DO WE REALLY NEED PROTEIN-Dietary protein is important because the amino acids that make up our proteins are responsible for everything from our structure (contractile proteins, fibrous proteins)
– to our hormones (most of the non-steroid hormones)
– to our enzymes, to our immune chemicals (immunoglobulins and antibodies)
– to our transport proteins, and more.
Further, although our metabolic processes can make certain amino acids, without a diet rich in the essential amino acids
(those amino acids we can’t make) we cease to function.
Also, without adequate daily amino acid intake, small daily losses (due to amino acid breakdown) will put us in a net negative protein balance.
While carbohydrate, and especially fat content of the body are fairly well maintained
it’s actually quite difficult to maintain a consistent amino acid pool without dietary intervention.
Indeed, maintaining the plasma amino acid pool is like keeping a sink full without a drain plug.
Amino acids are constantly lost from the pool
and therefore the only way to replenish them is to ingest protein through the diet.
This is why achieving a specific intake each day is essential to overall health and function.
If amino acid intake falls below daily amino acid degradation, things like enzymes and structural proteins are cannibalized.
If this process persists for long enough, vital functions shut down.
net negative protein balance: When nitrogen output exceeds nitrogen intake.
DO WE REALLY NEED PROTEIN?
Because dietary PROTEIN intake is important to maintaining our amino acid pools,
it’s important to note that the body has the ability to make certain amino acids, the 12 non-essential ones.
However, there are 8 amino acids, the essential ones, which can only be supplied by the diet. hence diet rich in protein will satisfy body needs
above are the amino acids we need to add from diet as our body cannot produce it.