essential amino acid

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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
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners

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.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005