What Are Amino Acids?

What are amino acids?

Amino acids are the components of proteins. Amino acids bundle together into peptides, which then bundle together into proteins. They make up a significant amount of our cells, tissues, and muscles. They are necessary for muscles, bones, healing wounds, repairing tissue, cell structure, transporting nutrients, and storing nutrients. Among these roles, their most important are the transportation and storage of nutrients.

There are 20 amino acids, of which 10 are produced naturally in the human body. The remaining 10 are ingested through food. Unlike carbohydrates, the body does not store amino acids. So much as a deficiency in one amino acid results in our proteins degrading. While developed countries rarely face amino acid deficiency, some symptoms include weight loss, reduced muscle mass, liver enlargement, bodily swelling, decrease in blood cell number and blood protein levels, fatigue, frequent illness, and slow healing.

Human bodies produce these 10 amino acids:

  • Alanine
  • Asparagine
  • Aspartic acid
  • Cysteine
  • Glutamic acid
  • Glutamine
  • Glycine
  • Proline
  • Serine
  • Tyrosine

The other 10 are:

  • Arginine
  • Histidine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine
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