acids help with skin repair? To find out, keep reading as the team at aminoVITAL® – makers of amino acid fitness supplements – provide some insight on the topic at hand.
How Amino Acid Supplements Can Help with Skin Repair
Before any discussion of amino acid supplements and their benefits for skin repair, it’s important to clarify a few things. First of all, the human body has tons of different amino acids inside it, but most of these have no documented benefit as supplements, so be wary of any product that promises to provide “amino acids” without specifying which ones it contains. Even when a product does name its particular amino acids, keep in mind that – as with virtually all types of supplements – many of the claims made about these products are false or baseless. That said, there are absolutely some well-established benefits to using certain amino acids for certain purposes – a mid-workout BCAA supplement, for instance, has been shown1 to help limit soreness and fatigue during and after exercise – so don’t give up on amino acids just yet. In fact, there’s some compelling evidence supporting the use of some amino acids to help with skin repair; let’s take a closer look below.
One of the fundamental purposes of virtually every amino acid is the production of proteins in the body; this not only refers to those molecules needed to make muscle tissue – the most widely understood use of protein – but also to the enzymes, hormones, and neurotransmitters that keep the body’s systems running. In addition, amino acids and the proteins they contribute provide structure to a variety of cells and systems; collagen is a perfect example of this.
While collagen is typically associated with specific parts of the body such as the skin and lips, its uses extend far beyond these two areas. For those not well-versed in biology, collagen is a protein – the most plentiful one in the body, in fact. It serves a wide variety of purposes, from helping the blood to clot, which stops bleeding, to providing the building blocks for everything from tendons and bones to muscles and, of course, skin. Like other proteins, collagen is made up of amino acids, but only certain ones have shown to stimulate the production of collagen and help with skin repair.
A 2012 study2 published in the journal Amino Acids examined the ways in which collagen production during skin repair could be boosted by amino acids. In the study, researchers measured the rate at which collagen was synthesized in the skin after it was damaged by UV radiation, then gauged how this rate was affected by branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and the amino acids glutamine, arginine, and proline. Individually, these compounds seemed to have little effect on the rate of collagen synthesis, but researchers discovered that a combination of certain amino acids – especially BCAAs mixed with glutamine or proline – could lead to a marked improvement in collagen production, which in turn helped with skin repair caused by sun damage.
Improving Skin Texture
Another study3 – this one published in 2019 in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition – supports the role of these amino acids in skin repair and overall skin health. The researchers in the study looked at several factors indicating general skin condition, such as texture and elasticity, in participants who took a supplement made with leucine (one of the BCAAs), arginine, and glutamine. Ultimately, they found that skin texture and elasticity improved in the group using the amino acid mix, and as a bonus, those participants also saw a favorable change in body composition; more specifically, they lost fat and gained muscle mass, though their overall weight stayed more or less the same.
Along with their effects on texture, the authors of the study also note that these amino acids play some important roles in keeping the skin healthy and helping with skin repair. For instance, glutamine is an amino acid that’s critical to the functions of the digestive system; by keeping this system in good working order, the body can more effectively flush out harmful substances, which in turn improves the condition of the skin. Similarly, arginine is known for its ability to improve blood flow, which then helps increase the production of natural moisturizing factors in the skin. In other words, even when the aid of amino acids isn’t direct, the results can still be compelling.
Try an aminoVITAL® Supplement to Help Muscle Repair and Athletic Performance
Although they’re designed to boost gains, improve endurance, speed recovery, and fight soreness and fatigue, the amino acid supplements from aminoVITAL® also happen to contain the very compounds that have been shown to help with skin repair: BCAAs, arginine, and glutamine. To learn more about how our low-calorie pre-, mid-, and post-workout supplements can help you achieve your health and fitness goals, visit aminoVITAL® online or call (888) 264-6673 today.