What Are Amino Acids Made Of?


Quick Answer

Amino acids are small chemical compounds that contain both an amino functional group and a carboxyl functional group. These compounds can be synthesized together to form proteins which the human body uses.

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Full Answer

In total, there are roughly 50 amino acids that have been identified by chemists. Each amino acid begins with two carbon molecules that are bonded together through a single, covalent bond. One carbon is bound to the carboxyl group, while the other is bound to the amino group. A side functional group of various molecules and compounds is also bound to one of the carbons. The side group determines what type of amino acid the entire compound is.

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