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Proteins, one of the three classes of energy nutrients, are formed from different numbers and kinds of amino acids. Protein is essential for growth, the building of new tissue, and the repair of injured or broken-down tissue.

They serve as enzymes, structural elements, hormones, immunoglobulins, etc., and are involved in oxygen transport and other activities throughout the body, and in photosynthesis. Protein can be oxidized in the body, liberating heat and energy at the rate of four calories per gram.

Recommended Dietary Allowances. 9th ed. 1980. National Academy of Science. Washington, D.C.

Thomas, C.L. 1985. Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. F.A. Davis Co. Pub. Philadelphia. 2170.