Proteins are astonishing nutrients because they are so fundamental to our very architecture as humans. Our cells and organs, our muscles, our connective tissue, and even our bones could not hold together as the key body parts they are without the help of protein. This importance of protein to our very structure is only one function played by proteins, however. Proteins are equally important to our metabolism because all enzymes in our body that help trigger chemical reactions are proteins. Many of our most important regulatory hormones , like insulin, are also proteins. So are many of the key molecules in our immune system as are the major molecules used to carry nutrients around our body. Whether they are structural proteins, immunoproteins, hormonal proteins, transport proteins, or enzymes, proteins are of utmost importance to our health. The importance of protein to our life is reflected in the term itself: protein is derived from the Greek term protos, which means "taking first place."
Proteins are made up of smaller molecules called amino acids that are strung together by chemical bonds like beads on a chain. To become an active, functional protein, this string of amino acids folds in on itself forming a twisted and entwined three-dimensional structure. Proteins come in many sizes . Some chains of amino acids are quite small, like the hormone insulin that is only 51 amino acids long. Most proteins, however, are larger. Most of proteins in your body contain between 200-400 amino acids. *http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=dailytip&dbid=348&utm_source=rss_reader&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss_feed*
There are only 20 in total used by humans, although there are many other types that different organisms use.
Alanine - ala - A
Arginine - arg - R
Asparagine - asn - N
Aspartic acid - asp - D
Cysteine - cys - C (Only amino acid with a Sulfur atom)
Glutamic acid - glu - E (Amino acid that codes of normal RBCs)
Glycine - gly - G
Histidine - his - H
Isoleucine - ile - I
Leucine - leu - L
Lysine - lys - K
Methionine - met - M (First amino acid to be produced at ribosome)
Phenylalanine - phe - F
Proline - pro - P
Serine - ser - S
Threonine - thr - T
Tryptophan - trp - W
Tyrosine - tyr - Y
Valine - val - V (Amino acid that codes for sickle-cell anemia)
There are two types of amino acids: right-handed and left-handed amino acids. They are isomers of each other. In general, only left-handed amino acids are used.
Essential amino acids are those that the body cannot produce by itself, so it needs to consume those molecules from food to fulfill the requirement. The nine essential amino acids are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine