We need protein. It is essential for our survival… blah, blah, blah… we have heard a lot about these stuff. The question however is; how much do we really know about proteins? In case you know, you did a great job! In case you didn’t know, don’t be disheartened. Here is your chance to learn amazing protein facts. As a matter of facts, everyone should be aware of these protein facts so that they can make informed decisions about their diets. So, feel free to share these facts with those who you care about.
Protein Facts: 1-5
1. Protein is the building block of human body. What does that mean? There are trillions of cells in a human body. Every single cell contains protein. Without protein, we cannot exist at all.
2. Protein is the second-most abundant substance in our body. The first spot is taken by water. In case you didn’t know, water makes about 70% of human body weight. Protein makes up another 18% to 20%. The remaining 10% or 12% is everything else combined.
3. There are three major energy sources for our body. One of them is protein. The other two is fats and carbohydrates.
4. Protein is called a macronutrient. Any nutrient that gives energy or calories to our body is known as macronutrient. This means fat and carbohydrates are macronutrients too because they give us calories.
5. 1 gram of protein gives us 4 kilocalories. Same is the case with carbohydrates. In case of fats however, it is more than twice. 1 gram of fat gives 9 kilocalories.
Protein Facts: 6-10
6. Proteios – the Greek word is the source for the word Protein. Proteios means ‘holding the first position’ or ‘primary’ or ‘first’.
7. Do you know how many types of proteins are there in human body? About 100,000. Almost all chemical reactions that take place in a human body requires protein. Apart from that, human body requires protein in order to grow as well as heal.
8. There are various shapes and sizes of proteins found in our body. However, the simplest of proteins are very much like trains. There are separate cars. Each car is linked with another using chains that are known as peptide bonds.
9. Each car in a protein chain (train) is known as amino acid. There are 20 different amino acids. These are basically chemicals. These 20 amino acids amino acids join together in different ways or combinations to form different types of proteins. So, every single type of protein you find in a human body will be made up of amino acids.
10. Talking of amino acids, what precisely are they? Amino acids are compounds, basically organic by nature. This means that these compounds have carbon in them.
Protein Facts: 11-15
11. When we eat any protein, for example meat or egg, the protein is broken down into amino acids by the digestive system. These amino acids are then used for a multitude of bodily functions like body tissue repairing, body growth and breaking down of other food items. They also function as the energy source for our body
12. There are basically three broad categories of amino acids – essential, non-essential and conditional.
13. Essential amino acids are those that our body cannot produce but are needed for various important functions. These amino acids can be obtained only from external food sources. There are 9 essential amino acids.
14. The nine essential amino acids include valine, tryptophan, threonine, phenylalanine, methionine, lysine, leucine, isoleucine and histidine.
15. Non-essential amino acids are those that our body can produce on its own. There is no need to look out for external protein sources to get those amino acids. They include glutamic acid, aspartic acid, asparagine and alanine.
Protein Facts: 16-20
16. Conditional amino acids are those that become essential only when we very stressed or ill. These amino acids include serine, proline, ornithine, glycine, tyrosine, glutamine, cysteine and arginine.
17. Protein has a life span of just 2 days or less than that.
18. Plant-based proteins may not contain all essential amino acids however, they are still, at times, considered better than animal protein because they have high fiber content, no cholesterol and less fat.
19. Do you think only fats are responsible for making you overweight? Think again! Even protein can make you overweight if you consume more than what is required by your body. The unused protein will then be stored in the body in form of fat especially in hips and belly areas.
20. Just the way overeating protein is not good, protein deficiency in body is also not good. Especially in case of children, protein deficiency can lead to a disease known as Kwashiorkor.
Protein Facts: 21-25
21. What exactly is Kwashiorkor? This is a condition where hair becomes thin, the belly protrudes out, skin color fades and overall weight loss takes place. This requires proper treatment. In case of improper treatment, it can lead to stunted growth. Mental disorders also set in and in worst cases, it can lead to death.
22. Proteins in our body can mutate and lead to some serious health issues. For instance, there is a protein which goes by the name Shank3. In case this protein mutates, neurons’ connections get disrupted and thereby increases the chances of autism.
23. Any error in protein function can lead to several problems. For instance, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease can be caused by errors in protein function.
24. Such errors can also lead to a disease known as CJD or Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. In this disease, brain starts degenerating and eventually takes the shape of a porous sponge.
25. There is a special type of protein known as albumin. In the absence of this protein, human body will swell because of fluids. Albumin levels are usually low in people who kidney diseases or people with excessive burns or people suffering of over-hydration. Over-hydration is a pathological condition in which water accumulates in the body.
Protein Facts: 26-30
26. Semen contains proteins. Typically, 150 mg of protein is found in a single ejaculation (which is about one tablespoon full of semen).
27. One more thing you need to know about protein found in semen. It acts on the female brain and stimulates a female body for prompt ovulation.
28. When protein denaturation takes place in lenses of our eyes, it leads to formation of cataracts.
29. If a protein contains all nine essential amino acids, it is known as a whole protein or complete protein. Complete protein usually comes from animal sources like egg, chicken, beef, fish and several dairy products.
30. If all 9 essential amino acids are not present in a protein, it is known as incomplete protein. Incomplete protein comes from plant sources like vegetables and nuts.