Proteins: Building Materials of Life

, Health care

Protein is a biological molecule with many functions.

Proteins give life (Greek “protos”: “first-rate”); they are basic elements of our body.

Unlike carbohydrates and non-vital fatty acids, proteins are therefore not replaceable with dissimilar nutrients. Deficiency in protein threatens; brittle bones and a weak immune system. By contrast, proteins hardly serve as an energy source. Only in case of prolonged calorie deficiency or intensive endurance exercise does the body resort to muscle protein.

We need protein primarily as a building material as stated at this life coaching sessions. Cells and tissues, skin and organs, skeleton and muscular strength: Only with proteins do we form and maintain them. In addition, proteins also form signaling stuff like enzymes, hormones, antibodies, coagulation factors.

Protein Digestion – What Happens There?

The protein we ingest with food is degraded into its smallest constituents in the digestive tract, the so-called amino acids. During this process, first, the complex protein structures are dissolved. This produces so-called peptide chains, a string of up to 100 amino acids. In the next digestion step, these peptides are split further, until at the end only single amino acids and small peptides are left. Only these smallest compounds and amino acids are ingested into the blood. Via the intestinal mucosa, they enter the portal vein, a blood vessel that transports all the nutrients absorbed by the intestine to the liver. From these, it builds up various proteins or releases them to the blood for further transport into the tissues.

Proteins: The Mix Does the Trick

Whoever that combines plant and animal proteins in the right proportions, combines the advantages of both protein groups. Half of the combination of proteins should ideally come from plant sources.

In multi-component proteins, the amino acids complement each other, the biological importance of the combination protein exceeds that of the individual proteins. This applies to combinations of legumes with eggs, cereals or milk and also the mix of meat or fish with other protein sources.

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