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List of amino acid frequency of different foods?


I'm trying to write a little application calculating the biological value of protein content of different meals using the amino acid frequency of different foods.

The idea is that the user can choose amount and type of different ingredients and finally obtains the biological value index for the meal.

For this calculation I'd need a list of amino acid frequencies of the different foods.

Any idea how I could obtain this?

My first idea was to just use the DNA of the different plants to extrapolate the proteins synthesized and then obtain the amino acid frequency from there but I know that genome and proteome is not correlating.

Any ideas / thoughts?


try the US FDA's website - it's a vetted website that has this database information - it is listed in this questions as well that appears to be a duplicate… biology.stackexchange.com/q/41844/16299


A reasonable starting place could be the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/AC854T/AC854T03.htm#chI.I

This source looks by no means complete or easy to parse, but some simple web scraping may help you wrangle the data into a database.


What is the difference between animal and plant proteins?

Protein is an essential part of the diet. It helps to build, repair, and maintain the body’s structures. Foods derived from plants and animals can both provide protein, but there are some differences.

Protein exists throughout the body, in everything from the muscles and organs to the bones, skin, and hair. The body does not store protein like it does other macronutrients, so this protein has to come from the diet.

Proteins are made up of amino acids. A person’s body needs a balance of all 22 types of amino acids to function correctly.

The body cannot produce nine of these acids, called essential amino acids.

A complete protein source refers to a type of food that contains all nine.

Having the right balance of amino acids can build muscle and help the body to recover from exercise quickly. Understanding the differences between plant and animal proteins is important for anyone who wants to ensure that their diet is healthful.

In this article, we look at the differences between animal and plant proteins. We also investigate the effects on health, describe which type is better for bodybuilding, and list the best sources of each.

Share on Pinterest Plant and animal proteins vary in the number of amino acids they contain.

One of the main differences between plant and animal proteins involves their amino acid contents.

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. When the body digests the proteins in food, it breaks them down into amino acids.

The body may need different amino acids at different times. Many people believe that the diet should include complete sources of protein, which contain all nine essential amino acids.

Some animal products are complete sources of protein, such as:

  • fish
  • various types of eggs
  • dairy products, such as cheese, milk, and whey
  • red meat from cows, bison, and deer
  • poultry from sources such as chickens, turkeys, and quails
  • meat from less common sources, including boars, hares, and horses

Most plant proteins are incomplete, which means that they are missing at least one of the essential amino acids.

However, some plant-based foods, such as quinoa and buckwheat, are complete sources of protein.

It is important for vegetarians and vegans to mix their protein sources and ensure that they are getting all of the essential amino acids.

Also, keep in mind that some sources of plant protein may take longer for the body to digest and use.

The following are examples of plant-based foods rich in protein:

  • grains
  • lentils
  • nuts
  • beans
  • legumes
  • certain fruits, such as avocados
  • soy
  • hemp
  • rice
  • peas

Many other nuts, grains, and vegetables also contain high amounts of protein.

When choosing between plant and animal sources of protein, it is important to factor in the other nutrients that the foods provide.

Foods rich in protein can have widely ranging nutritional profiles.

Certain sources of animal protein can contain high levels of heme iron and vitamin B-12, while some plant-based foods lack these nutrients.

On the other hand, plant-specific nutrients, called phytonutrients, and some antioxidants are absent from sources of animal protein.

Animal products contain saturated fat and higher levels of cholesterol than sources of plant protein. A person may wish to avoid animal products for these reasons.

Many used to believe that dietary cholesterol was associated with cardiovascular disease. While recent evidence suggests no significant link, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) still recommends limiting dietary cholesterol.

Fiber is another important factor. Only plant-based foods contain fiber, which helps to keep the digestive system balanced.

Eating more plant protein may also improve a person’s overall health.

Results of a 2016 meta-analysis suggested that eating more animal protein, especially that derived from processed red meat, may increase the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

However, researchers noted that they only found the link between animal protein and cardiovascular disease in people with at least one lifestyle-related risk factor, such as smoking, heavy alcohol intake, or being overweight or obese.

The results also indicated that eating more plant protein may help to reduce this risk and others.

In general, the best way to cover a person’s dietary needs is to eat a wide variety of foods.


