Amino Acids Testing Procedure

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and the amino acids testing procedure for comes in different forms. There are many benefits to doing amino acid testing, and the information provided by amino acid tests can be useful for a wide variety of health complaints. All proteins in the body are essentially larger chains of peptides which come together through the various sequencing of amino acids. Without amino acids and the corresponding proteins our body’s ability to regulate cardiovascular, immune and neurological function would be greatly compromised. Therefore, following amino acids testing procedure is very important when evaluating amino acids.

Amino Acids Testing Procedure – Blood Testing

Amino acids can be tested through blood sampling. The blood test should be done fasting (not having eaten for at least 6 to 8 hours, but 4 hours is generally okay unless otherwise specified via the test kit instructions) to provide more accurate results. Blood amino acid testing provides a snapshot of amino acids in general blood circulation and an overall picture of essential and non-essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are those that we must obtain from our diet, and non-essential amino acids we can produce internally. This means our diet should be replete in essential amino acids to maintain healthy levels. One reason amino acids testing procedures calls for a fasting blood sampling is that various supplements (particularly if they contain amino acids) can cause the values on the test to appear artificially elevated.

Amino Acids Testing Procedure for Urine Testing

Amino acids can also be tested through urine sampling. The urine test is normally done as a 24-hour urine collection. The sampling of amino acids from a 24-hour urine collection provides detailed information about total body storage and circulation of amino acids. It also accounts for what amino acids are being obtained from your diet over a 24-hour period of time. The 24-hour urine amino acid test often is the best way to measure total amino acids. Unfortunately, obtaining a 24-hour urine test can be difficult, especially in children. Therefore, another amino acids testing procedure is to do an 8 hour urine collection through the night. This method will still provide useful information, as along as the diet the previous day wasn’t manipulated artificially with amino acid supplements or exceptionally high amino acid foods.

What to Avoid with Amino Acids Testing

The amino acids testing procedures call for some specific action to take place prior to and during the collection process. For blood testing having not eaten for a minimum of 4 hours is required (make sure to check the specific instructions for blood amino acid test you will have done). Blood is drawn from a vein in the arm (elbow region) or back of hand. In young children or infant a sharp tool called a lancet may be used to puncture the skin. The blood draw process normally takes less than a minute.

The amino acids testing procedure for urine collection also has some specific actions that need to take place prior to and during the collection process. A regular diet should be consumed during the 24-hour urine collection time frame. To get the best indication of diet with relation to amino acid supplements the avoidance of amino acid supplements should be avoided during this time frame. For an 8 hour urine collection this is best done by collecting a first morning urine after a night’s sleep. If it is necessary to get up in the middle of the night to urinate this urine should be collected too.

Summary of Amino Acids Testing Procedure

Amino acid testing is a useful diagnostic tool to assess overall amino acid deficiencies and imbalances. When doing amino acid testing make sure to always read and follow the specific instructions of your particular amino acid test kit, and follow the labs amino acids testing procedure to ensure the most accurate sampling of your particular amino acid status.

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