Amino Acids in Supplements

In recent years, many consumers have come to rely on food ingredient labeling and certifications such as organic, vegan and the like to help them better understand how their choices impact their health and the health of the planet. Yet, according to a recent survey, it seems that fewer consumers understand how to decipher the labels on dietary supplements. The supplement facts label mimics the nutrition facts label in format, and includes important information regarding the ingredients, serving size, number of servings, and nutritional value of a supplement as well as the amount of each nutrient it contains, along with other ingredients, including extracts, additives, and other compounds. What’s often missing, however, is the source of these nutrients, which can come from plant, animal or mineral sources, and others are synthesized in laboratories. What’s more, most of these nutrients undergo significant processing before they’re bottled and sold.

This website is focused specifically on amino acids in supplements, a class of nutrients that are essential for maintaining life-sustaining protein in the body. 

The goal of this article, and of aminofacts.org is to help consumers who take protein supplements to better understand how what they’re putting into their bodies impacts their dietary and lifestyle choices.

According to a recent survey of consumers in the United States, about one-third of households know where amino acids come from…and even among protein/amino supplement users, only about three in five claim to know the source of their amino acids (58%), with the majority of those mentioning animals or plants as the source. A surprisingly significant number (31%) believe that amino acids are manufactured in laboratories.

In truth, amino acids can be derived from multiple sources – some are obtained purely from plants and/or animals, and some are chemically synthesized in laboratories. Further, the means for extracting amino acids from plants or animals, and for creating them through lab-based chemical bonding can vary widely between amino acid manufacturers.

AminoFacts has authored this document with the goal of giving consumers more clarity around the sourcing and processing of amino acids for dietary supplements.