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Definition of Amino acid

Amino acid: One of the20 building blocks from which proteins are assembled. Isoleucine, leucine, lysine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine are deemed 'essential' amino acids because the human body cannot make them and they must be obtained in the diet. Amino acids are sometimes taken orally in supplement form.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=2222
Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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