Along with carbohydrates and fats, protein is a necessary nutrient, instrumental in building, maintaining, and repairing body tissues. A protein’s quality is determined by the content of nine essential amino acids, “essential” meaning that they can only be obtained from the diet. Amino acids are also known as the building blocks of protein, and all animal sources (meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy) inherently contain all nine — a few plant sources also contain all nine. Humans utilize 20 amino acids (AA): nine are essential, six are conditionally essential, and five are dispensable, which means they can be synthesized in…
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