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What are the dangers of the amino acid diet?

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As of 2015, there are no credible medical sources outlining a specific amino acid diet. Generally, individuals who take amino acid supplements as part of their diet do not experience side effects, according to Drugs.com. Side effects that may occur include allergic reactions such as rash, difficulty breathing and swelling of the mouth, tongue or lips. Amino acid nutritional supplements are taken when patients cannot tolerate whole or hydrolyzed protein.

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People taking amino acids should avoid taking large doses of vitamins unless specifically prescribed a doctor, states Drugs.com. Certain brands may not be appropriate for diabetes patients and can affect blood sugar levels. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should consult a doctor before taking amino acid supplements, as it is not known how it affects breast milk. Although there are no specific drug interactions known at this time, people taking prescription medications or other supplements should consult a doctor before taking amino acid supplements.

Amino acids are proteins that are necessary for healthy body growth, tissue repair, food digestion and proper enzyme formation and function, according to SFGate. Many amino acids are produced in the body; however, essential amino acids can only be obtained through food sources and supplements. Many animal proteins are considered complete protein sources, meaning they contain all nine of the essential amino acids. Complete protein sources include beef, poultry, seafood, pork and eggs.

Plant-based sources of protein, including nuts, beans and seeds, contain amino acids; however, most are considered incomplete, notes SFGate. Vegetarians need to eat a variety of protein combinations, such as rice paired with beans, in order to get adequate nutritional protein. Soybeans and quinoa are plant-based sources of complete protein.

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