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Like carbohydrates and fats, proteins contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, but in different proportions. In addition, and most important, they are the only nutrient group that contains nitrogen, and some contain sulfur. Figure 6-1 is an example of an amino acid with a nitrogen (N) molecule.
Proteins are composed of chemical compounds called amino acids (Figure 6-2). Amino acids are sometimes called the building blocks of protein because they are combined to form the thousands of proteins in the human body. Heredity determines the specific types of proteins within each person.
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