Biological Value

The Biological Value (BV) is a scale of measurement used to determine what percentage of a given nutrient source is utilized by the body. The scale is most frequently applied to protein sources. Biological Value is derived from providing a measure intake of protein, then determining the nitrogen uptake versus nitrogen excretion. The theoretical highest BV of any food source is 100%. In short - BV refers to how well and how quickly your body can actually use the protein you consume.

The BV is particularly used in protein, as the body can not store excess amino acids (other main nutrients, such as fat and carbohydrates can be stored by the body). The daily diet should thus always provide enough protein, and protein of the proper quality, to fulfil the need of the body.

The most limiting amino acid thus determines the BV of the whole protein. If the body needs, for example, 1 gram of phenylalanine daily, and the food supplies 500 gram of protein, but only 0.5 gram of phenylalanine, the BV of the protein is very low. Only a fraction of the protein can be used, the rest has to be excreted.

A low BV can be compensated by consuming other proteins. For example, when a protein is low in leucine, the BV is low. When combining this protein with a protein with high leucine content, the combined BV will be higher than that from the first protein alone. In the combination another amino acid may be limiting, thus determining a new BV. You can never add two biological values to obtain a new biological value. The new value in a combination will be determined by the most restricted amino acid in the combination.

The BV is very important for vegetarians and vegans, who do not consume animal protein. In general, animal proteins have a higher BV than vegetable protein, due to the resemblance of humans and animals. Vegetarians and vegans thus should cleverly select protein sources to obtain a high BV.


What Are the Elements Found in Proteins?

Proteins contain hundreds to thousands of individual amino acids that are linked together in a chain and then folded into a complex shape. Each protein structure is made up of approximately 21 different amino acids in different combinations.

There are approximately twenty different amino acids that naturally occur in proteins although there are more than 100 amino acids that occur in nature (mostly in plants). All amino acids have a basic structure that consists of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen atoms. This is the framework of the amino acid that makes up the protein. Protein molecules are important in cells because they play the role of enzymes and help to catalyze necessary reactions for living organisms as well as help to make up the structure of various cells.

Proteins are found in all living organisms. In the early 19th century, the importance of proteins was discovered. Proteins are organ-specific meaning that in an organism, muscle proteins will differ between organs, such as the brain and the liver. They are also species specific meaning that a human's protein will be made differently than a human's protein. The species and organ specificity of protein is a result of the differences in the numbering and the sequencing of the amino acids. When twenty different amino acids are in a chain of 100 amino acids, the amino acids can be arranged in more than 10 to the 100th power of ways.


Essential Amino Acids

Amino acids are organic compounds which contain both an amino group and a carboxyl group. According to Tillery, et al., the human body can synthesize all of the amino acids necessary to build proteins except for the ten called the "essential amino acids", indicated by asterisks in the amino acid illustrations. An adequate diet must contain these essential amino acids. Typically, they are supplied by meat and dairy products, but if those are not consumed, some care must be applied to ensuring an adequate supply. They can be supplied by a combination of cereal grains (wheat, corn, rice, etc.) and legumes (beans,peanuts, etc.). Tillery points out that a number of popular ethnic foods involve such a combination, so that in a single dish, one might hope to get the ten essential amino acids. Mexican corn and beans, Japanese rice and soybeans, and Cajun red beans and rice are examples of such fortuitous combinations.

The University of Arizona's Biology Project gives the following summary:"The 10 amino acids that we can produce are alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine and tyrosine. Tyrosine is produced from phenylalanine, so if the diet is deficient in phenylalanine, tyrosine will be required as well. The essential amino acids (that we cannot produce internally) are arginine (required for the young, but not for adults), histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. These amino acids are required in the diet. Plants, of course, must be able to make all the amino acids. Humans, on the other hand, do not have all the the enzymes required for the biosynthesis of all of the amino acids."

The failure to obtain enough of even 1 of the 10 essential amino acids has serious health implications and can result in degradation of the body's proteins. Muscle and other protein structures may be dismantled to obtain the one amino acid that is needed. "Unlike fat and starch, the human body does not store excess amino acids for later use - the amino acids must be in the food every day."(Biology Project)


FoodData Central

FoodData Central is an integrated data system that provides expanded nutrient profile data and links to related agricultural and experimental research.

At this time, only a basic view of search results is available for viewing on mobile devices. Advanced filter features, such as searching by data type, are not yet mobile-enabled and are available only in desktop view. Users are encouraged to use a desktop computer to conduct food item searches.

