Does Aminogen Work?

September 26th, 2007 by Paul Johnson

A few years ago on one bodybuilding forum I used to visit, there was a prominent mod who started advocating supplementing with Aminogen. The company behind aminogen, has many claims and research behind it. But does aminogen really work or is it all smoke and mirrors?

Aminogen claims:

The company behind aminogen claims it's a proprietary synthetic enzyme, that helps breakdown protein during digestion, making it easier to absorb. According to them, aminogen leads to more absorbed protein and nitrogen retention, ultimately leading to more muscle and strength gains. They also claim that aminogen will help against the negative effects of undigested protein, such as gas and bloating.

Aminogen research:

The company has research showing Aminogen works, such
as increasing nitrogen retention, and saying there was a 250% increase in branched chain amino acids. The problem with all this is, who did these studies? It looks to me like the company themselves did(or sponsored) the study. Who is going to trust a study by the supplement company that makes them? Aminogen is a proprietary name, meaning it has no real scientific meaning and therefore we can't find any studies on this supposed "enzyme" since we don't know what it is.

Remember how I mentioned that prominent member who was advocating Aminogen? He also was a distrubutor of Herbalife, which happens to make aminogen also. He obviously had financial motive for advocating Aminogen.

Final thoughts:

I can't say for certain if Aminogen works or not, for the purpose of actually breaking down protein. There is no way to research the compound "Aminogen" since we don't know what exactly it is(if anything important). We would have to rely on user feedback to find out. If Aminogen works, it should help reduce digestion problems, by aiding the breakdown of protein. If you don't have any digestion problems when taking protein and aminogen together, then it works as claimed in regards to breaking down protein. If you have a lot of problems digesting your protein it might be worth a try, to see if it eliminates those side effects.

However, increasing the digestibility of protein with Aminogen, is not going to automatically increase nitrogen retention, in fact probably just the opposite. Whey protein has low nitrogen retention because it is digested very easily. Hydrolyzed whey protein, has even less nitrogen retention time because it's in a more broken down form of protein. There is some evidence that increasing protein in your diet, may increase muscle mass, which is the reasoning behind aminogen claiming it also. However, you could get the same effect by simply increasing protein in your diet, without using the expensive Aminogen supplement.

  1. vanessa on August 11th, 2008

    i personally use protein delite of Scitec for a few years that contains aminogen and that is the only protein i can digest, so i suppose aminogen has a real effect on protein digestion ans absorption….

  2. Nick on September 30th, 2008

    Aminogen is not made by HerbaLife, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Aminogen works, its been clinically proven to work. If it is “smoke an mirrors,” why are there protein makers lined up to buy it?

  3. nicky on October 14th, 2008

    i think the chemicals we take, whether modification of pre-existing naturally occuring enzymes or a completely new chemical synthesized in biolabs all have their pros and may work for some and it may not work for all. we can’t blame the companies manufacturing these things if someone out of the ordinary comes down with renal failure if something goes wrong. it is up to the individual to subject themselves to these chemicals available out there.
    i personally am on a high protein diet for injury recovery and am on aminogen as one source of my protein. ultimately, i feel that i would rather purchase aminogen as a supplement of protein because it is more cost effective than buying meat everyday.

  4. Matt on February 5th, 2009

    I don;t know where you did your research. aminogen is made by a company out of NJ called triarco. Not herbalife.Oh, an Mr. Johnson… The product is a combination of several enzymes please read before posting an article that could influence peoples decisions.

  5. ~ron~ on March 7th, 2009

    I like how people read into what they read…Mr. Johnson didn’t say Herbalife was the exclusive maker of Aminogen.

  6. Eve on July 27th, 2009


  7. Aaron on September 14th, 2009

    Since this is 3rd on google for “Aminogen” I’d like to set the facts straight.

    The post before mine, ron, is completely correct. Herbalife distributes Aminogen under their brand name in capsule form. Likewise, Herbalife is not the only distributor (possibly manufacturer as well).

  8. admin on October 21st, 2009

    Yes Eve you are correct. Also my point of the post wasn’t who made the product, it was whether or not the product worked.

  9. Kay Gibbs on January 2nd, 2010

    I think the reason manufacturers put Aminogen in different products like Optimum Egg Protein is because egg has trysin inhibiting properties that can affect the pancreas. I called Optimum myself and discovered the egg protein is pasteurized which supposedly destroys ovumicin and ovomucoid that inhibits trysin. Unofortunately I also read that enzymes can cause the pancreas to digest itself, trypsinogen being the culprit. So I have to wonder why Optimum would even bother putting aminogen into their product since the body makes its own enzymes. Now Egg Protein is pure pasteurized Egg protein with no enzymes (it doesn’t taste enarly as good as Optimum Egg Protein). I suppose if you mix the protein and then let it sit in the fridge overnight the enzymes do their work and you have a glassful of pur aminos the next morning. That’s what I am doing anyway.

  10. Igor on February 11th, 2010

    “you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

    – i agree.

  11. alma on April 16th, 2010

    yes, Herbalife is one of the companies that provide aminogen. It is really good and its the only one that works for me after trying so many out there. also herbalife has many other protein and supplement products.

  12. Tan on June 22nd, 2010

    Johnson, Even and Jon.. I think you are the one that should becafull when posting article. Don’t post and cover.

  13. juan on September 16th, 2010

    I’m still wondering does it work?

  14. Pat on December 9th, 2010


    It’s important that you conduct some research on products before ingesting them, especially when it come to unregulated nutrition supplements industry.
    According to the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology there is no such “enzyme” as “aminogen”. So you have to be careful what is labeled. The nomenclature is however, correct. When naming enzymes, the name itself usually describes its function/ what it is catalyzing. The suffix -ase is used in biochemistry to form names of enzymes. The most common way to name enzymes is to add this suffix onto the end of the substrate, e.g. an enzyme that breaks down peroxides may be called peroxidase; the enzyme that produces telomeres is called telomerase.
    Amino refers to amines which is a functional group/organic compound that contain a basic nitrogen atom with a lone pair of electrons, it is the building block of proteins. -Gen is a suffix used in scientific words in the sense of producing/generating. So together “aminogen” literally means producing amino which is essentially correct because the breakdown of proteins would reduce it to its functional groups, which are amino acids. At least they got the name right, I guess they needed to make up a name for their synthetic “enzyme” that doesnt exist…
    A more appropriate name would be synthetic protease. A protease (also termed peptidase or proteinase) because it breaks down proteins. A protease is any enzyme that conducts proteolysis, that is, begins protein catabolism (breakdown to smaller units) by hydrolysis of the peptide bonds that link amino acids together in the polypeptide chain that form the protein.

    But like Mr. Johnson said… We dont know who conducted their research. We dont even know what aminogen actually is, if its even real… it could be powdered shit for all we know. The fact is, with an unregulated industry, we cant be sure wtf they are putting in their product, and you cant believe everything you see on the labels. Just cause they say doesnt mean it is. Be informed, especially when it comes to putting things into your body.