This article has been medically reviewed by Dr Robert Lefever, a world-leading addictions specialist.
To understand the role of amino acid therapy in treating addiction, you need first to understand what addiction is and how it develops.
Addiction is defined as the indisposition of the reward, memory, and motivation systems of the brain. Your brain has chemical substances called neurotransmitters. In addition, some amino acids act as neurotransmitters.
When you use a substance repeatedly, the substance changes how your brain functions. As a result of the brain’s changes in structure and functions, you develop intense cravings, changes in behaviour, and abnormal movements. During addiction, your neurotransmitter substances are imbalanced by a particular substance. Therefore, amino acid therapy helps to correct the problem of imbalanced neurotransmitters.
For proper and effective amino acid therapy, please call us on 0203 955 7700, and our experienced specialists will help you come out of your addiction.
What are Amino Acids?
Amino acids are organic molecules that are used by the body in building proteins. Proteins are used in the body for growth, healing wounds and repairing body tissues, strengthening immunity, managing sleep and mood, catalysing many chemical reactions, and are used as a source of energy.
Proteins make about 20% of the body. Without proper intake of proteins in your diet, you may experience amino acid deficiency. In most cases, we cannot take a proper diet to have enough amino acids in our bodies.
Classification of amino acids
Amino acids are commonly classified into three categories. They include:
These are amino acids that the body cannot synthesise. Therefore, we can only obtain them from the diet or through supplements to meet the requirements in the body. These essential amino acids include lysine, methionine, histidine, leucine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, and valine.
They are amino acids that the body can synthesise sufficiently. Your body can synthesise nonessential amino acids to the maximum requirements of the body without necessarily acquiring them from the diet. The following are some nonessential amino acids: asparagine, glutamine, tyrosine, alanine, aspartate, proline, serine, and glycine.
Conditional amino acids
The body synthesises Conditional amino acids to be utilised during specific situations like when fighting a disease or when stressed. We may also obtain them from the diet.
Can you have an amino acid deficiency?
Sometimes our bodies may fail to synthesise amino acids optimally. Similarly, our bodies may fail to obtain adequate amino acids through diet. If your body does not have adequate amino acids, you have an amino acid deficiency.
Amino acid deficiency causes poor growth and development, weight loss, low immunity, poor mental alertness, problems with digestion, fatigue, depression, and cognitive issues.
In instances where you have an amino acid deficiency, you may use amino acids supplements to cater for the inadequacy.
What is amino acid therapy?
Amino acid therapy is a treatment that works by regulating the amino acid levels to ensure proper and healthy functioning of the body. For example, your brain experiences chemical changes due to repeated substance use when you have an addiction. As a result, you will experience specific symptoms if the substance leaves the body. Therefore, amino acid therapy supplies the required amino acids to the body, promoting the balance of chemicals and countering the side effects.
How does addiction happen?
Addiction happens as a result of changes in the brain due to repeated use of a particular substance. When you are addicted to a substance, you develop intense cravings and lose control over the substance use despite knowing its consequences.
Usually, when substances have not altered your brain functions, your brain reward system is triggered by behaviours, such as eating delicious food, being in the company of family members and friends, or participating in sports activities.
When you take substances such as drugs, alcohol, and smoking or engage in casual sex, your brain is triggered to produce euphoric feelings as chemical substances such as dopamine are activated. In addition, repeated use of certain substances alters the brain’s functioning; hence, you crave certain substances to achieve the rewarding effect.
Amino acids and addiction
The reward system of our brains is activated by chemical substances called Neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters can be excitatory or inhibitory.
For proper functioning of the brain, neurotransmitters should be well balanced. They control our moods, memory, energy, sensation, movements, and emotions. In addition, some amino acids act as neurotransmitters, such as aspartate and GABA.
Further, certain amino acids are converted to the three primary neurotransmitters in the brain. They include serotine, dopamine, and norepinephrine. The amino acids converted include: Tryptophan is converted to serotonin that controls mood, appetite, and memory. Further, L-Tyrosine amino acids are converted to dopamine that controls pleasure, reward and motivation. Also, amino acids are converted to norepinephrine, which controls concentration, energy, and alertness.
For us to feel happy, certain types of neurotransmitters are triggered in our brains. As the neurotransmitters are triggered, we feel better and excited. Some actions trigger excitatory neurotransmitters, such as laughing, sex, exercising, and eating.
Similarly, some drugs can also activate neurotransmitters. For example, when you use drugs such as alcohol, the brain releases high amounts of certain neurotransmitters, making you feel high.
Repeated use of substances such as drugs leads to addiction. Every time you take addictive substances, high amounts of certain neurotransmitters are released. However, with time, the neurotransmitters begin to get depleted or low levels. With low levels of neurotransmitters, you depend on substances such as drugs for everyday pleasure.
Amino Acid Therapy
Since addiction leads to low levels of neurotransmitters, amino acid therapy works by regularising the amino acid levels in the body. Amino acid therapy supplies the necessary amino acids in the body to allow the body to function correctly.
Addictive substances alter the brain chemical. As a result, you find your everyday pleasure only after taking the substances. Therefore, you become dependent on certain substances to the extent that you suffer withdrawal symptoms when the substances wear off in your body.
