Essential Amino Acids -- Where to Get Them and Why

What are essential amino acids?

Fundamental building blocks of protein that human beings cannot synthesize on their own and instead must get from their diets.

What are conditionally essential aminos?

These are vital compounds that the body produces in some quantity but cannot produce enough of to maintain good health. Certain sick individuals might need extra supplementation. For instance, people who can't make their own tyrosine or histidine may need to get more of these aminos in their diets.

How do we obtain these key building blocks?

Primarily from the protein in our diets. Foods like chicken, duck, lamb, cheese, and eggs all contain lots of amino acids. In addition, some plants, like quinoa and soy, contain significant amounts of healthy protein. What amino acids must we get from our diets, according to the World Health Organization?

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

Conditionally essential aminos may include:

  • Tyrosine
  • Aspartic acid
  • Tolarine
  • Glutamine
  • Glycine
  • Alanine
  • Arginine

Return from Essential Amino Acids to Glossary

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