Protein is one of the primary building blocks of the human body…
All four of these building blocks are considered “essential” to the development of the body and are key to its proper function. Lipids, for example, are necessary for the formation of the phospholipid bilayer (or cell membrane) of a cell which is key to holding all organelles within a cell thus maintaining and internal environment and to selectively letting molecules past the membrane to meet demands. Nucleic acids make up the genetic code from which we are derived. DNA itself is made of nucleic acids and is therefore essential to our being.
Carbohydrates play a major role in the energy reactions that keep our bodies fueled while also taking part in cell-to-cell communication. Protein, being the topic of discussion, is the building block for a lot of necessary intra- and extracellular components.
This includes but is not limited to enzymes, hormones, and immune complement proteins. That being mentioned, proteins have an extensive range of functions in the body and are absolutely essential for proper function of many body systems. Proteins are synthesized in the body in response to its needs and we must therefore not concentrate on the particular type proteins we eat, but in its building blocks.
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Proteins are made from amino acids (aa), which is what we get when we consume food. There are 9 essential out of 20 total amino acids, meaning that the body doesn’t synthesize those 9 amino acids . Lacking any of those 9 can lead to your body not having the necessary raw material to synthesize a special kind of protein.
Protein deficiency therefore, actually refers to a deficiency in the amino acids that are used to synthesize a respective protein and this can have devastating effects. This is because proteins can act as building blocks as well as regulatory molecules. Here are a few signs to pay attention to that may mean the body needs more protein!
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1. Thinning Hair and/or Nails:
Nails and hair made primarily from the protein keratin, which is synthesized by the body as a way to form the innate immune system of which your hair, nails, and even skin are a part of. Not having the necessary supply of amino acids to synthesize keratin therefore leads to the deterioration and degradation of both hair and fingernails.
2. Weakness and Fatigue:
Muscle cells need protein to stay fueled. Protein represents a harder to digest molecule by the body which results in longer lasting energy. If weakness and fatigue are a common symptom for you, you might have an amino acid deficiency.
This symptom in specific can be a marker for a range of medical conditions. Iron deficiency anemia, for example, also leads to weakness and fatigue. This is because iron is necessary for proper oxygen delivery by red blood cells to demanding tissues. If the tissues have no oxygen, they can’t carry out many of the most efficient energy harvesting reactions and individuals therefore feel weakness.
3. Poor Concentration and Memory:
Proteins are part of proper brain function. Many of the most common neurotransmitters are protein based and amino acid deficiency therefore impairs proper brain function.
The body is like a fine tuned car. You cannot drive a car without oil, antifreeze, or gasoline. Similarly the body cannot function optimally without protein, carbohydrates and fats. With each meal make sure there is balance of these micronutrients to prevent deficiencies in your body.
One of the best ways to determine if you might be lacking the proper nutrition in your diet is to consult a Nutritionist.
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