Let’s define protein!
Proteins are a part of our everyday life and much of today’s health, nutrition, and skincare is based upon proteins. But what does a protein actually look like.
If you took a high school chemistry class and can remember that far back, you’ll probably recall that a protein is formed as a result of a long train of amino acids being lined up together similar to a chain link fence.
Do you know that the function of proteins is important to the human body?
Proteins have at least four functions in the human body:
- Structure to ligaments, fingernails and our hair
- Digestion in the form of stomach enzymes
- Movement as in the muscles we have all over the body
- Sight as in the eyes and specifically the lens is all protein
Peptide bonds prove the glue which joins the amino acids that eventually provides the formation of a long chain molecule referred to as a protein. If you experience a protein deficiency, you’ll most like see a break down in tissue and muscle mass. They’re the main focus of the protoplasm contained in our cellular structure. Proteins and amino acids work hand-in-hand with peptides to provide the body with the finest molecular structure.
It’s no mistake that health care and nutrition companies pay special attention to this relationship.
As stated in an earlier article about amino acids, there are 20 different amino acids. Each is in proteins which ultimately a genetically defined amino acid sequence decides the eventual shape and responsibility.
Here are some of the other responsibilities that proteins have:
- structural elements
- oxygen transport
- muscle contraction
- electron transport in the body
What’s the most important responsibility a protein has?
That would be the replacement or rejuvenation of the tissues in your body.
Did you know that your muscles, organs, and some of your hormones are protein?
To keep your blood health, protein manufactures antibodies and hemoglobin. It also has the ability to oxygenate the blood.
If our body can only manufacture 14 of the 20 amino acids, where do we get the balance of the amino acids we need? If you answered the foods we eat, your answer is correct! We also use supplements in the form of vitamins and minerals to make up for deficiencies.
Here are some other things proteins do in the human body!
Proteins are the major structures of muscles, skin, tendons, blood vessels, hair, and the foundation of
bones and teeth.
If you’ve had an injury or wound, proteins have an integral role in wound healing. The also help with collagen (the connective tissue that has an integral role in your skin, the largest organ of the human body).
Now, let’s digress to another type of protein, called enzymes. They’re the proteins that give is the energy we need to make it through the day.
Much has been mad about hormones, but do you really know what a hormone actually does? Hormones are proteins that are the “internal project managers” which keeps the human body in perfect balance. If your hormones are out of whack, then you’re probably not feeling well or have a lack of energy.
Two types of hormones that control our blood sugar levels are insulin and glucagons. Insulin is an interesting term because of its relationship to diabetes.
Your immune system also benefits from proteins known as antibodies. They’re important is the battle against foreign bacteria.
It’s safe to say that without protein life would be impossible. Every cell in the human manufactures different types of proteins. Every imaginable part and function of your body has protein involved in some way. From the enzymes that are critical to the digestion of foods to the fibers that plug leaky blood vessels, proteins play an important role in everyday life.
Our diet is even dictated by protein in food and the amount we consume. If our diet is is formed from vegetables we know that we’ll get the right amount of amino acids.
Are you aware that there are more than 50,000 different proteins in the human body?
The 22 different amino acids are responsible for their production but we can only synthesize 14 of these 22 amino acids. So the other 8 must come from food and they’re called the essential amino acids.
Be sure to read our articles on amino acids, vitamins, and minerals for more information on health and nutrition related topics.