An essential amino acid or indispensable amino acid is an amino acid that cannot be synthesized de novo (from scratch) by the organism being considered, and therefore must be supplied in its diet. The nine amino acids humans cannot synthesize are phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, and histidine (i.e., F V T W M L I K H).
- "What is an essential nutrient?". NetBiochem Nutrition, University of Utah.
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- Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements, published by the Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board, currently available online at http://fnic.nal.usda.gov/dietary-guidance/dietary-reference-intakes/dri-reports