In this case, amino acid therapy supplies amino acids that tend to counter the withdrawal effects caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. In addition, the provided amino acids from the therapy promote the natural production of neurotransmitters, thereby balancing the necessary chemicals in your brain.
In amino acid therapy, the dosage may be orally taken. At the stomach, the amino acid supplements are broken down and absorbed in the digestive system and circulated to the rest of the body, including the brain.
When you supplement your body with amino acids, you replenish the neurotransmitters that an addictive substance has depleted. As a result, you can function normally and be mentally healthy.
Amino acids work by ensuring your reward centre is controlled by the brain’s natural functions and not by an addictive substance that makes your brain and body dependent on them for pleasure.
Besides regulating moods, amino acids assist the body in other biological functions such as boosting immunity and body repair.
For amino therapy to be effective, you should be treated by a qualified professional to ensure you take the correct dosage. If the amino acids are not supplied in the right amounts, they may work in a counterproductive manner whereby they increase the production of some neurotransmitters and deplete others.
People who take the right amounts of amino acids therapy tend to be healthier and feel happier.
If you struggle with any type of addiction and want to take amino acid therapy, we will help you. We have well trained professional specialists who will administer the correct amino acid therapy treatment to you. Please call 0203 955 7700, and our experienced advisors are available to help you.
Who can benefit from amino acid therapy?
As we have discussed, amino acids are essential for our general health. Therefore, it is beneficial to have a steady supply of amino acids in your body. People who routinely feel fatigued should try amino acid therapy.
Amino acids help you deal with depression and stress and enable you to have increased energy, improving the quality of your routine functions.
Also, athletes benefit a lot from amino acid therapy. Adequate amino acids enhance performance and prevent muscle loss among athletes.
Most importantly, people who are struggling with addictions benefit from amino acid therapy. The addictions are not only limited to illegal drugs but also prescription drugs, such as pain killers. For those with addiction, amino acid therapy restores their brains’ balance and function and reduces withdrawal effects and cravings, leading to a diminished likelihood of relapse.
Does amino acid cure addiction?
Amino acid therapy does not cure addiction. However, it helps address the withdrawal symptoms and effects caused when a dependent substance wears off your body.
Some addictions are caused by certain underlying factors that lead a person to find solace in substances such as drug abuse and engaging in harmful activities such as sex with partners.
During addiction, your brain changes to adapt to the effects of the addictive substance. Hence your brain does not function normally as it should but is influenced by the substance being used. Amino acid therapy comes in to restore your depleted amino acids so that your brain is well balanced to function naturally.
For complete addiction recovery, you need to identify the actual cause of your addiction and deal with it. Since the biggest problem with quitting a harmful substance is the intense craving, resulting from withdrawal symptoms, amino acid therapy helps reduce the withdrawal effects and aid you. At the same time, you address the underlying cause of addiction.
Can you get amino acids in the food you eat?
Naturally, amino acids are found in proteins. However, the levels of amino acids vary significantly in various sources of protein diets. Consequently, different types of protein diets have different combinations of amino acids.
In the stomach, proteins are broken down into amino acids that are absorbed into the bloodstream. Then they are circulated to the rest of the body, including the brains.
As much as you take protein foods, it is difficult to get a balanced amount of amino acids from the diet since various proteins contain different combinations of amino acids.
For that reason, dietary may not correct amino acid imbalances in your brain that have been caused by addictive substances such as drugs. It is at this point that amino acid therapy becomes helpful when recovering from addiction.
Can amino acids treat depression?
While we all experience normal emotions such as sadness, feeling of loss, and mood changes, depression is not short-lived. Instead, depression is characterised by persistent and intense thoughts, behaviours, and moods that affect your mental health.
Typically, depression is treated with antidepressant medication, but amino acid therapy can also treat depression.
When the neurotransmitters responsible for regulating our moods, emotions, and thoughts are imbalanced, they can cause depression, panic attacks, and anxiety.
By balancing certain neurotransmitters, amino acid therapy can help treat depression. When neurotransmitters are balanced, your brain can elevate your mood and emotions.
However, for proper treatment, the amino acid treatment should be appropriately administered to ensure you have the right combination of amino acids.
How to recover fully from an addiction?
In most cases, addiction to substances such as drugs is caused by certain underlying factors.
Even though amino acid therapy is critical in treating addiction, you should put a lot of effort into addressing the underlying causes that caused the addiction in the first place.
To avoid relapse, it would be best to combine amino acid therapy with other initiatives such as counselling and support groups for long-term addiction recovery.
Where to get amino acid therapy?
If you are interested in amino acid therapy to assist you or a loved word in recovery, addiction, consider reaching out to us.
Our highly trained specialists are ready to take you through careful testing and give you the correct combination of amino acids appropriate for your condition and needs. Please call 0203 955 7700, and our experienced specialists are available to help you.
- Early Intervention of Intravenous KB220IV- Neuroadaptagen Amino-Acid Therapy (NAAT)™ Improves Behavioral Outcomes in a Residential Addiction Treatment Program: A Pilot Study
Are you out there, and you would like to start amino acid therapy? Get in touch with us on 0203 955 7700, and we will assist you to overcome addiction and live a healthier and happier life.
Amino acid therapy helps in addiction by balancing the chemical changes in your brain caused by addictive substances. For those with addiction, amino acid therapy helps to reduce the withdrawal effects that result when you stop taking certain substances or when they wear off the body.