Amino acids are organic compound, the building blocks of proteins.
A large proportion of our cells, muscles and tissue is made up of amino acids - 20% of the human body is made up of protein.
~500 Amino acids are known, 20 appear in the genetic code, 9 are essential for humans because they cannot be created from other compounds by the human body, and must be taken from food.
An essential amino acid, or indispensable amino acid, is an amino acid that cannot be synthesized by the organism, and must be supplied in diet.
The 9 amino acids humans cannot synthesize (F V T W M L I K H):
Animal and plant proteins are made up of about 20 common amino acids.
Synthesis of 6 other amino acids - conditionally essential - can be limited under special conditions: arginine, cysteine, glycine, glutamine, proline, and tyrosine (R C G Q P Y).
Dispensable amino acids can be synthesized in the human body, 5 (A D N E S): alanine, aspartic acid, asparagine, glutamic acid and serine.
Amino acids carry out many important bodily functions:
- give cells their structure;
- play a key role in the transport and the storage of nutrients;
- have an influence on the function of organs, glands, tendons and arteries;
- essential for healing wounds and repairing tissue;
- important removal of waste deposits.