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December 18, 1937

ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS IN NUTRITION

JAMA. 1937;109(25):2070-2071. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780510044012
Abstract

Of the twenty-two amino acids commonly obtained by the hydrolysis of proteins, ten are now known to be essential for growth and twelve are considered nonessential. Such is the brief announcement1 that provides the concluding chapter to a series of brilliant researches conducted at the University of Illinois for more than the last decade but having their origin earlier in the contributions of Osborne and Mendel. The latter workers showed more than twenty years ago that proteins differed in their nutritional value. Animals could not grow when restricted to a diet in which the sole source of protein was zein or gliadin, the alcohol soluble proteins of corn and wheat respectively. Zein is a peculiar protein in that it contains neither tryptophan nor lysine, and gliadin contains only small amounts of lysine. The addition of the amino acids in which each of these proteins is deficient promoted normal growth, and

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