essential amino acid

noun

Definition of essential amino acid

: any of various amino acids that are required for normal health and growth in many vertebrates, are either not manufactured in the body or manufactured in insufficient quantities, are usually supplied by dietary protein, and include histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine — compare nonessential amino acid

Examples of essential amino acid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Food and drinks that contain certain minerals, therapeutic herbs and tryptophan — an essential amino acid — can aid your body's production of serotonin and melatonin. Kristen Rogers, CNN, "Tea, milk and other drinks to help you sleep (and some that will hurt)," 11 Aug. 2020 Quinoa, which is technically a seed, includes all essential amino acids (there are nine) that your body needs for repair and growth but can’t produce for itself. Maggie O'neill, Health.com, "There Might Be a Meat Shortage In the US—Here Are 8 Protein-Filled Foods to Try If You Can’t Buy Meat," 30 Apr. 2020 Seitan is not a complete protein, lacking the essential amino acid lysine. NBC News, "5 sneaky ways to get more protein in your diet — without eating meat," 31 Jan. 2020 Insects are the basis of many food webs in nature, are very rich in nutrients—including protein and all nine essential amino acids for human development—and can be delicious. Popular Science, "You should start eating bugs. Here’s how.," 22 Apr. 2020 Eggs are a complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids necessary to rebuild muscles and tissues in our bodies. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, "5 Ways Eggs Supercharge Your Health Through Your Diet," 9 Jan. 2020 In the search for another path to the fountain of youth, researchers have been exploring the role of methionine and cysteine, two of the body's nine essential amino acids which contain sulfur. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Heard of the low sulfur diet? Eating low-protein may prolong your life, say researchers," 3 Feb. 2020 Minestrone serves up essential amino acids, a potpourri of vitamins, and a range of fibers. National Geographic, "These traditional diets can lead to long lives," 17 Dec. 2019 Breadfruit is low in fat, high in complex carbs, contains all essential amino acids, and is gluten-free. CBS News, "Breadfruit: Rediscovering the tropical fruit," 24 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'essential amino acid.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of essential amino acid

1911, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about essential amino acid

Time Traveler for essential amino acid

Time Traveler

The first known use of essential amino acid was in 1911

See more words from the same year

Statistics for essential amino acid

Cite this Entry

“Essential amino acid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/essential%20amino%20acid. Accessed 29 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for essential amino acid

essential amino acid

noun

Medical Definition of essential amino acid

: any of various alpha-amino acids that are required for normal health and growth, are either not manufactured in the body or manufactured in insufficient quantities, are usually supplied by dietary protein, and in humans include histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine

Comments on essential amino acid

What made you want to look up essential amino acid? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!