Medical Definition of Acid, amino
Amino acids are molecules that (in technical terms) contain a basic amino (NH2) group, an acidic carboxyl (COOH) group and a side chain attached to an alpha carbon atom.
The 20 amino acids are alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine, and valine.
The term "amino acids" dates to the middle of the 19th century. The idea that amino acids are "Bausteine" (building stones) came from the Nobel Prize winning German biochemist Albrecht Kossel (1853-1927).
Quick GuideWomen's Health: Nutrition and Health Care Reform
Subscribe to MedicineNet's Women's Health Newsletter