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Amino acids are molecules containing an amine group, a carboxylic acid group and a side-chain that varies between different amino acids. The key elements of an amino acid are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. Amino acids are particularly important in biochemistry, where the term usually refers to alpha-amino acids.
An alpha-amino acid has the generic formula H2NCHRCOOH, where R is an organic substituent; the amino acid group is attached to the carbon atom immediately adjacent to the carboxylate group. Other types of amino acid exist when the amino group is attached to a different carbon atom; for example, in gamma-amino acids the carbon atom to which the amino group attaches is separated from the carboxylate group by two other carbon atoms. The various alpha-amino acids differ in which side-chain (R-group) is attached to their alpha carbon, and can vary in size from just one hydrogen atom in glycine to a large heterocyclic group in tryptophan. Shop A2Z Discount Vitamins and save on our discount amino acid products.
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