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Solgar Amino Acids - General Information Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, which not only provide much of the structure of the body, but also the enzymes that make life possible. Proteins are formed from amino acids and cannot exist nor carry out their work without the proper combination of these compounds. Amino acids are important because after water, protein is the second most plentiful substance in the human body. There are approximately twenty-nine commonly known amino acids that account for the hundreds of different types of proteins present in all living things. The liver produces about 80 percent of the needed amino acids; the remaining 20 percent must be obtained from outside sources. Amino acids can be classified as essential, non-essential or semi-essential. •Essential amino acids are those that cannot be made within the body and must be obtained through dietary sources. The essential amino acids are isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. •Non-essential amino acids are those that can be made internally by the body. They are aspartic acid, asparagine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine and tyrosine. •Semi-essential amino acids, like Arginine and histidine, do not fall perfectly into either the essential or the non-essential categories. They become essential during times of growth, when the body cannot produce them in adequate amounts. Amino acids are referred to by their prefixes L- (for levorotatory, or "left-handed"), or D- (for dextrorotatory, or "right-handed"), indicating slight differences in molecular structure. L-series amino acids are in the same form as amino acids in plant and animal tissue, and are much more common than either the D- form or the mixed DL- form.

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