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Proteins   

All life requires protein since it is the chief tissue builder and part of every cell in the body. Among other functions, proteins help to: make hemoglobin in the blood that carries oxygen to the cells; form anti-bodies that fight infection; supply nitrogen for DNA and RNA genetic material; and supply energy.

Proteins are necessary for nutrition because they contain amino acids. Among the 20 or more amino acids, the human body is unable to synthesize 8, therefore, these amino acids are called essential amino acids. A food containing protein may be of poor biological value if it is deficient in one or more of the 8 essential amino acids: lysine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, valine, and threonine. Proteins of animal origin have the highest biological value because they contain a greater amount of the essential amino acids. Foods with the best quality protein are listed in diminishing quality order: whole eggs, milk, soybeans, meats, vegetables, and grains.


source=http://www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/vchembook/5900verviewmet.html


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