Facts About Protein and Functions of Protein
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Facts About Protein and Functions of Protein

What is Protein? Facts about Protein. Functions of Protein. Interesting Facts about Protein. Structure and Function of Proteins.

Protein is extremely essential for body’s growth. It’s a vital part of the living tissue and plays important roles in various functions of the body. Proteins are biochemical compounds combination of different amino acids. Amino acids are organic compounds containing an amino group and a carboxylic acid group. Proteins are composed of various proportions of about 20 common amino acids. Protein is an important part of our diet as our body needs amino acids to synthesize its own proteins. Protein can be found in the whole body including skin, hair, muscle and bone.

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There are two types of amino acids – essential amino acids and non-essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are those that body cannot synthesize on its own and must be obtained from the diet. Most commonly known eight essential amino acids are isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Non-essential amino acids are those that body can synthesize on its own. They are glutamate, alanine, aspartate, and glutamine, as well as arginine, proline, serine, tyrosine, cysteine, taurine, and glycine. Although, these amino acids are called non-essential amino acids because body can produce them on its own but under many circumstances body cannot actually make non-essential amino acids or enough of the non-essential amino acids it needs. That is why it’s always a good idea to get both types amino acids (essential and non-essential) from our diet. It should be noted that body can only make proteins when there is enough amount of necessary amino acids are available. Therefore, it is important to have foods which contain essential amino acids and non-essential amino acids as well.

Function of Proteins

Protein is important to generate energy for cellular function. When other energy sources such as carbs and fats are exhausted or unavailable, body uses protein energy. For the production and maintenance of muscles, connective tissues, skin, hair and nails proteins are absolutely necessary. Also for the production of enzymes and hormones proteins are needed. Certain proteins such as hemoglobin , transferrin, ceruloplasmin, retinol-binding protein, albumin and transthyretin are used to carry various substances to the body tissues. Lipoproteins are the principal means for transporting lipids in the blood. Proteins play an important role in immune system by binding the antigens and inactivating the antigens and making them more visible to the immune cells that destroy antigens. Proteins play an important role in repairing body tissues as well. Proteins are useful to maintain normal acid-base balance in the body. Also, they maintain proper fluid balance inside of cells.

Protein can be found in both animal and plant sources. Some of the foods that provide all the amino acids are called “complete protein” and foods that provide some of the amino acids or none of them are called “incomplete protein.” Excellent sources of protein are beans, grains, nuts, seeds, and vegetables, tuna, shrimp, turkey, and cod. All these are high protein meals or foods. Lack of protein in the body can cause weight loss, fatigue, frequent infections, slow growth among children, muscle wasting and severe edema.

It must be noted that excessive intake of protein is not good for the body and can cause kidney problems and accelerated bone loss eventually leading to osteoporosis.

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Comments (2)

nice and vote up.

Excellent article. We all need to know about this. : )

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