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Transcript
FUNCTIONS OF PROTEINS IN THE BODY
FUNCTIONS OF PROTEIN IN THE BODY
Protein is the fundamental life force. Proteins are necessary in initiating every biochemical process in the body
as well as in providing us an invaluable source of energy. In the absence of protein, the body would simply shut
down.
PROTEIN AS ENZYMES
Proteins are responsible for almost every chemical reaction that takes place in the body. These reactions are
facilitated by enzymes, which are actually protein catalysts that increase the rate of reaction without themselves
being changed in the process.
The amount of enzymes present in the body determines the rate at which a chemical event can occur. Thus if
there is deficiency in enzymes, there will be a slower reaction.
Several thousand enzymes have been discovered to date and virtually every one is a protein.
TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGE
Proteins have a unique ability to transport substances across cell membranes that other molecules can't
penetrate. Hemoglobin is a type of protein that is responsible for carrying oxygen in red blood cell. Myoglobin
is responsible for carrying oxygen. Ferritin is a protein that assist in the storage of iron and stores blood in the
liver. Without protein for transportation and storage, we would not have blood to nourish our bodies.
CELL AND TISSUE GROWTH
Continuous supply of amino acids needed by the body in order to build the proteins that create tissue.
Throughout our everyday lives, we constantly manufacture new tissues such as hair, teeth, skin and nails. The
blood cells and skin cells last about a month while the cells situated in our digestive system lining last only two
weeks. When the cells die and slough off, our bodies need new healthy tissue to replace them. It is only through
the regeneration of new tissue that we can become healthy again.
MECHANICAL SUPPORT
Collagen, the most abundant protein found in the human body is a type of structural protein that is fibrous in
nature. Collagen is responsible for giving strength and support to tissues such as skin and bone that undergo
continual wear and tear.
Athletes that work out two or more hours a day rely on the body' s ability to manufacture new collagen, which
keeps their joints healthy and strong and prevents injury.
COORDINATION AND MOTION
Do you know that without protein we could not create life ?
Proteins are a major component in muscle contraction. Muscle contraction occurs when two fibrous protein
filament glide across each other. On a smaller scale, sperms are propelled in motion by their flagella, which are
made up of contractile units made of protein. Thus protein is mainly behind the movement of sperm.
IMMUNE PROTECTION
Antibodies are highly specific proteins that are responsible for detecting a foreign substance or known as
"antigen". The body produces a specific antibody to respond to an antigen and inactivate it.
NERVE GENERATION AND IMPULSES
The nervous system is responsible for keeping the body in balance. When a certain stimulus triggers the nervous
system, it responds with an appropriate reaction. This cannot occur without a receptor site awaiting the
stimulus. These receptor sites are made of protein complexes and are responsible for transmitting nerve
messages from cell to cell.
FLUID BALANCE
Protein have the unique ability to regulate the amount of fluid within a cell. The amount of protein within a cell
will determine the cell's water content, as water is attracted to protein. When protein levels are low, fluid
imbalances result. This type of system is important to prevent dehydration , as well as to enhance muscle and
nerve cell function.
SOURCES OF PROTEIN
"Amino acids" is the name given to the basic structural unit of proteins. Nitrogen molecules are combined with
hydrogen molecules to make what is called an amino group.
Each amino acid has a carboxyl group which is made up of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. To date, more than
300 amino acids have been described in nature. Out of this 300, only 20 are commonly found in mammals.
Foods high in protein are complete proteins in that they have sufficient quantity and variation of all twenty
amino acids, Examples of complete proteins are animal-based foods such as fish, poultry, beef, pork. Eggs and
dairy products also have sufficient amino acid composition and are considered complete.
Written by KERI MARSHALL
Published by: BASIC HEALTH PUBLICATIONS
Response: Do the following questions on your own piece of paper.
1) For each section, write a response about what would happen if we were lacking in the particular
proteins. (ie enzyme proteins, transport proteins, etc.) Include what the proteins do, and what would
happen if they were not being made.
2) Summarize the “Sources of Protein” section in your own words, focusing on the aspects that are
relevant to humans.