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July 31, 2008 at 10:07 am #6799

Ok, here is the official info:

Of the roughly 80 amino acids that occur in nature, the human body requires 20. Of these 20, 9 are known as essential amino acids; they are essential in the sense that, like vitamins, the body cannot manufacture them and therefore they must come from the diet. The other non-essential amino acids can be produced if the diet provides insufficient amounts. Some amino acids like arginine and glutamine have been termed conditionally essential, meaning supplemental amounts are needed only in certain conditions.

Most vegetable protein, except for soy and hemp, is considered incomplete protein, meaning it lacks one or more of the essential amino acids. Protein from animal sources such as meat, fish, egg, and whey are complete proteins, meaning they contain all 20 amino acids, including the 9 essential amino acids.

The 9 essential amino acids:

Histidine (carnosine prescursor)
Isoleucine (muscle growth and maintenance)
Leucine (muscle growth and maintenance)
Lysine (cold sores)
Phenylalanine (supports alertness, mild appetite suppressant)
Tryptophan (promotes sound sleep, relaxant)
Valine (muscle growth and maintenance, NO production, circulation)
The 11 non-essential amino acids:

Alanine (cellular energy production)
Arginine* (NO production, circulation, growth hormone, ED)
Aspartic acid
Cysteine* (antioxidant, supports healthy hair)
Glutamic acid (muscle, immune and intestinal health)
Glutamine* (muscle, immune and intestinal health)
Proline (collagen production)
Tyrosine* (mood support, brain booster)

*Conditionally-essential amino acid
The whole article is interesting reading, the above being just an abstract. I would only add that growing muscle (bodybuilding) involves more than just support of the few necessary proteins, as the effects reach to every level from the nervous to the physical. DA