Dr. David Minkoff’s Health Blog, Health & Wellness

Polar Amino Acids


Polar amino acids are one of the two main categories of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.

There are 20 common amino acids; 10 are considered polar amino acids. Including their three-letter codes, these amino acids are:

Polar amino acids have hydrophilic side chains, meaning they are attracted to water molecules and can participate in hydrogen bonding with other polar molecules.

What are the 10 Polar Amino Acids?

The 10 polar amino acids are

  1. Arginine (Arg)
  2. Histidine (His)
  3. Asparagine (Asn)
  4. Lysine (Lys)
  5. Aspartate (Asp)
  6. Serine (Ser)
  7. Glutamine (Gln)
  8. Threonine (Thr)
  9. Glutamate (Glu)
  10. Tyrosine (Tyr)


What is the Role of Polar Amino Acids

Polar amino acids play an important role in many physiological processes. These amino acids

  • Help regulate blood sugar levels
  • Support the immune system
  • Produce energy
  • Stabilize moods
  • Protect the liver
  • Form collagen for healthy skin and bones
  • Assists with DNA metabolism.
  • Key to the production of neurotransmitters & prevention of anemia.

Chemical Bonds of Polar Amino Acids

These 10 amino acids have side chains that contain polar functional groups, such as hydroxyl (-OH), amide (-CONH2), thiol (-SH), and aromatic rings.

Polar Amino Acid Chart


What is the Role of Polar Amino Acids?

Polar amino acids play important roles in protein structure and function. They can form hydrogen bonds with other polar amino acids, water molecules, and other biomolecules, such as carbohydrates and lipids.

They are often found on the surface of proteins, interacting with the aqueous environment and participating in protein-protein interactions.

Diet, Health, and Amino Acids

Polar amino acids are found in proteins, which provide the body with essential building blocks for many physiological processes.

Eating various fresh fruits and vegetables provides key nutrients and polar amino acids. Including some animal protein in meals is also beneficial as it provides the necessary components to build muscle mass.

For vegans or vegetarians not consuming animal proteins, plant-based protein options or essential amino acids are ideal and can provide adequate amounts of polar amino acids to optimize health benefits.

Amino Acid Solutions

Dr. Minkoff has written a book on amino acids called “The Search for the Perfect Protein.”

He also developed a high-quality essential amino acid supplement called Perfect Amino. We highly recommend this for all our patients.