  • Can be used by, and has benefits for, a variety of users, including researchers, policy makers, academicians and educators, nutrition and health professionals, product developers, and others.
  • Includes five distinct data types that provide information on food and nutrient profiles: Foundation Foods, Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies 2017-2018 (FNDDS 2017-2018), National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Legacy Release (SR Legacy), USDA Global Branded Food Products Database (Branded Foods), and Experimental Foods. Each of these data types has a unique purpose and unique attributes.
  • Links these distinct data types in one location, thus strengthening the ability of researchers, policy makers, and others to address vital issues related to food, nutrition, and diet-health interactions.
  • Provides a broad snapshot in time of the nutrients and other components found in a wide variety of foods and food products.

Before you get started, view the About Us page for essential information about FoodData Central data types and how to use this system.

FoodData Central is managed by the Agricultural Research Service’s Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center and hosted by the National Agricultural Library.


What amino acids can be used for

Amino acids are at the basis of all life processes, as they are absolutely essential for every metabolic process.

Among their most important tasks are the:

  • optimal transport and
  • optimal storage of all nutrients
    (i.e. water, fat, carbohydrates, proteins, minerals and vitamins).

The majority of health issues such as obesity, high-cholesterol levels, diabetes, insomnia, erectile dysfunction or arthritis can essentially be traced back to metabolic disturbances. This also applies to hair loss and serious cases of wrinkle formation.

This is why it is important to act sooner rather than later to ensure that the essential amino acids are available to the body in sufficient quantities.

Unfortunately this cannot be guaranteed nowadays, due to the poor quality of our diet. This is why supplementation with amino acids is recommended.

On the following pages you can find a summary of various university studies on the positive effects of amino acids on:

Areas of use

Amino acids

Dear reader,

We are often asked for amino acid product recommendations. As we generally cannot answer this in a universal way, the information collected from our German colleagues could be used as a guide to those who are looking for quality supplements: www.aminosaeuren.de. The site trialed and evaluated the products and services of the main providers in German-speaking countries. The information is currently only available in German, but you will nevertheless be able to see the names of the best manufacturers.

»Mitteldeutsche Zeitung newspaper«

Arginine and zinc make sperm cells more resilient

“Men should ensure that they consume a balanced diet and get enough exercise” explained Professor Frank Sommer from the Institute for Men’s Health, at the Hamburg-Eppendorf Clinic in Germany. He specifically recommended arginine when presenting his nutritional advice, as the amino acid can have a positive effect on the dynamics and fitness of sperm cells. The trace element zinc also contributes to the resilience of these cells.


What Is Special about This Variant and What Do We Know About the Mutations?

All viruses evolve and mutate over time, and SARS-CoV-2 is no different, acquiring 1-2 new mutations every month. A mutation is an alteration in the sequence of nucleic acid caused by insertions, deletions, substitutions or rearrangements of bases. While some mutations are &ldquosilent&rdquo and do not change the organism&rsquos phenotype, others are non-silent and can result in new proteins or altered cellular processing that shifts the organism&rsquos phenotype. Coronaviruses in fact mutate slower than many other RNA viruses due to a proofreading enzyme typically absent in other RNA viruses (mutation rate estimated to be near 2.5 x 10 -6 substitutions/nucleotide/cell infection).

Nonetheless, there already have been a significant number of SARS-CoV-2 variants that have been identified from the original Wuhan strain. E arly on in the pandemic , a D614G mutation in the spike protein gene associated with higher infectivity emerged and became the predominant global strain by June 2020. B.1.1.7 is defined by 23 mutations from the original Wuhan strain, 8 of which are in the spike protein. The 3 mutations hypothesized to have the largest potential biological effect are N501Y, spike deletion 69-70del and P681H.

The N501Y mutation leads to an amino acid change from asparagine to tyrosine at position 501 in the receptor binding domain of the spike protein. This has been shown to increase how tightly the coronavirus&rsquo spike protein binds to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE 2) receptor, which mediates viral entry into human cells. This mutation has also been independently and recently described in South Africa in a strain named variant 501YV2. It is a distinct virus variant, although it has been similarly found to spread rapidly and displace other circulating lineages.

