Open Future HealthThe Role of Essential Amino Acids in Your Body

Essential amino acids cannot be made by the body. As a result, they must come from food.

The Role of Essential Amino Acids in Your Body

Essential for Biological Processes

Essential Amino Acids The human body can synthesize all of the amino acids necessary to build proteins except for the ten called the "essential amino acids", indicated by asterisks in the amino acid illustrations. An adequate diet must contain these essential amino acids. Typically, they are supplied by meat and dairy products, but if those are not consumed, some care must be applied to ensuring an adequate supply.

They can be supplied by a combination of cereal grains (wheat, corn, rice, etc.) and legumes (beans,peanuts, etc.). A number of popular ethnic foods involve such a combination, so that in a single dish, one might hope to get the ten essential amino acids. Mexican corn and beans, Japanese rice and soybeans, and Cajun red beans and rice are examples of such fortuitous combinations, commonly used by vegetarians.

Essential AA

Amino acids are organic compounds that combine to form proteins. Amino acids and proteins are the building blocks of life.

When proteins are digested or broken down, amino acids are left. The human body uses amino acids to make proteins to help the body:

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