Amino Acids and Vitamins
Amino acids are organic compounds containing amine (-NH2) and carboxyl (-COOH) functional groups, along with a side chain (R group) specific to each amino acid.The key elements of an amino acid are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, andnitrogen, although other elements are found in the side chains of certain amino acids. About 500 amino acids are known (though only 20 appear in the genetic code) and can be classified in many ways. A vitamin is an organic compound and a vital nutrient that an organism requires in limited amounts. An organic chemical compound (or related set of compounds) is called a vitamin when the organism cannot synthesize the compound in sufficient quantities, and it must be obtained through the diet; thus, the term vitamin is conditional upon the circumstances and the particular organism. For example, ascorbic acid (one form of vitamin C) is a vitamin for humans, but not for most other animal organisms. Supplementation is important for the treatment of certain health problems,but there is little evidence of nutritional benefit when used by otherwise healthy people.