Perfect Amino is a dietary supplement manufactured by a brand called BodyHealth. This is the same supplement sold by advanced bionutritionals; their packaging just has different branding. Perfect Amino comes in a capsule or powder form. BodyHealth claims that their amino acid product is “99% utilized” and suggests it’s nutritionally superior to protein from foods.
In this article we’ll review some of the questionable health claims made by this brand in light of real medical data, and also analyze the formulation to determine if we believe it’s a safe and healthy product.
Strange Health Claims
BodyHealth makes a number of health claims on their product page which we find to be unscientific. They claim that “almost everyone is protein deficient without realizing it.” This is simply untrue in developed nations.
A recent medical review on the topic was even titled “Protein deficiency - a rare nutrient deficiency.” The study authors stated the following in the very first sentence of their abstract: “There is a widespread myth that we have to be careful about what we eat so that we do not cause protein deficiency.”
Most consumers in developed nations have access to a wide range of protein-rich foods. Even “processed foods” which are considered unhealthy such as pizza or hamburgers contain high doses of protein.
BodyHealth has no citation where they make their claim that everyone is protein deficient, which is unethical and unacceptable.
The brand also claims that “the protein in food is not converted into body protein.” This is a ridiculously unscientific claim. Humans have been digesting protein from food for millennia, and in the absence of gastrointestinal disease, protein is extremely well-absorbed. Peer-reviewed medical research confirms such.
We always see it as a major red flag when companies make these types of unsupported and uncited health claims. We understand that it can be challenging for brands to carve out a niche and differentiate themselves from the competition, but making uncited health claims which seem on their face totally inaccurate is not the way to do so. It will just drive educated consumers away.
This type of marketing isn’t limited to smaller brands; even major companies like Fitbit have made health claims we strongly disagree with as we detailed in our recent review of the Fitbit Sense device.
FDA Warning Letter
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. sends warning letters to dietary supplement companies that make unfounded health claims which technically categorize their products as drugs.
In 2020, the FDA sent a Warning Letter to BodyHealth instructing the company to correct several health claims they were making about their products. We want to highlight some of the health claims called out by the FDA so consumers can see how unethical this company is:
- “Body detox gives a necessary boost to your body’s natural detox pathways along with some extra help for removing heavy metals, viral particles, and other harmful chemicals…”
On your product page, under “Description”:
- “[S]aving your kidneys from the damage and overwork common in many detox programs…”
On your product page, under “Ingredients”:
- “Protease inhibitors- are a class of compounds used to treat or prevent infection by viruses, including HIV and Hepatitis C.”
We strongly recommend avoiding companies making these types of health claims that warrant a Warning Letter from the FDA.
Perfect Amino is an amino acid blend consisting of 8 individual amino acids: l-leucine, l-valine, l-isoleucine, l-lysine HCL, l-phenylalanine, l-threonine, l-methionine, and l-tryptophan. All of these amino acids are classified as “essential” because they must be obtained from diet or supplementation; they are not produced endogenously (by the body).
There are actually 9 essential amino acids, and the one missing from Perfect Amino is histidine. BodyHealth has indicated in a blog post that there is “scientific debate” about whether this is truly an amino acid, which we find strange because the scientific research we have examined conclusively documents histidine as an essential amino acid.
A medical review of histidine published in the well-respected Nutrients journal in 2020 describes the amino acid as essential in the very first sentence of the publication: “L-histidine (HIS) is an essential amino acid with unique roles in proton buffering, metal ion chelation, scavenging of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, erythropoiesis, and the histaminergic system.”
Proteins which are considered “complete proteins” contain all 9 essential amino acids. A cooked chicken contains all 9 essential amino acids including histidine according to the USDA, so we would consider a basic cooked chicken more nutritionally complete than this supplement (and much cheaper).
The dose of 5 grams (g) total essential amino acids seems reasonable. Amino acid supplementation is dosed in a wide range depending on the purpose of therapy and health condition, but there are some medical studies suggesting benefit at this range. A clinical trial found that 4 g daily amino acid supplementation improved depressive symptoms and improved quality-of-life in elderly institutionalized patients.
Perfect Amino does not contain any harmful added ingredients such as processed sugar or artificial flavoring which is a plus.
Perfect Amino User Reviews
Perfect Amino has good overall ratings on Amazon, but their product page gets a “D” rating from FakeSpot, which is a software tool that utilizes an algorithm to detect potentially fake Amazon reviews. The tool states the following about Perfect Amino’s Amazon listing: “Our engine has profiled the reviewer patterns and has determined that there is high deception involved.”
The most helpful positive review comes from a verified purchaser named “Jacob Thornton” who claims that the product has been beneficial for their workout recovery:
“Recovery time alone for me has increased exponentially—I can really tell the difference after a hard leg day.”
The most helpful negative review comes from a verified purchaser named “HFS” who claims that the product hasn’t improved their aesthetics:
“I bought this product on the hopes that I would see larger biceps triceps and shoulders…It’s been 2 weeks.”
In fairness to Perfect Amino, taking amino acids and working out will not cause significant muscle gain in two weeks, so this reviewer’s expectations seem illogical.
Are Amino Acid Supplements Necessary?
While there are some clinical trials showing benefit in certain populations, we don’t believe that amino acids are a supplement category that the average person has a need for. They’re easily obtainable from food, and we haven’t come across any convincing medical research suggesting that consumers in developed nations are deficient in amino acids on average.
It’s unclear to us who this product is for, and why they need it. Most of the health claims on Perfect Amino’s site speak to protein absorption, but it would seem more logical for patients concerned about their protein intake to simply consume more protein instead of taking an amino acid supplement.
Their site mentions how athletes have higher amino acid requirements due to intense training and this may be true. A clinical study noted that essential amino acid supplementation post-workout enhanced muscle protein synthesis.
Perhaps athletes would benefit from this product, but there are other ergogenic (workout enhancing) compounds like caffeine and l-citrulline which have more research backing in our opinion.
Perfect Amino Pros and Cons
Here’s a quick takeaway about the benefits and drawbacks of this product:
- Decent formulation
- No harmful additives
- Manufacturer received FDA Warning Letter
- Strange and unscientific health claims
- Doesn’t contain all essential amino acids
- D rating on FakeSpot