Proteins: definition and usefulness of protectors

In the macro-nutrient family I ask: proteins. The third mousetrap of acolytes, carbohydrates and lipids, proteins are often reduced to their simple state of “proteins”. Proteins, however, include much broader functions than these.

Let’s evaluate their role, their function and their health benefits.

The role of proteins

At the same time, we group the proteins:

  • the protein : they consist of peptides and therefore amino acids provided to the body through the transformation of food by digestion.
  • the peptides : a peptide consists of at least two amino acids. The set of many peptides gives a protein.
  • the amino acids : There are about twenty of them, including eight essential amino acids that the body does not produce. It is therefore essential that we absorb them through our diet.

Amino acids are 20 in number and are the main components of proteins and peptides.

Protein is therefore the large family of nutrients that essentially group the amino acids linked together in a simple or complex way.


I’m glad I know : One can include in the family of macronutrients (those that provide energy) vitamins and minerals to which one can add trace elements.

Protein utility

Proteins are necessary for the functioning of the organism.

They are present in almost all cells of our body and are mainly:

  • hair;
  • nails
  • skin: in the form of a protein called “keratin”.
  • muscle tissue: in the form of “myosin”, “actin”, “myoglobin”;
  • red blood cells: in the form of “globin”.
  • the production of digestive enzymes: which promote digestion;
  • hormones
  • immunoglobulins: antibodies in the immune defense.

Protein is also a nitrogen source : have what is called the compensatory role for nitrogen losses in urine (nitrogen is excreted through the urine or feces) thanks to the nitrogen consumed, which is contained in food.

They are also involved cell renewal by repairing damaged cells or tissues.

Where will you find the proteins?

Proteins of animal origin provided by: milk and dairy products, eggs, meat, fish and seafood, cheeses.

Egg proteins are the best balanced essential amino acids.

Proteins vegetable origin found in: legumes (lentils, soy, in particular), almonds, whole grains.

Proteins play an important role in rebuilding the body and are low in calories (except cheese).

Protein deficiencies and excess

Without knowing how to synthesize amino acids and have no reserves, our body draws protein from the muscles be able to function properly.

Without adequate protein intake, muscle loss can be significant and create muscle, bone and physical weakness.

However, analyzes have shown an association between high consumption of animal protein (meat and fish, but not eggs or dairy products) and the risk of inflammatory bowel disease (MICI). In contrast, a diet exclusively of plant origin may lead to a risk of vitamin B12 deficiency.

It is therefore recommended that you have one The most varied possible food (meat, fish and vegetables) or at least learn how to meet our needs in case of a specific diet (vegan) with external sources (type of dietary supplement).

In case of doubt, weakness or need for information, do not hesitate to consult your doctor.

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Proteins: definition and usefulness of protectors
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