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Importance Of Amino Acids

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Amino acids are the chemical units or "building blocks," as they are popularly called, that make up proteins. They also are the end products of protein digestion, or hydrolysis. Amino acids contain about 16 percent nitrogen. Chemically, this is what distinguishes them from the other two basic nutrients, sugars and fatty acids, which do not contain nitrogen. To understand how vital amino acids are, you must understand how essential proteins are to life. It is protein that provides the structure for all living things. Every living organism, from the largest animal to the tiniest microbe, is composed of protein. In its various forms, protein participates in the vital chemical processes that sustain life. Proteins are a necessary part of every living cell in the body. Next to water, protein makes up the greatest portion of our body weight. In the human body, protein substances make up the muscles, ligaments, tendons, organs, glands, nails, hair, and many vital body fluids, and are essential for the growth of bones. The enzymes and hormones that catalyze and regulate all bodily processes are proteins. Proteins help to regulate the body's water balance and maintain the proper internal pH. They assist in the exchange of nutrients between the intercellular fluids and the tissues, blood, and lymph. A deficiency of protein can upset…show more content…
High doses of branched-chain amino acids have been used in hospitals to treat people suffering from trauma and infection. Some people are born with an inability to metabolize the branched-chain amino acids. This potentially life-threatening condition, branched chain ketoaciduria (often referred to as maple syrup urine disease because keto acids released into the urine cause it to smell like maple syrup) can result in neurological damage and necessitates a special diet, including a synthetic infant formula that does not contain leucine, isoleucine, or
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