Essential amino acid

Essential amino acid

Essential amino acids are a group of amino acids that cannot be synthesized by the human body and must be obtained from the diet. These amino acids are crucial for protein synthesis, cellular function, and overall health. There are nine essential amino acids that humans must obtain from food sources:

  1. Histidine: Histidine is important for maintaining the myelin sheath surrounding nerve cells and is also a precursor for histamine, a neurotransmitter involved in immune response and inflammation.
  2. Isoleucine: Isoleucine plays a key role in muscle metabolism, immune function, and energy regulation. It is also involved in the synthesis of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells.
  3. Leucine: Leucine is a major component of muscle protein and is essential for muscle growth, repair, and maintenance. It also plays a role in regulating blood sugar levels and promoting wound healing.
  4. Lysine: Lysine is necessary for protein synthesis, collagen formation, and calcium absorption. It is also involved in the production of carnitine, a compound that helps transport fatty acids into cells for energy production.
  5. Methionine: Methionine is required for protein synthesis, cell growth, and tissue repair. It is also a precursor for other amino acids and molecules involved in various metabolic pathways.
  6. Phenylalanine: Phenylalanine is a precursor for the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine, which are involved in mood regulation, stress response, and cognitive function. It is also a component of the amino acid tyrosine.
  7. Threonine: Threonine is involved in protein synthesis, collagen production, and immune function. It also plays a role in maintaining proper balance of nitrogen in the body and is a precursor for the neurotransmitter glycine.
  8. Tryptophan: Tryptophan is a precursor for the neurotransmitter serotonin, which regulates mood, appetite, and sleep. It is also a precursor for the hormone melatonin, which regulates the sleep-wake cycle.
  9. Valine: Valine is important for muscle metabolism, tissue repair, and energy production. It is also involved in the synthesis of hemoglobin and the maintenance of nitrogen balance in the body.

These essential amino acids must be obtained from dietary sources, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, soy products, legumes, nuts, and seeds, to ensure adequate intake for optimal health and well-being. A balanced diet that includes a variety of protein-rich foods can help ensure sufficient intake of essential amino acids.

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