essential amino acid
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essen′tial ami′no ac′id
any amino acid that is required for life and growth but is not produced in the body, or is produced in insufficient amounts, and must be supplied by protein in the diet.
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|Noun||1.||essential amino acid - an amino acid that is required by animals but that they cannot synthesize; must be supplied in the diet|
amino acid, aminoalkanoic acid - organic compounds containing an amino group and a carboxylic acid group; "proteins are composed of various proportions of about 20 common amino acids"
arginine - a bitter tasting amino acid found in proteins and necessary for nutrition; its absence from the diet leads to a reduced production of spermatozoa
histidine - an essential amino acid found in proteins that is important for the growth and repair of tissue
isoleucine - an essential amino acid found in proteins; isomeric with leucine
leucine - a white crystalline amino acid occurring in proteins that is essential for nutrition; obtained by the hydrolysis of most dietary proteins
lysine - an essential amino acid found in proteins; occurs especially in gelatin and casein
methionine - a crystalline amino acid containing sulfur; found in most proteins and essential for nutrition
phenylalanine - an essential amino acid found in proteins and needed for growth of children and for protein metabolism in children and adults; abundant in milk and eggs; it is normally converted to tyrosine in the human body
threonine - a colorless crystalline amino acid found in protein; occurs in the hydrolysates of certain proteins; an essential component of human nutrition
tryptophan, tryptophane - an amino acid that occurs in proteins; is essential for growth and normal metabolism; a precursor of niacin
valine - an essential amino acid found in proteins; important for growth in children and nitrogen balance in adults