essential amino acid

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essential amino acid

Etymology: L, essentia, quality
an organic compound not synthesized in the body that is essential for protein synthesis in adults and optimal growth in infants and children. Adults require isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Infants need these amino acids plus arginine and histidine. Cysteine and tyrosine are derived from methionine and phenylalanine, respectively, and are considered semiessential. See also amino acid, nonessential amino acid.

essential amino acid

An amino acid that is required for growth and development but that cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained from food. The essential amino acids are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, cysteine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Synonym: indispensable amino acid
See also: amino acid

essential amino acid

an AMINO ACID that must be taken in via the diet, as distinct from nonessential amino acids, which can be synthesized by the organism itself, in a process called TRANSAMINATION, using the essential amino acids as a source. In humans there are ten essential amino acids: ARGININE, TRYPTOPHAN, ISOLEUCINE, METHIONINE, THREONINE, LYSINE, LEUCINE, VALINE, HISTIDINE and PHENYLALANINE.
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