The 69-70del mutation is a deletion of 6 bases in the RNA, leading to deletion of 2 amino acids at position 69 and 70 of the spike protein and is of unknown significance, although has been described in other variant clusters associated with receptor binding domain changes of the spike protein. Some experts have hypothesized that the N501Y mutation, in combination with this deletion, could be responsible for enhanced transmissibility due to changes in the receptor binding domain of the spike protein, which mediates viral entry. Lastly, the P681H mutation (proline to histidine amino acid change at position 681 in the spike protein) is of unclear significance as well, but is another previously described mutation adjacent to the furin cleavage site needed for membrane fusion of the virus, and therefore the mutation could possibly impact viral infectivity.

To date, there is no evidence that B.1.1.7 causes more severe illness than other SARS-CoV-2 strains, and it seems unlikely that the mutations would be sufficient to decrease the efficacy of vaccine-induced immunity, although investigations into these questions are ongoing. A brief, non-peer-reviewed preprint report has described that the sera of 20 patients who received the Pfizer vaccine generated neutralizing antibody titers to lab-modified SARS-CoV-2 virus with the N501Y mutation. However, the lab-modified virus notably lacked the full set of B.1.1.7 mutations. Importantly, position 501 in the receptor binding domain of the spike protein is where neutralizing antibodies most frequently act, and there remains concern that some monoclonal antibody products will not as effectively neutralize N501Y mutants.


Where does collagen come from?

The body naturally makes its own collagen by breaking down dietary protein into amino acids. The amino acids are what build the various types of protein in the body, including collagen, according to Shannon Weston, a registered dietitian at the University of Texas Health School of Public Health in Houston.

You get the specific building blocks for collagen by eating a balanced diet of protein-rich foods (chicken, beef, eggs, dairy, legumes, nuts and whole grains, for example) and a variety of fresh produce, according to the Cleveland Clinic. A diet high in fresh vegetables and fruit has the added benefit of providing antioxidants, which protect the body from oxidative stress that can degrade collagen, Weston said. The body's ability to produce collagen naturally decreases as we age, she said, but excess sun exposure, smoking and poor diet can also inhibit collagen production.


Experimental Variables

A variable is a characteristic of a subject (in this case, of a person in the study) that can vary over time or among individuals. Sometimes a variable takes the form of a category, such as male or female often a variable can be measured precisely, such as body height. Ideally, only one variable is different between the control group and the experimental group in a scientific experiment. Otherwise, the researchers will not be able to determine which variable caused any differences seen in the results. For example, imagine that the people in the control group were, on average, much more sexually active than the people in the experimental group. If, at the end of the experiment, the control group had a higher rate of HPV infection, could you confidently determine why? Maybe the experimental subjects were protected by the vaccine, but maybe they were protected by their low level of sexual contact.

To avoid this situation, experimenters make sure that their subject groups are as similar as possible in all variables except for the variable that is being tested in the experiment. This variable, or factor, will be deliberately changed in the experimental group. The one variable that is different between the two groups is called the independent variable. An independent variable is known or hypothesized to cause some outcome. Imagine an educational researcher investigating the effectiveness of a new teaching strategy in a classroom. The experimental group receives the new teaching strategy, while the control group receives the traditional strategy. It is the teaching strategy that is the independent variable in this scenario. In an experiment, the independent variable is the variable that the scientist deliberately changes or imposes on the subjects.

Dependent variables are known or hypothesized consequences they are the effects that result from changes or differences in an independent variable. In an experiment, the dependent variables are those that the scientist measures before, during, and particularly at the end of the experiment to see if they have changed as expected. The dependent variable must be stated so that it is clear how it will be observed or measured. Rather than comparing “learning” among students (which is a vague and difficult to measure concept), an educational researcher might choose to compare test scores, which are very specific and easy to measure.

In any real-world example, many, many variables MIGHT affect the outcome of an experiment, yet only one or a few independent variables can be tested. Other variables must be kept as similar as possible between the study groups and are called control variables. For our educational research example, if the control group consisted only of people between the ages of 18 and 20 and the experimental group contained people between the ages of 30 and 35, we would not know if it was the teaching strategy or the students’ ages that played a larger role in the results. To avoid this problem, a good study will be set up so that each group contains students with a similar age profile. In a well-designed educational research study, student age will be a controlled variable, along with other possibly important factors like gender, past educational achievement, and pre-existing knowledge of the subject area.