essential amino acid

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essential amino acid

[i′sen·chəl ə′mē·nō ‚as·əd]
(biochemistry)
Any of eight of the 20 naturally occurring amino acids that are indispensable for optimum animal growth but cannot be formed in the body and must be supplied in the diet.
References in periodicals archive ?
She also notes that the amino acids found in complementary proteins work together overall, and they need to be consumed in the same day, but they do not need to be consumed together at the same meal, as was previously believed.
Previously scientists believed they had to be eaten in the same meal, but newer studies show the body can combine complementary proteins that are eaten within the same day.
According to the American Dietetic Association, "Research indicates that an assortment of plant foods eaten over the course of a day can provide all essential amino acids and ensure adequate nitrogen retention and use in healthy adults, thus complementary proteins do not need to be consumed at the same meal." Young and Pellett believe "that for usual conditions of healthy living it is not necessary to consume complementary proteins at the same time and that separation of the proteins among meals over the course of a day would still permit the nutritional benefits of complementation." (20) In a letter to Circulation, John A.

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