How Are Amino Acids Broken Down

Amino acids can be used for ATP production in several ways. By consuming a lot of protein, excessive amino acids will be broken down in the liver mainly. Once the nitrogen is removed from the amino acids, the remaining molecule can be converted to molecules in the energy pathways such as pyruvate, acetyl CoA, or those that are part of the Krebs' cycle. This makes the generation of energy from amino acids aerobic. Meanwhile, during fasting and endurance exercise some amino acids can be converted to glucose in the liver. And, some amino acids can be used during fasting to produce ketone bodies. Both the glucose and ketone bodies produced via amino acids will be used by other tissue such as the brain and muscle.

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