The Power of Protein


Team Udayavani, Sep 25, 2019, 12:01 PM IST

Your body cannot afford to lose out on protein. Crucial to good health, proteins are the building blocks of cells.  Proteins are made up of amino acids which join together to form long chains. The structure of proteins changes based on the sequence of the amino acid chain. These amino acid chains fold into unique shapes to make different types of proteins. They can be enzymes, antibodies, DNA associated, hormone proteins, structural, contractile and transport proteins.

Here’s why proteins are looked upon as the power agents of your body.

Building and repairing tissues:

Your body needs proteins to build and repair tissues. While the body breaks down the same amount of proteins to build and repair tissues under normal circumstances, your body’s protein needs increase when you’ve had an injury, if you are recovering from a surgery, and during pregnancy. Athletes and body builders need more protein. Building new muscle is possible with a better protein diet.

Biochemical reactions:

Your body works continuously to process food and give energy. Metabolism is a result of biochemical reactions and enzymes play a big role here. Enzymes are also proteins and bodily functions like digestion, energy production, muscle contraction and blood clotting depend on them. The improper functioning or secretion of enzymes results in diseases.

Messengers:

Hormones are also proteins and they are secreted by the endocrine glands. They aid in the communication between the cells, organs and tissues. Regulating the functions of organs, hormones control growth, reproduction and sexual characteristics. It controls the volumes of fluid sugar and salt levels in the body. For example, Insulin is a key hormone that helps in the regulation of blood sugar levels.

Provides Structure:

Keratin and Collagen are also protein and are responsible for healthy hair and nails.  Keratin is the protein that gives your skin and hair structure and health.  Collagen is responsible for the health of your ligaments and structure of your tendons and bones.  Elastin is also another protein that helps in the enlargement and contraction of the uterus, lungs and arteries.

Balances body fluids:

Proteins do the important function of balancing body fluids such as Albumin and Globulin. They attract and retain water. A decrease in these fluids forces the water to sit between the cells leading to oedema in the stomach region.

Most of all proteins bolster immune health. Antibodies are proteins that fight bacteria and viruses. They are the ones the keep away the different types of cold and flu.

Proteins also act as transport agents. Haemoglobin is the protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues in your body. This critical protein gives life to every cell in the body.

Proteins do many crucial functions in the body and add power to your health and well -being in many different ways. Ensure that you consume adequate amounts of protein and seek the help of a nutritionist and dietician for a balanced diet

– Dr Akila, Medall Diagnostics, Chennai

 

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