essential amino acid

noun Biochemistry.
any amino acid that is required by an animal for growth but that cannot be synthesized by the animal's cells and must be supplied in the diet.

Origin:
1935–40

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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

essential amino acid n.
An alpha-amino acid that is required for protein synthesis but cannot be synthesized by humans and must be obtained in the diet.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
Two trials were also conducted to develop a test diet to determine essential amino acid requirements.
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