DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), is the molecule that comprises the genome, and RNA (ribonucleic acid) are combine in nutritional supplements. DNA, which makes up the genetic material, is comprised of units called nucleotides. A nucleotide consists of a base, a sugar and a phosphate group. The major bases in DNA are the purines adenine and guanine and the pyrimidines cytosine and thymine. The sugar moiety of the nucleotide is 2'-deoxyribose. RNA, which is more abundant in tissues than DNA by about an order of magnitude, is also comprised of nucleotide units. In the case of RNA, the major bases are again the purines adenine and guanine, and the pyrimidines are cytosine and uracil. One of the major differences between DNA and RNA is the presence of uracil in RNA and of thymine in DNA. The other major difference is in the sugar moiety. In RNA, the sugar moiety of the nucleotide is ribose, whereas in DNA it is deoxyribose.

Research has shown that not all bodies are able to produce the nucelotides needed for complete health due to certain conditions. This has led to nucleic acids and nucleotides being considered essential nutrients. Some nucleic acid can be found in plant and animal sources.

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