What are Amino Acids

To understand what amino acids are, let’s think of a pearl necklace. The entire necklace would represent a single strand of protein. The individual pearls would represent the amino acid building blocks of protein. Just as the type of pearls used would determine the type of necklace made, the type of amino acids used would determine the type of protein made.
Paralleling Individual Pearls in the Strand to Amino Acids
Hair, Muscle and Skin
Altering the amino acids used, among other things, will determine whether the protein will look like hair, muscles or skin.

Altering the amino acids used will also determine whether the protein will be used to cut things (called enzymes), to tighten your skin (called collagen) or to control vital processes (called hormones).


What are Essential Amino Acids?

Essential amino acids are the ones that your body cannot make.   Think of essential amino acids as the ones it is essential for us to have in our food.  Once you ingest these essential amino acids, your body can use them to produce all of the other amino acids it needs to do everything in your body.  The essential amino acids are isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.

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