A type of small organic molecule.
Best known as the “building block” of proteins, amino acids serve as the precursor to several neurotransmitters in the brain. There are three broad categories of amino acids essential, nonessential, and conditional. Our bodies cannot produce essential amino acids, so they must be absorbed from food. Amino acid neurotransmitters are the most prevalent neurotransmitters in the brain. These include glutamate and aspartate, which can increase the electrochemical activity of neurons, as well as glycine and gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), which inhibit that electrochemical activity.
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